Edible honeysuckle: types and varieties, features of cultivation and care in different regions, treatment of diseases and pests, reviews

Edible honeysuckle - a particularly valuable and promising berry crop for regions with harsh climatic conditions, long frosty winters and late spring frosts. Its early ripening dark blue berries are tasty and very healthy, they contain many vitamins. This winter-resistant shrub is quite unpretentious and grows well even among beginner gardeners, without requiring special care.

Blue edible honeysuckle - the earliest berry

Bushes of blue honeysuckle with delicious edible fruits are found in the forests of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East. The local population of these regions has long been collecting wild honeysuckle, which ripens very early, even before strawberries. This is the earliest of all berries of a temperate climate and one of the most winter-hardy berry crops, withstanding frosts of -50 ° C in winter and frosts of -7 ° C during flowering.

Edible honeysuckle - an early berry with record frost resistance

Honeysuckle fruits contain many vitamins and other beneficial substances and are considered healing. On wild plants, there are often berries with bitterness, bitterness and some garden varieties, especially in hot, dry weather without watering. The bitter honeysuckle berries make a wonderful jam with a very interesting piquant taste. They are suitable for compotes, including in a mixture with other fruits and berries. They can also be frozen and stored in the freezer. Fresh berries are stored in the refrigerator for no more than three days, then get wet and deteriorate.

From the berries of blue honeysuckle, a very tasty jam is obtained

Despite its many advantages, the blue honeysuckle attracted the attention of breeders very late, only in the middle of the last century. For several decades, it was considered a new exotic horticultural culture, and only by the beginning of the present century it was widely spread among amateur gardeners in Russia and neighboring countries. Edible honeysuckle industrial plantations still do not exist; it is a purely amateurish culture. Outside the borders of the former Soviet Union, blue honeysuckle is almost never found in the wild and is rarely grown in culture.

Edible honeysuckle berries contain many vitamins

The main breeding work on the breeding of new varieties of edible honeysuckle was carried out in Soviet times and continues today in the following scientific institutions:

  • Pavlovsk experimental station VIR (Leningrad region),
  • VIR Far Eastern Experimental Station (Vladivostok city),
  • Siberian Research Institute of Horticulture named after M. A. Lisavenko (Altai Territory, Barnaul city),
  • Bakchar stronghold of northern horticulture (Tomsk region),
  • South Ural Research Institute of Horticulture and Potato (city of Chelyabinsk),
  • All-Russian Research Institute of Horticulture named after I.V. Michurin (Tambov Region, the city of Michurinsk).

Breeders of Moscow, Samara and Nizhny Novgorod worked in small volumes with honeysuckle. Many wonderful honeysuckle varieties were created by amateur breeder Leonid Petrovich Kuminov from the Moscow Region, some of them have already been zoned and entered in the State Register, others are undergoing varietal testing.

Edible and inedible species of honeysuckle

Among the many varieties of honeysuckle, the fruits of only a few closely related species are edible:

  • blue honeysuckle,
  • Pallas honeysuckle
  • Kamchatka honeysuckle,
  • Turchaninov’s honeysuckle,
  • edible honeysuckle,
  • honeysuckle Altai.

All of them are very similar to each other. These are low erect shrubs without thorns, with a height of one to two meters. Edible honeysuckle have a number of common symptoms:

  • bloom in early spring immediately after snow melts,
  • have pale yellow bell-shaped flowers,
  • dark blue fruits ripen at the very beginning of summer, before all other berries.

Edible honeysuckle blooms with pale yellow flowers in early spring.

The vast majority of honeysuckle species have inedible or slightly poisonous fruits of red or orange color ripening in the second half of summer, also popularly known under the collective name “wolf berries”. Inedible honeysuckles bloom in late spring or early summer with white or pink flowers.

Edible honeysuckle varieties

In the majority of regions favorable for growing blue honeysuckle, any varieties of this crop grow well. For more southern regions of the country and the monsoon climate of Far Eastern Primorye, varieties of local selection that are more adapted to them are better suited.

The best varieties of honeysuckle edible by maturity (table)

Ripening periodVariety Names
Early (June 15-19)Early, Drops, Vitamin, Bell, Tomichka, Blue spindle
Medium (June 20 - 25)Vasyugan, Bakcharskaya, Bluebird, Cinderella, Pitcher-shaped, Amateur, Pavlovskaya, Azure, Leningrad giant, Reliable, Start
Late (June 26 - July 5)Dessert, Kamchadalka

In the most large-fruited modern varieties of blue honeysuckle, berries reach 4 centimeters in length and weight of 1.5 grams (for comparison, in wild-growing initial forms, berries are about 1 centimeter long and weigh about 0.5 grams). Productivity is from 0.5 to 2 kilograms per bush, depending on the variety, plant age and growing conditions. Fruits do not ripen at the same time and, as they ripen, fall off onto the ground.

