Climbers and shrubs require different treatment to get the best results. The methods are explained below.
Honeysuckles flowering on the current season’s growth, such as Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle), do not require regular pruning. Simply control the growth by cutting back any overlong shoots in spring. Also thin out congested growth and remove weak or damaged stems.
Honeysuckles that flower early in the season, on short side shoots on the previous year's growth, such as Lonicera periclymenum (common honeysuckle), should be pruned back by about one-third in late summer immediately after flowering.
Renovate climbers by hard pruning to 60cm (2ft) from the ground in early spring. Thin out vigorous re-growth and tie in the new shots.
Prune deciduous shrubs, such as L. tatarica, after flowering in late spring or summer. Remove old and weak stems to stimulate new from the base. Shorten about one in three older branches, cutting to a new, upright shoot. Renovate by hard pruning to framework of older branches in late winter or early spring.
Trim evergreen shrubs, such as L. nitida and ‘Baggesen’s Gold’ used for hedging, three times between spring and autumn. Renovate by pruning to within 15cm (6in) of the ground in early spring.
Hedges: how to trim
Shrubs: pruning early-flowering
Shrubs: pruning evergreens
Shrubs: pruning summer-flowering