Bush Honeysuckle
Bush Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), also known as Amur honeysuckle, is one of the most destructive invasive species in the St. Louis region. The Garden recently created a new bush honeysuckle brochure to increase public awareness of this issue and encourage citizens of our region to take notice and take action. This page on invasive bush honeysuckle provides complimentary information for the brochure, including expanded content on its origins and impacts, detailed instructions for control, native plants that are similar in appearance, and suggested landscaping alternatives.
Honeysuckle History

Bush Honeysuckle Removal and Control

When: Bush honeysuckle can be removed any time of the year. However, early spring and late fall are ideal for locating and removing this invasive shrub, since it has leaves when our native shrubs and trees do not. Once you develop an eye for the yellowish-green leaves of bush honeysuckle in late fall, this time of the year is ideal for detecting isolated shrubs and removing them before the infestation expands.

How: There are multiple effective methods of removing bush honeysuckle. Selecting the right approach depends upon a number of factors, such as the area covered by the invasion, the size of the plants to be removed, and your personal capabilities and preferences. These instructions are intended to provide homeowners and volunteers information necessary to take action against bush honeysuckle. Some additional methods for controlling large-scale infestations used by professional contractors and conservation organizations with highly specialized equipment and experience are not addressed.

Foliar Spray*

Foliar application of an herbicide solution containing 2% active ingredient of glyphosate is effective, but should only be used in early spring or late fall before or after most native plants are green. Foliar spray of any herbicide should be used with great caution and only when winds are very mild, since inexperienced applicators greatly underestimate the potential for herbicide drift to harm non-target vegetation. In diverse woodlands, foliar spray is less desirable than cut-stem application, since some native plants are still green even at the optimal times for treating honeysuckle. Foliar spray can be useful for follow-up spot treatment of any stems that resprout or were overlooked during cut-stem treatment.

* A Note About Herbicides:
 The judicious use of herbicides is often the most effective means of controlling invasive species, but careless or uneducated herbicide use can result in collateral damage to non-target vegetation and other ecological harm. Although the Missouri Botanical Garden does not explicitly endorse the use of any herbicide product, it is important that homeowners who chose to use herbicides understand correct application practices. Always follow the herbicide label and use required personal protective equipment.