Coral Honeysuckle

Highlights

Coral Honeysuckle is a native vine beloved by hummingbirds. They are fast-growing, low maintenance, and semi-evergreen, which means most of the leaves will stay on year-round, even in cold climates. They flower with bright red tubular flowers continuously in the spring and summer. Plant this vine on a sunny or part-sunny trellis and watch it return decades of beauty.

Sun – Part Sun
Semi-evergreen
Hummingbird favorite
Lonicera sempervirens

Tip: plant Coral Honeysuckle outside your window

Dig Deeper

Explore the history, types, and where to plant Coral Honeysuckle

Table of Contents

Coral Honeysuckle is an amazing, fuss-free native vine that grows effortlessly in half of the United States and parts of Canada. Native plants are essential choices for our gardens and landscapes because they provide beauty with minimal work, alongside crucial food and homes for wildlife (like hummingbirds!)

In this article, we’ll share some tips for planting and landscaping with Coral Honeysuckle, along with some ideas on where to find some for your garden.

First, what are the benefits of planting Coral Honeysuckle in your garden?

Coral Honeysuckle is a native plant

Native plants are plants that have grown in a region for thousands of years (sometimes even millions!) They know the soil, climate, and weather better than any other plants on earth.

Planting the plants native to your region returns many benefits, including:

  • Wildlife support. Native plants are the preferred food and homes of all the iconic wildlife we love—hummingbirds have a special bond with Coral Honeysuckle.
  • Fuss-free beauty. The native plants in your home area naturally grow without human intervention, making planting native even easier than lawn care.

And one more benefit to mention…

Coral Honeysuckle is perfect food for hummingbirds

One of the most fun benefits of this plant is its ability to attract hummingbirds. Coral Honeysuckle’s brightly colored flowers, ranging from shades of red to orange, produce nectar that hummingbirds love to eat.

The shape of the flowers has evolved to be exactly the shape for hummingbird beaks. This vine is sometimes called the “hummingbird vine” due to its popularity among the small, iconic birds.

The flowers on Coral Honeysuckle are the perfect shape for hummingbird beaks

Where should you plant Coral Honeysuckle?

Do you have a trellis, fence, or structure that you’d like to cover in flowers and semi-evergreen leaves? That’s the perfect spot for Coral Honeysuckle.

Even if you’re not a birdwatcher, Coral Honeysuckle is a wonderful choice when you’re looking for a vine. Vines are perfect for trellises, fences, or other structures where you’d like something green and flowering.

Coral Honeysuckle spills over both sides of a walkway at Chanticleer Garden in May
Coral Honeysuckle is also good for container gardening! Just give it a trellis to climb on

Plant it where you can see it

Want to watch hummingbirds while you sip coffee? Plant it where you can see from inside your home. (Scroll up to the beginning video for proof!) 

Hummingbirds are skittish creatures, but they do feed regularly—especially during the spring and summer. Plant Coral Honeysuckle where you can watch hummingbirds visit its flowers throughout the spring into early fall.

When does Coral Honeysuckle bloom?

Coral Honeysuckle can grow up to 20 feet tall and blooms continuously from late spring to early fall. Throughout the summer, the trumpet-shaped flowers—roughly two inches in length—cover the vine.

Native range from the USDA

Where is Coral Honeysuckle native?

Coral Honeysuckle is native to half of the United States and some parts of Canada.

Four seasons of Coral Honeysuckle

Spring

The vine wakes up as temperatures rise, putting out fresh green leaves and growing its tendrils. Expect spring to be a huge burst in the vine’s growth. This is also when the vine puts out its distinctive flowers. The amount of flowers depends on the amount of sun: sunny spots will get more flowers than shady ones. And then here come the hummingbirds!

Summer

As the flowers fade, they turn into bright red berries—another bird treat. Smaller songbirds will bury themselves in the vine, chowing down on the berries.

Fall

During the fall season, the leaves turn a brilliant range of yellow and orange hues.

Winter

Coral Honeysuckle is a semi-evergreen vine; some of its leaves will persist even in cold, snowy winters.

Carolina Jessamine

Sun

Full Sun, Part Sun

Soil

Moist

Height

Vine

Lifespan

Perennial

Where can I find Coral Honeysuckle to buy?

Sadly, sourcing native plants can be challenging at conventional plant nurseries. To help you find some quickly, here are four resources to check out:

Coral Honeysuckle

Where can I find seeds and plants?

Finding native plants can be challenging (we partly blame Marie Antoinette.) To make it easier, we’ve assembled four sourcing ideas.

Native Plant Nurseries

Our list of native nurseries makes finding one a breeze

Online Communities

Local Facebook groups are a great plant source

Don't worry-this will turn into a huge vine in time!

A quick tip when you visit the nursery

Coral Honeysuckle can sometimes look blah when you buy it

You see the pictures at the beginning of this article and imagine a curtain of red flowers covered in hummingbirds. This is going to take a few years. 

The good news is that—like most vines—Coral Honeysuckle is a super fast grower. So what looks small at the nursery will be the vine of your dreams in a few years. Start small and dream big.

What to plant with Coral Honeysuckle

Plant other hummingbird and pollinator-friendly plants in your sunny garden. Some favorites include:

#image_title
Bee Balm
buttonbush-butterfly-plant-native-gardening
Buttonbush
#image_title
Golden Alexander
native-aster-flowers-with-a-butterfly-garden
Aster
coneflower-native-plant-swallowtail-butterfly
Coneflower
monarch-butterfly-on-a-common-milkweed-plant
Milkweed

Overall, the native vine Coral Honeysuckle is a stunning and versatile plant that brings a splash of color to your garden. If you like hummingbirds (and who doesn’t?!), consider planting a few vines to encourage these delightful birds to visit your garden. Visit our guide to planting a hummingbird garden if you’d like to make a hummer paradise (and also see a video of a hummingbird in a sprinkler—no joke!)

Looking for more native plant inspiration? Find your region and get going:

UPDATED —
06/01/2024