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Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 19 2016 at 11:34 AM
Dan  (Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

For several years my coral honeysuckle was ravaged by aphids each spring. For some unknown reason, last year there were no aphids at all. Now that this year's growth has taken off I've been checking for aphids again. Yesterday, the first growth tip I checked had some aphids, but no others. This morning, I found several growth tips with developing aphid colonies. Most of the vine is still clean, but I know from experience there is little I can do to stop them once they show up. The good news, however, is that this year's vine is already loading up with healthy flower buds. In previous years aphids ravaged the vine before any good buds could form.
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a

 
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Indy Steve
(Login SteveWnindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 19 2016, 11:53 AM 

Yes I also have spotted the aphids. For those of us that have them its an ongoing battle. Im thinking of keeping my goldflame in a bush mode and maybe I can keep better track of its condition.
Steve
Martinsville In.
Zone 6

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Ward Dasey
(Login WardDas)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 19 2016, 12:02 PM 

Sorry Dan. So far I haven't seen any yet but that might change at any time. The darned things reproduce so fast, they can actually be born pregnant.

 
 

Penny
(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 19 2016, 4:39 PM 

Like Ward, I haven't noticed any yet on my honeysuckles. I was out over the weekend trimming some of the errant vines back to allow for more circulation and better growth and didn't see any colonies yet but that isn't to say they aren't in there. I still need to cut back the largest and oldest plant and that is the one that usually gets hit the hardest if not checked very early.
Penny
N.Ton.,NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
 
Indy Steve
(Login SteveWnindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 22 2016, 9:56 AM 

As we know we have to check the leaf clusters which is where they hide early on . I was over at my sisters house the other day and her coral honeysuckle is very full lots of flowers, but I checked one leaf cluster that apppeared a bit out of shape or overfull and busted her bubble showing the aphids. Even so she has many many flowers that dont appear to have escaped the aphids for now, good for her. As for me the only honeysuckle that is coming along and looking nice is a goldflame and like I mentioned on another thread I may just leave it as a bush or try to.
Steve
Martinsville In.
Zone 6

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Ward Dasey
(Login WardDas)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 22 2016, 10:03 AM 

I found some on an Alabama Crimson yesterday not I need to find the time spray the growing tips with an insecticide and see if I can catch it before it gets out of hand. Not likely! The aphids seem to love fast growing new shoots at first before they spread to the flowers. I was at least two years free, oh well.

 
 

Adrienne
(Login Adrienneny)
Hummingbird Lover 2015

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 22 2016, 8:56 PM 

Aphids cover at least 40% of the buds on most of our honeysuckles this year. I wonder if pruning them hard would help next year. I've tried blasting them with the watering hose, manually squishing buds with just enough pressure not to damage buds or in bad cases just pinching off the clusters entirely. I've seen hungry House sparrows occasionally eat aphids from the vines although I wonder if they also eat buds while they're at it.

 
 
Indy Steve
(Login SteveWnindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 22 2016, 9:07 PM 

Every year its game on with aphids. I will spray with horticultural oil, but usually the best method is a good spray bottle with jets of water blasting them out of the leaf and flower clusters. In that process usually get aphids all over my hands but thats better than on my honeysuckles.
Steve
Martinsville In.
Zone 6

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Ron
(Login RonDEZone7a)
Hummingbirder 2008

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 23 2016, 8:15 AM 

I used to have a terrible aphid problem on my Coral Honeysuckle but, for the last few years, I have few or none. I see House Sparrows hopping around on my honeysuckle all the time now - I wonder if they are cleaning them up?
Wilmington, Delaware
USDA zone 7a
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 32
[linked image]

 
 
D_Kleiser
(Login D_Kleiser)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 24 2016, 11:22 PM 

I haven't seen any aphids so far. Very early this year and the last couple, I've used Bonide systemic cultivated into the soil at the base of the vines. Mine are just beginning to bloom.
photo 2016 04 24 028sm._zpsuuf8uzcy.jpg
Far west Chicago 'Burbs, Zone 5a
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Ron
(Login RonDEZone7a)
Hummingbirder 2008

