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.

Landscaping Alternatives to Honeysuckle

There are numerous beautiful native and non-invasive alternatives for bush honeysuckle in your landscape. Although non-invasive exotics do not actively harm our environment, they also don’t provide the same benefits as native plants for butterflies, pollinators, and the numerous insects on which birds depend for their diet. Below are some resources for alternatives to bush honeysuckle, but the possibilities are endless. To learn more about landscaping with native plants, visit the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, participate in a Native Plant School event, or schedule a home visit with an expert through the Bring Conservation Home program of the Saint Louis Audubon Society.

This Visual Guide developed by the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Kemper Center of Home Gardening provides information on several native alternatives to bush honeysuckle.

Curse of the Bush Honeysuckles: This booklet from the Missouri Department of Conservation provides suggestions for native shrubs that provide attractive and environmentally friendly alternatives in the landscape.

This brochure from the Midwest Invasive Plant Network provides useful suggestions for non-invasive alternatives to some of the worst invasive species in the Midwest, including bush honeysuckle.

GrowNative! works to increase awareness of native plants and their effective use in urban, suburban, and rural developed landscapes. Visit their website to learn about landscaping with native plants.

Look for classes and workshops for working with native plants as an alternative to invasives: