The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

How do I plant Lonicera Nitida?


By Stevea

United Kingdom Gb

I live in Rochdale, Lancashire and have recently re-claimed some land behind my home and wish to fence it in using Lonicera Nitida. The land is level, reasonably sheltered and is predominantly clay. I have already started to dig trenches, but am not sure how to best proceed. The following questions come to mind:

How deep should I actually dig the trenches?
What soil/earth mixture will maximise the shrubs’ chance of success?
Given that the trenches are clay-based, how should I best introduce drainage?
When should I actually plant the shrubs?
What additives (e.g. bonemeal) should be used to enhance growth and when should they be applied.

Anything else I haven’t thought about?

Many thanks

Steve Angold

On plant Lonicera nitida



I'm not sure why you're digging trenches, number one, but if your soil is heavy clay, you need to incorporate horticultural grade sharp grit, plenty of organic material (like well rotted manure, garden compost, chicken manure, organic soil conditioner from the garden centre, spent mushroom compost, anything you can get hold of like that) to help condition the clay. Best time for planting would be September October (once planted, you'll have to keep it watered til the winter sets in). You can use bonemeal at the bottom of the planting holes, but I prefer Fish Blood and Bone (doesn't take years to break down, more use to the plants). Once planted, rake in Growmore next Spring round the base of the plants, and keep watered next year. I'm still worried about what you're doing with the trench, though - what's it for?

25 Jun, 2009


First of all many many thanks for your early reply - the information provided is really helpful.

I guess I'm digging a trench (total length 25 metres x 15" wide x 15" deep) because encased in the clay are many many stones from the traditional stone-built houses that previously existed (50 + years ago) on the site concerned. In some places the stone is as large as 2' x 3' and 2" to 3" thick. Mostly though it is generally 'brick size'. Digging a series of individual holes is almost impossible because of the stone encased in the clay. To extract the stone it is unfortunetaly necessary to excavate areas much larger than an area appropriate to the planting of a single shrub. It is of course possible to re-fill areas once the specific planting locations (18" intervals ?) have been set out. At the moment, as previously indicated, I have reached a depth of approx 15 inches and wonder if this is enough.

I recently visited a local nursery and one of the gardeners did suggest that the nature of the land (clay and flat) is such, that drainage might be a problem if not addressed.

Presumably, the introduction of horticultural grade sharp grit etc. etc. can take place any time before September/October? Would this be beneficial or does it not matter.
I haven't aquired the shrubs yet, nor have I identified the best supplier. Fortunately, cost is not a significant problem

IHopefully all of this makes sense!

Thanks again for your help.



25 Jun, 2009


I see. You're right, you would have to dig a much bigger area than you want to plant - I just wondered if you were going to plant in a trench!
Yes, you can incorporate all that whenever you like, as long as its before you plant, of course.
Don't know where you live (Norfolk - flat, clay?) but does the local nurseryman have knowledge that where you are is prone to flooding or something. Not sure if you need proper drainage works or not, so can't comment on that.
You're doing it the right way round - good preparation before getting the plants.
PS Just realised you live in Rochdale - you said that in your question;-)
And I hope you're using L. nitida "Baggesen's Gold", though this is my personal preference, of course.

25 Jun, 2009


Thanks again - I'm now much more confident about how to proceed. I live just outside Rochdale next to the Pennines. Pennines not very flat, but my garden is! Clay simply because of depth of excavation!



25 Jun, 2009

How do I say thanks?

Answer question

Related photos

  • Green Man 2 (Lonicera nitida)
  • Baggeson's Gold (Lonicera nitida (Shrubby honeysuckle))
  • 'Baggesen's Gold' (Lonicera nitida (Shrubby honeysuckle))
  • Lonicera_Baggsen_s_Gold.jpg (Lonicera nitida (Shrubby honeysuckle))

Related products


Related questions

Not found an answer?