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Honeysuckle is traditionally very popular among gardeners, because it combines the properties of an ornamental plant and a berry shrub. Currently, many varieties of this crop have been bred, and its cultivation has become possible not only in areas with a warm climate, but also in colder regions. One of its widely known varieties is Kamchatka honeysuckle, on the basis of which many fruitful varieties have been bred.
Description of Kamchatka honeysuckle
Kamchatka honeysuckle (Lonicera kamtschatica) naturally grows in the Far East, Primorsky Krai, it is found in Altai, Sakhalin, Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands.
Edible fruits of Kamchatka honeysuckle are tasty and healthy
Here are the main characteristics of this plant:
Perennial deciduous shrub
Medium spreading strongly branched bush up to 2 m high and up to 2 m in diameter
Arboreal, highly branched, strong, the largest number of roots is located at a depth of 0.2 to 0.4 m
Powerful, pubescent, young red-brown, bright, later dark brown, the bark on old shoots cracks and flakes off in strips
Rounded-elongated, opposite, pointed, dark green with light veins, up to 7 cm long and up to 4 cm wide. Hairy at a young age, pubescence partially or completely disappears as the leaf develops. The leaf blade is of medium density, petioles are medium in size.
Large, bell-shaped, drooping, light yellow, with long stamens
The berries are barrel-shaped, highly elongated, up to 25-35 mm, blue, almost black, on the surface there is a gray waxy bloom. Ripen in June.
Kamchatka honeysuckle varieties
Kamchatka honeysuckle was taken by breeders as a basis for breeding a large number of edible varieties, a description and photo of some of which are given in this article. The material is for informational purposes only, more accurate information can be found in specialized literature.
A short video regarding the cultivation of Kamchatka honeysuckle can be viewed at the link:
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Aurora
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Aurora (Aurora) - a variety of Canadian selection. Obtained on the basis of Russian Solovey and Japanese МТ46.55. Grown on an industrial scale since 2012.
The bush of the Aurora variety grows up to 1.8 m. It is dense, compact, slightly spreading, consists of erect shoots. The fruits reach removable ripeness in the last decade of June, their average weight is 1.8-2.2 g. Moreover, up to 5-6 kg can be obtained from 1 bush. The fruit tastes sweet.
Important! Fruits of this variety are not prone to shedding and are suitable for mechanical harvesting.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Borealis
Kamchatka Honeysuckle Borealis was bred by specialists from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) as a result of cross-pollination of varieties Kiev 8 and Tomichka. The plant forms a fairly compact bush 1.2-1.4 m tall. The leafiness of the shoots is average. Self-fertile variety, requires pollinators.
Fruits are blue, with a gray waxy bloom, round-cylindrical, with an average weight of about 1.6 g. The flesh is red, rather juicy, sweet. Fruiting occurs from mid to late summer, the yield can reach 4.5 kg from 1 bush. The berries sit firmly, do not crumble.
Important! Honeysuckle Kamchatka Borealis has very good indicators of resistance to fungal diseases.
Kamchatka Honeysuckle Large-fruited
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Large-fruited bred by specialists of the domestic breeding school. The bush is inversely conical, up to 1.8 m in height and about the same in diameter, dense, strongly thickened.
The berries are elongated, bluish-blue, sweet and sour in taste. Ripen in the middle of summer. The crumbling rate is average. For fruiting, this variety of Kamchatka honeysuckle requires pollinators.
Important! The variety has good indicators of disease resistance, but does not tolerate drought.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Boreal Bist
Boreal Bist is a relatively young variety of Kamchatka honeysuckle, bred at the University of Saskatchewan only in 2016. In a short time it became famous and gained popularity due to the fact that it is very suitable for mechanized harvesting. The bushes of this variety are dense, up to 1.5 in height, the shoots are strong, thick.
The variety is late, bears fruit from late July to September. Berries are broadly oval, black-purple, with juicy fleshy pulp. The taste is sweet with sourness. The berries stick well to the branches, almost do not crumble.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Boreal Blizzard
Kamchatka Honeysuckle Boreal Blizzard is another product of the selection work of specialists from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada). The variety was bred in 2016 based on the genomes of Russian and Japanese edible honeysuckle varieties. Belongs to late, bears fruit in August-September.
The bush forms a sprawling crown, the height of which can reach up to 1.5 m. The stems are straight, powerful. The berries are blue, dark, oval, with a juicy sweet pulp. Their average weight is 3-3.5 g, from 1 bush you can get 4-5 kg. This variety is sensitive to lack of moisture, but has excellent frost resistance. Flowers can withstand frosts down to - 8 ° С, and the bushes themselves - up to - 40 ° С.