Modern varieties of honeysuckle are large-fruited and fruitful.

Edible honeysuckle of the Blue Bird and Blue Spindle varieties grows in my garden in Tatarstan, the seedlings of which my grandfather brought from Moscow in the late eighties of the last century for our garden and for neighbors. In the Blue Bird, the berries are smaller, oval, sweet and sour, almost without bitterness. At the Blue Spindle, the berries are noticeably larger, elongated, slightly sweeter and with a slight bitterness. They ripen at me almost simultaneously in the first half of June. I really like both of these varieties, and the spicy delicacy honeysuckle jam is one of my favorites. Over all these years, my honeysuckle has been repeatedly transplanted and redrawn, and my neighbors have survived at the original planting site and still bear two bushes from the very first importation, one plant of each variety.

Features of growing honeysuckle in the regions

Edible honeysuckle grows well and bears fruit annually in the zone of its natural growth: in the Urals, Siberia and the Far East. Late spring frosts are not afraid of her, and frosty winters with a stable snow cover without thaws are only good for her. Varieties of local selection are ideally suited to the characteristics of a complex regional climate.

Very valuable specimens of this shrub with fruits of excellent quality can be found here among wild plants in the nearest forest, you can take cuttings from them for propagation and grow beautiful seedlings for your garden.

In nature, edible honeysuckle grows in the forests of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East.

The blue honeysuckle took root perfectly in the conditions of the Russian Non-Black Earth Region. It gives annual stable yields of tasty and healthy berries in the Northern, North-Western, Volga-Vyatka and Central regions, in the Moscow Region and throughout central Russia, as well as in the northern part of the Middle Volga.

In Tatarstan, edible honeysuckle grows well and bears fruit annually. The first specimens of this shrub in our area appeared in the eighties of the last century. Now honeysuckle bushes can be found in almost every garden, this is the earliest of all our berries. With us, it does not get sick, is not damaged by any pests, and perfectly tolerates the local climate even in the most problematic years.

Honeysuckle grows well in regions with smooth snowy winters without thaws

Quite favorable conditions for the cultivation of this crop are found throughout Belarus and in Ukrainian Polesie. There is quite humid air and relatively even winters, so almost all varieties of honeysuckle edible of any origin grow well.

It is relatively successful to grow blue honeysuckle in the Samara region of the Middle Volga region, in the Central Black Earth region of Russia and in the forest-steppe zone of Ukraine. The climatic conditions here are already less favorable for this shrub, therefore it is better to choose varieties adapted for the Black Earth created in the city of Michurinsk in the Tambov Region, as well as varieties of Samara selection.

Blue honeysuckle grows poorly south of the Black Earth

With further advance to the south, certain problems arise, methods of sufficiently effective elimination of which have not yet been found. Firstly, edible honeysuckle needs constantly high humidity of air and soil and reacts extremely painfully to the summer heat and drought, characteristic of the southern regions. Secondly, this shrub has a very short rest period. During long winter thaws that occur in the south almost every year, the honeysuckle buds wake up and start growing, and then die when frost returns. The lingering warm autumn, usual for the southern regions, also provokes premature awakening of the buds and even flowering of honeysuckle. After such untimely autumn flowering, the berries do not have time to ripen due to the inevitably coming cold weather. All this greatly weakens the plants and contributes to their premature death. As a result, in the southern regions, a normal honeysuckle crop is becoming extremely rare.

For the steppe zone of Ukraine, Crimea, the Lower Volga region and most of the territory of the North Caucasus region of Russia, the cultivation of blue honeysuckle is very problematic and has no practical meaning. Certain areas with a microclimate that is relatively acceptable for this berry shrub can be found in the mountain and foothill regions of the North Caucasus, especially on the northern slopes, including in the mountainous part of the Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories.

The main stages of growing honeysuckle and caring for it

Edible honeysuckle is one of the most unpretentious and undemanding berry crops in temperate climates. Its cultivation is available even to the most inexperienced beginner gardeners.

Honeysuckle planting

Blue honeysuckle is a very long-lived shrub that can bear fruit for up to twenty years or more. Her young bushes are relatively easy to tolerate transplant, but older plants are better not to disturb. In the spring, she wakes up very early and starts to grow, therefore, it is necessary to plant and transplant the honeysuckle in the fall, no later than a month before the onset of steady colds.

Only seedlings grown in containers with a closed root system can be planted as an exception in spring or summer.

Honeysuckle soil and choice of landing site

Edible honeysuckle grows well on any soil, except wetland and too heavy. Acidity of the soil is acceptable in the range of pH 4.5 - 7.5 with an optimal pH of 5.5 - 6.5.

The acidity of the soil for honeysuckle is acceptable in the range of pH 4.5 - 7.5 with an optimal pH of 5.5 - 6.5

To obtain abundant harvests of berries, blue honeysuckle is best planted in open sunny areas, although it can grow in partial shade and even on the northern slopes.

My honeysuckle grows in a high place with very light sandy soil and in hot, dry summers it requires constant watering, even in partial shade. My girlfriend has a garden plot on the same sands, but in a more humid lowland closer to the lake, and she almost does not water her honeysuckle.

Selection of pollinators and placement of honeysuckle plants on the site

Edible honeysuckle needs mandatory cross-pollination, so at least two different varieties of it should be planted on the garden plot. If there are three, four or more varieties, the yields of berries will be even higher. Almost all cultivars of blue honeysuckle are inter-pollinated among themselves. The main pollinators of honeysuckle are bumblebees; there are still few bees at this time.

Bumblebees - the main pollinators of honeysuckle

Groups of several bushes planted nearby are more attractive to bumblebees and are better pollinated than individually located plants. To obtain high yields of berries, the distance between the bushes should be at least two meters. You can use the blue honeysuckle to create hedges by placing the plants in a row a meter from one another, but the yield from each individual bush during such planting will be lower.

Honeysuckle compatibility with other plants

Edible honeysuckle tolerates the neighborhood of most garden plants. You can not plant it only under large trees with a dense crown, giving a solid shadow, and under excessively dry birch soil.

In openwork penumbra under birch, honeysuckle will suffer greatly from a lack of moisture in the soil

When planting on a lawn around each honeysuckle bush, it is necessary to keep an under-trunk circle with a diameter of not less than a meter, covered with gravel, wood chips, pine bark or nutshell. The roots of lawn grasses, as well as perennial weeds, have a depressing effect on the root system of honeysuckle.

Of the other berry bushes, blue honeysuckle has the most similar requirements to blackcurrant, they can be planted nearby. Both of these crops love moisture and, if necessary, put up with light partial shade, although higher yields are given in full sunlight throughout the day.

Blackcurrant is a good neighbor for edible honeysuckle

Honeysuckle landing on video

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The procedure for landing:

  1. Dig a small hole in the bayonet of a shovel and pour half a bucket of water into it.
  2. When the water is absorbed, pour a little good fertile soil to the bottom.
  3. Place the honeysuckle seedling in the prepared hole.
  4. Fill the roots with soil so that the seedling is at the same depth relative to the soil surface as it grew in the nursery.
  5. Carefully pour another half a bucket of water from the watering can with a sprayer under the planted bush.

Watering honeysuckle, mulching the soil and weed control

Edible honeysuckle makes high demands on soil and air humidity. In hot, dry weather, the yield decreases markedly, the berries grow small and often begin to bitter even in sweet-fruit varieties. Therefore, in the absence of rain, it is necessary to water once a week in a bucket of water for each young plant, or two or three buckets of water for a large adult bush. Good results occur when using drip irrigation systems.

Mulching the surface of the earth under the bushes with any improvised materials (organic matter, gravel, a special mulching film) will help preserve moisture in the soil and avoid weeds. Large powerful weeds are especially dangerous for young specimens of honeysuckle and can completely drown them in the absence of timely regular weeding. Herbicides on honeysuckle plantings are best avoided.

Mulching helps maintain moisture in the soil and inhibits weed growth

If you do not use mulching, then after each watering, the surface of the earth under the plants needs careful shallow loosening five to seven centimeters in depth. Deep digging under the bushes of honeysuckle is dangerous due to the possible damage to surface roots.

Honeysuckle top dressing

The first two to three years after planting, blue honeysuckle does not need additional fertilizing. In the future, plants are fed annually in the spring, evenly distributing fertilizers over the entire area of ​​the trunk circle.

Fertilizer rates for large adult bushes of edible honeysuckle (calculation for 1 plant):

  • 40 grams of ammonium nitrate,
  • 30 grams of superphosphate,
  • 20 grams of potassium salt.

Mineral fertilizers can be replaced with a bucket of well-decomposed humus or compost. For younger plants, the dosage of fertilizers is reduced by two to three times.

Honeysuckle pruning

Relatively young (younger than ten years of age) edible honeysuckle bushes can not be pruned at all. There is no need for post-plant pruning of seedlings. Young specimens of honeysuckle grow well and form a crown without the intervention of a gardener, and unsuccessful pruning can only delay fruiting and reduce the yield of berries.