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 25 2016, 8:59 AM 

I don't know if I would recommend a systemic insecticide on a hummingbird / pollinator plant as that stuff tends to linger for a long time in the plants, sometimes up to a year. Also many contain neonicotinoids like Clothianidin which are also toxic to pollinating insects like bees and are linked to bee colony collapse. Coral Honeysuckles is fairly inaccessible to honey bees but other smaller native bees may be pollinating it.
Wilmington, Delaware
USDA zone 7a
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 32
[linked image]

 
 

Kathi and Michael Rock
(Login kathirock)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 25 2016, 10:49 AM 

I totally agree with Ron on this one. We don't have this issue, and I can only imagine that it must be so frustrating, but you may be poisoning the very pollinators you hope to attract. We always recommend in our Gardening for Hummingbirds program that people try to find organic or natural controls to insect problems like this as much as possible.
Michael and Kathi Rock
Madison, WI
Zone 5

[linked image]

 
 
Indy Steve
(Login SteveWnindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

April 25 2016, 11:50 AM 

It is totally frustrating to see plants start out looking beautiful then go downhill fast because of the aphid attack.
Steve
Martinsville In.
Zone 6

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Indy Steve
(Login SteveWnindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

May 9 2016, 12:23 PM 

I have a bit of a dilemma. Last year I planted a honeysuckle vine in a different location and it did well for a first year vine with no sign of an aphid investation. Over the winter and in this early spring it has seemed to have not survived, in fact I claimed in an earlier post that it was dead seeing no sign of any new growth from the very bottom to the top of the vine. Gutter water does seem to pile up in the growth bed. Recently though what I thought was weed in the bed is in fact new honeysuckle growth. I dont know if I should leave it alone or to plant the vine I bought last year and didnt plant as a replacement for that honeysuckle which is struggling in that location. Hope I made a little sense or is it totally confusing.
Steve
Martinsville In.
Zone 6

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Ward Dasey
(Login WardDas)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

May 9 2016, 2:58 PM 

I suspect the vine is receiving too much water and planting another one would just be wasting a good plant

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

May 16 2016, 6:32 PM 

I had not been checking my honeysuckle recently. Last evening I found aphid clusters all over the darn thing. There are still many clean developing bloom clusters, but also a number of clusters covered in aphids. Also, for whatever reason, there are a number of crappy, spotted leaves on the lower and mid part of the plant.
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a

 
 

Kathi and Michael Rock
(Login kathirock)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

May 17 2016, 1:55 AM 

Wow, I really feel for you guys who have this problem. It defies explanation, but I have never seen a single aphid on our 6 honeysuckle vines. I wish there was an easy, safe solution.
Michael and Kathi Rock
Madison, WI
Zone 5

[linked image]

 
 
Ward Dasey
(Login WardDas)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

May 17 2016, 3:28 PM 

It may be a climate zone thing although others in Zone 5 have the problem. It could also be that they just haven't reached you yet. If I remember the profile of Honeysuckle Aphid correctly the females don't fly. If I were to guess this Aphid is probably moving around the country on nursery stock. According to the profile shrub honeysuckles are particularly vulnerable. I have never seen it on Japanese Honeysuckle and that species would you think be the best way for it to spread around since the plant is everywhere. For whatever reason my infestation is fairly light this year. Cold weather? It doesn't seem to matter whether the vines are pruned back or not for me. After the aphids have done their damage to the prime spring flower flush they vanish and aren't seen again until the following year and sometimes not even then.

It is easy to find information about this aphid on-line by searching Honeysuckle Aphid.

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

May 17 2016, 10:34 PM 

This evening I was checking my trays of plants in the garage and discovered that my two spanish flag plants were covered in aphids, from top to bottom. Aphids!!!!! ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!! Worst pest ever!!!!! I've been battling aphids on my two overwintered schumannii plants for months. It's next to impossible to get rid of them. I can spend 20 minutes trying to squish every aphid on a plant, but there is always at least one tiny aphid I can't see/find, so a week later the plant will be covered again. I'm sure the infested spanish flag plants were hurt by the fact they were sitting next to the schumannii and milkweed plants(which also had aphids on them). I squished and sprayed the spanish flags and then moved the schumannii and milkweeds away from all the other plants.
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a

 
 
Ward Dasey
(Login WardDas)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honeysuckle - Aphids are back

May 18 2016, 8:08 AM 

You might try mixing up an oil and water mixture - not motor oil. Perhaps if the aphids can be set back the plants will have a chance to recover and grow. What a shame.

 
 
 
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