Kamchatka Honeysuckle Blue Velvet
The Kamchatka honeysuckle variety Blue Velvet was bred by Polish breeders. The bush has a medium spreading oval crown up to 1.7 m high, consisting of numerous straight shoots of medium thickness. The leaves are greenish-gray, velvety to the touch.
The variety belongs to the early ones. The berries ripen in early July or a little earlier. Numerous dark blue fruits have an elongated shape, their weight usually ranges from 1-1.5 g. The total yield is up to 6 kg from each bush.
Important! Late flowering significantly reduces the likelihood of freezing of flowers of this variety during recurrent frosts.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Balalaika
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Balalaika is a low bush with a dense crown about 1.5 m high and 1-1.5 m in diameter. It is considered to be high-yielding. The berries are numerous, cylindrical, light blue, ripen in July or a little later.
The variety is bisexual, partially self-fertile. However, pollinators are a must for abundant fruiting. Berries can be processed into any home canned food or eaten fresh.
Important! The variety tolerates dust and gas pollution well, therefore it can be grown within the city.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Sineglazka
The Kamchatka honeysuckle variety Sineglazka was bred by Russian specialists in 1992. The crown is up to 1.5 m high, round, with powerful straight shoots of a reddish-brown color with a waxy bloom. They are densely covered with oval-elongated, slightly pointed bright green leaves, which often fade in the open sun.
Dark blue fruits with a bluish bloom appear on the branches quite early, already in early June. Each oval-elongated berry has a mass in the range of 0.7-0.95 g. The purpose is universal. From 1 bush is usually harvested from 1.5 to 2 kg.
Important! The Kamchatka honeysuckle variety Sineglazka is self-fertile, and pollinators are required to obtain a harvest.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Duet
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Duet was bred in the middle of the last century in Poland. The plant is a low, rounded, spreading bush up to 1.1 m high and a crown diameter of 1.2-1.5 m. Shoots are strongly pubescent, numerous, of medium thickness, curved. At a young age, they are greenish-beige and later red-brown. The leaves are elongated, rounded, with a sharp tip, bright green, pubescent.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Duet refers to the early maturing. She begins to bear fruit at the very beginning of summer, and sometimes a little earlier. Fruits are round, fusiform, dark blue with a bluish bloom. The taste is pleasant, sweet, with a slight bitterness. The average weight of berries is 1.5-2.2 g, and the total yield from 1 bush can reach 3.5-4 kg.
Important! The variety of Kamchatka honeysuckle Duet is not prone to shedding, resistant to diseases, frost-resistant.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Amur
The Amur variety is a product of the German breeding school. The bush consists of powerful erect red-brown shoots up to 2 m high. The leafiness is medium. The leaf blade is narrow, long, rounded, dark green.
The variety belongs to the early, fruiting begins at the very end of spring. The berries are fusiform, rounded, dark purple, covered with a matte bluish bloom. Their weight is usually in the range of 1.5-1.8 g, and the total weight of berries removed from 1 bush can reach 3-3.2 kg. The variety is self-fertile and requires the presence of pollinators for good yields.
Important! Cupid is a fast-growing variety. It begins to bear fruit as early as 3 years after planting, while many other varieties of Kamchatka honeysuckle begin to bear fruit only for 5-7 years.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Ruben
Kamchatka Honeysuckle Ruben is a medium spreading bush about 1.5 m tall. Shoots are erect, strong, yellowish-brown with a reddish tint. Leaves are oval-elongated, dense. Honeysuckle Kamchatka Ruben belongs to the early maturing varieties. The first fruits reach technical ripeness already at the beginning of June.
The berries are dark blue, weighing up to 1.3 g. The harvest ripens together, while the ripe berries hardly crumble.
Important! The Kamchatka Honeysuckle variety Ruben emits a strong pleasant aroma during flowering.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Kalinka
The Kamchatka honeysuckle variety Kalinka belongs to the early maturing. The plant is a dense, slightly spreading bush up to 2 m high and 1.2-1.5 m in diameter. Shoots are light brown, rather powerful, darken with age and acquire a reddish tint. Leaves are oval-elongated or ovate, with short petioles.
Fruits are dark blue with a bluish waxy bloom, cylindrical, rounded-elongated, weighing about 1 g. Fruiting begins in June. From 1 bush under good conditions, it is possible to collect about 1.5 kg. The taste of the fruit is sweet with a pronounced sourness, pleasant. The purpose of the fruit is universal. To obtain a crop, pollinators are required, since the variety is self-fertile.