Old honeysuckle bushes can be rejuvenated to extend the fruiting period by a few more years. To do this, thin out the bushes. The first step is to cut out all dried and broken branches, as well as lying on the ground. Then remove some of the oldest large branches in such a way that there is a place for new powerful shoots to appear.

Old honeysuckle bushes thin out for rejuvenation, removing part of the branches

My neighbors still bear two huge thirty-year-old honeysuckle bushes every year, periodically subjected to light anti-aging pruning.

Honeysuckle breeding

Blue edible honeysuckle is very easily propagated by seeds and vegetatively.

Honeysuckle propagation by cuttings

Green cuttings are the most popular, reliable and affordable way to propagate edible honeysuckle, which allows you to fully preserve all the valuable qualities of the original variety. Procedure for grafting:

  1. After the collection of berries is finished, cut off the young shoots of the current year from the best harvested honeysuckle bushes at the time of their growth and the very beginning of lignification.
  2. Cut the cut shoots into cuttings with two pairs of leaves and buds on each.

    The lower leaves of chopped cuttings must be carefully removed

  3. Gently cut the bottom pair of leaves with a razor.
  4. Черенки воткнуть нижним концом в заполненный смесью песка с торфом холодный необогреваемый парничок в полутени.

    Подготовленные черенки сажают в смесь торфа с песком

  5. Череночник регулярно поливать, не допуская подсыхания почвы.
  6. Когда черенки укоренятся и дадут новые побеги, надо начинать ежедневно проветривать парник, постепенно приучая молодые растения к открытому воздуху.
  7. Следующей весной можно пересадить полученные саженцы на постоянное место в саду.

Я неоднократно выращивала съедобную жимолость из зелёных черенков, нарезаемых в самом конце июня. Почва в моём саду песчаная, поэтому свежесрезанные черенки я просто втыкала в подготовленную грядку в полутени и накрывала каждый черенок литровой стеклянной банкой. Никаких стимуляторов корнеобразования никогда не использовала. Приживаемость всегда была стопроцентная, ни один черенок жимолости у меня не погиб. Первые цветки и ягоды на полученных из черенков саженцах появлялись на третий год.

Размножение жимолости семенами

Семенное размножение жимолости съедобной применяется только в селекционных целях при создании новых сортов. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Выделенные из полностью созревших ягод семена тщательно промыть чистой водой и подсушить.

    Семена жимолости извлекают из полностью созревших ягод

  2. В конце осени семена замочить в воде на сутки.
  3. Замоченные семена стратифицировать в чуть влажном торфе или песке при низкой положительной температуре в холодильнике сроком от двух до четырёх недель.
  4. Стратифицированные семена посеять в ящики со смесью торфа пополам с песком на глубину полсантиметра.
  5. Посевы держать при комнатной температуре и постоянном поливе, не допуская пересыхания почвы.
  6. Всходы появятся через три — четыре недели.
  7. Сеянцы необходимо регулярно поливать и держать на светлом месте.
  8. Подросшие сеянцы следует рассадить из общих ящиков в отдельные горшочки, а в начале лета высадить в открытый грунт.

В любительском садоводстве семенное размножение жимолости не применяется, так как основная масса полученных растений будет иметь мелкие горьковатые плоды посредственного качества.

Обработка жимолости от болезней и вредителей

Жимолость съедобная очень редко страдает от вредителей и болезней. В большинстве случаев при её выращивании удаётся обойтись вообще без каких-либо химических обработок, что позволяет получить особенно ценный экологически чистый урожай.

С момента начала цветения и до окончания сбора ягод любые обработки жимолости ядохимикатами категорически запрещаются.

Вредители и болезни жимолости и меры борьбы с ними (таблица)