Important! The Kamchatka honeysuckle variety Kalinka has a record frost resistance, it is able to withstand temperatures as low as -45 ° C.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Zoika
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Zoika is a vigorous, rounded bush with a height of about 1.6 m and a crown circumference of 1.2-1.3 m. Shoots are light brown, with a reddish tint, without pubescence. The leaves are dark green, round-elongated, almost oval.
Fruiting is amicable, occurs in mid-June. The berries are oval-elongated, dark blue, have a light waxy coating, weight about 1 g. The taste is sweet and sour, moderately tart. The indicators of crumbling are average. The variety is winter-hardy, has an increased resistance to fungal diseases.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Icebar
Icebar, or Eisbar (Eisbar) - a variety of Kamchatka honeysuckle Czech selection. It is a rounded bush with a spreading crown about 1.5 m high and 1.2 m wide. Shoots are reddish-brown, of medium thickness and foliage. Leaves are oval-elongated, slightly pointed, green.
Fruiting occurs in June. The berries are dark blue, elongated, there is a gray waxy bloom on the surface. The average weight of fruits is about 1 g. The variety is self-fertile, the harvest can be obtained only if there is another type of honeysuckle nearby, which will become a pollinator.
Kamchatka honeysuckle Blue dessert
The variety is the result of the selection work of the specialists of the N.N. I. V. Michurina (Russia). In 2005 it was entered into the State Register. A medium-sized bush with an oval crown shape. Shoots are erect, slightly pubescent, grow up to 1.5 m. Leaves are lanceolate, green.
Fruits are round-elongated, blue with a bluish bloom, weighing 0.7-0.8 g. The total harvest from 1 bush under good conditions can reach 3 kg. Fruit of universal purpose, sweet with a slight sourness. Pollinators are required to harvest.
Important! The variety has a high lifespan - up to 50 years.
Honeysuckle Kamchatka Chernichka
This type of Kamchatka honeysuckle was bred in the Urals in the 80s of the last century as a result of free pollination of seedlings of the Smolinskaya variety. The bush reaches a height of 1.5 m, but at the same time it is quite compact. The shape of the crown resembles an inverted cone. Shoots are straight, powerful. Leaves are lanceolate, light green, small.
The yield of the variety is above average, from 1 bush usually 2-2.5 kg of purple, with a thin bluish bloom, berries weighing about 1 g are obtained. A distinctive feature of this variety is the taste of the fruit, which really resembles blueberry. The variety is self-fertile, and a pollinator must be planted next to it for fruiting.
Planting Kamchatka honeysuckle
When planting this shrub, special attention should be paid to the choice of location. Kamchatka honeysuckle tolerates transplanting well, especially at a young age, but it is much better if the plant is immediately planted in a permanent place. It is better to choose a sunny plot; in the shade, honeysuckle bears fruit much worse. The soil should be loamy with a neutral level of acidity, on too acidic or carbonate soils, the plant will be weak, and the crop will be poor.
Kamchatka honeysuckle is usually planted with seedlings. You can buy them in specialized stores or online. When planting, it should be borne in mind that most varieties of this plant are self-fertile and require pollinators. To get a decent harvest, you need at least 3 bushes, preferably of different varieties. Kamchatka honeysuckle seedlings are sold in containers filled with nutrient soil. At the same time, their root system is closed. The transplantation of such plants is carried out together with a clod of earth.
Kamchatka honeysuckle seedlings are usually sold in containers
For planting Kamchatka honeysuckle with ZKS, any time of the year is suitable, with the exception of winter. If the root system is open, then planting can be carried out either in early spring, or in late summer or autumn, after the end of the growing season. In this case, the plant needs a period of time to adapt to a new place, therefore, all work is carried out no later than 1 month before the onset of frost.
The depth of the planting hole is calculated based on the volume of the root system of the seedling. Usually it is enough to go deeper by 0.4-0.5 m. For swampy areas, it is worth arranging drainage by adding a layer of expanded clay or gravel to the bottom of the pit. Be sure to add a bucket of compost or rotted manure to each hole - honeysuckle loves organic matter. It will not be superfluous to put in the planting holes a glass of wood ash, as well as a few tablespoons of superphosphate and any potash fertilizer. If all this is brought in in full, then the first few years the bushes will not need any additional feeding, which will allow them to actively grow and develop.