TitleDescriptionWhat to do with it
Вирус листовой мозаикиНа листьях жимолости появляются жёлтые или бледно-зелёные полосы и пятнаВирусные заболевания неизлечимы, поражённые растения надо немедленно выкорчевать и сжечь
Грибковые заболеванияНа листьях жимолости появляются буро-коричневые пятна, поражённые листья постепенно засыхают. Болезнь обычно появляется во второй половине летаОпрыснуть кусты пенконазолом (препарат Топаз) до цветения и после сбора урожая
Акациевая ложнощитовкаВздутые коричневые бляшки на ветвях жимолости Опрыснуть кусты малатионом (препараты Актеллик, Алатар) до цветения и после сбора урожая
Spider miteЛистья жимолости покрываются точечными уколами и при сильном поражении усыхают. На листьях и побегах едва заметная паутинка и очень мелкие клещи красного или бурого цвета
AphidНа листьях и молодых побегах жимолости мелкие насекомые чёрного, серого или зелёного цвета. При большом количестве тли листья на верхушках побегов скручиваютсяОпрыскивание против паутинного клеща и ложнощитовок эффективно также и против тли. Если других вредителей, кроме тли, обнаружено не было, то высокотоксичный малатион лучше заменить менее токсичным циперметрином (препараты Инта-Вир, Кинмикс)
Жимолостная пальцекрылкаГусеницы жимолостной пальцекрылки питаются ягодами жимолости. Заражённые ягоды искривляются, преждевременно созревают и осыпаютсяСобрать и сжечь заражённые ягоды с вредителями
ДроздыВ некоторых регионах дрозды питаются ягодами жимолости. Налетевшая стая дроздов способна в несколько минут оставить кусты без урожаяТам, где много дроздов, в период созревания ягод накрыть кусты жимолости защитной сеткой от птиц

Вредители и болезни жимолости (фотогалерея)

Вирус листовой мозаики проявляется бледными пятнами и полосами на листьях

Грибковые заболевания жимолости проявляются бурыми пятнами на листьях во второй половине лета

Вздутые наросты на ветвях — так выглядит акациевая ложнощитовка

Паутинный клещ — очень опасный вредитель, вызывающий засыхание листьев

Тля вызывает скручивание молодых листьев на верхушках побегов

Гусеницы жимолостной пальцекрылки питаются ягодами жимолости

Дрозды — прожорливые любители ягод

За тридцать лет я ни разу не наблюдала никаких вредителей и болезней ни на моих кустах жимолости, ни на соседских. Даже наши местные дрозды, каждый год полчищами налетающие на иргу и вишню, синюю жимолость пока не распробовали, хотя соседские кусты жимолости растут совсем рядом с моим огромным кустом ирги. Видимо, причина в гораздо более раннем созревании жимолости — наши дрозды просто ещё не проведали, что в начале июня в том углу сада уже есть еда. Нашествие этих прожорливых птичек у нас начинается ближе к июлю, когда вся жимолость уже давно собрана и съедена.


Люблю я жимолость за то, что это первая ягода в Подмосковье, уже с 10–15 июня можно лакомиться ее ягодами. Неприхотливая, очень зимостойкая, а какая полезная!


У нас есть три сорта жимолости, покупали просто разные сорта, попробовали и оказалось, один сладкий сорт, второй горьковатый, третий кислый. А варение оооочень вкусное получается, если вообще остаются ягодки, так как махом все всё съедают. Кусты уже 5 лет, не вымерзли.


Сортов тьма, у меня есть Лазурная, Синяя птица, Кулон, Голубое веретено и какая-то безсортовая. Хотя и эти кусты уже забыл где какая. Все отличаются друг от друга сроками созревания, вкусом, размером ягод, их формой и цветом. Тень плохо сказывается на урожае, ей солнышко надо. И сажать хотя бы два сорта, для лучшего опыления, а болезней вроде пока замечено не было. Растет сама по себе, но первые 2–3 года очень медленно.

внучек Мичурина

У меня растет Голубое веретено, горчинка присутствует. В разные по погоде годы она более или менее выражена. Другой сорт у меня Камчадалка, чуть послаще, но тоже можно заметить легкую горчинку. Сравнивать больше мне не с чем, других сортов не пробовала.


Выращиваю почти 30 лет. Пожалуй, у меня это самая неприхотливая культура. Морозов не боится совсем, весенних заморозков тоже. Не любит тёплую осень (начинает цвести) и заглубления корневой шейки (правда, у меня все кусты — сеянцы), и ещё её очень любят дрозды-рябинники (если дать им возможность, то обдирают начисто).


Жимолость интересная культура! Плодоносит четыре взрослых куста. Ягоды собираются на 7–10 дней раньше, чем виктория. Поэтому их много не бывает — всегда уходят на ура. В связи с этим увеличил количество кустов с четырёх до четырнадцати. Очень не любит тёплых зим. Трогается в рост и как результат может частично повредиться.

Андрей из Казани

Благодаря своей неприхотливости и рекордной зимостойкости синяя съедобная жимолость является одной из самых ценных и перспективных ягодных культур для центральных, северо-западных, северных и восточных регионов России. К сожалению, из-за своих природных биологических особенностей этот замечательный кустарник очень тяжело адаптируется к условиям южного климата. Попытки выращивания съедобной жимолости южнее Черноземья крайне редко оказываются удачными.


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