The very technology of planting a honeysuckle seedling does not differ in Kamchatka complexity. The plant is removed from the container along with a lump of earth and placed vertically in a pre-moistened planting pit. After that, the pit is filled up, while the soil is periodically compacted to prevent the formation of voids. The root collar is not buried; it must remain at the level of the soil. After filling up the entire pit, intensive watering is performed, and then the trunk circle is mulched with humus, which will prevent moisture evaporation.
Kamchatka honeysuckle care
Further care for Kamchatka honeysuckle is not difficult. Here are its main stages:
- Watering. It should be regular, especially during the period of filling and ripening of berries. At least 10 liters of water must be poured under each bush, and if the weather is hot, then the watering rates must be doubled. However, the plant should not be flooded either. Honeysuckle does not tolerate stagnant water in the roots, so it is necessary to navigate by the weather and compensate the bushes for the lack of atmospheric moisture in time.
Watering the honeysuckle should be regular but moderate
- Top dressing. It is not necessary to apply fertilizers up to 3 years - the bush is quite enough of those nutrients that were introduced during planting. So that the soil does not deplete, starting from 3-4 years, honeysuckle should be fed in the summer with organic fertilizers: compost, humus, rotted manure. If the shrub gives a weak growth, then in the spring it must be fed with nitrogen fertilizers.
- Pruning. Every year in spring and autumn, the shrub is examined and dry and broken shoots are removed. In addition, from time to time you should cut out old branches on which fruits cease to tie. The maximum fruiting in Kamchatka honeysuckle occurs at the age of 7 years, so you need to strive for most shoots to be of about this age. A bush with 15 to 20 skeletal branches of different ages is considered optimal.
In autumn, honeysuckle bushes need to be cleaned of dry and broken branches.
- Preparing for winter. Most varieties of Kamchatka honeysuckle have excellent frost resistance and are able to withstand temperature drops down to -40 ° C. No special measures are required in preparation for winter. Particularly caring gardeners cover the root zone of the shrub with a layer of humus, additionally protecting the roots from possible freezing.
Kamchatka honeysuckle can be propagated by seed or vegetative methods. In the first case, the parental characteristics are not preserved, therefore it is not a fact that the same fruitful and sweet variety will grow from the seedling. For practical gardening, vegetative propagation methods such as cuttings or dividing a bush are more applicable.
Green cuttings of Kamchatka honeysuckle root perfectly
Cutting is an easy and affordable way to propagate the desired variety of honeysuckle. You can root cuttings several times during the season:
- End of March or beginning of April. Cuttings 15-17 cm long are cut from branches at least 7-8 mm thick. The lower cut is treated with a root stimulator and planted obliquely into the ground to a depth of about 10 cm so that 2 or more buds remain on top.
- After flowering. At this time, freshly grown annual shoots can be used as cuttings. The cut branches are planted to a depth of 5-7 cm.
- End of June. At this time, green cuttings are used - the growth of the current year. They are cut with the apical bud and planted to a depth of about 10 cm. It is very important that the soil at the planting site is constantly moistened.
Another way of vegetative propagation of honeysuckle is to divide the bush. This operation can only be performed on honeysuckle older than 8 years. A bush dug out of the ground is cut into several parts so that in each division there are at least 3 shoots and a part of the rhizome at least 0.4 m long.
Dividing a bush is a quick and effective way to propagate your favorite honeysuckle variety
The seedlings obtained in this way should be immediately planted in a new place.
Diseases and pests
Kamchatka honeysuckle is ill quite rarely. Her diseases are mainly associated with the wrong choice of a place for planting, as well as with bad weather conditions and disorders in care. Below are the main diseases that can be found on this shrub.
Powdery mildew. One of the most common fungal diseases affecting plants in damp and cool climates. The disease can be detected by a whitish bloom on the leaves, which quickly turn black and rot.
The affected parts of the plant must be cut off and burned. For prevention, shrubs are sprayed with fungicides, for example, Bordeaux liquid.
Ramulariasis. This is a fungal disease that affects the leaves and shoots of plants, including honeysuckle. It can be recognized by its rounded light brown spots with a dark rim on the leaf plate. In addition to damage to the crown, the fungus significantly reduces the frost resistance of the shrub.
As with other fungal diseases, the treatment is to prune and burn infected shoots and fallen leaves. For prevention, plants are sprayed with fungicides.
In addition to diseases, Kamchatka honeysuckle can also suffer from various pests. Among them, the following insects can be distinguished, presented below.
Aphid. A common garden pest that parasitizes many plants, including honeysuckle. It is a small, shellless sucking insect that feeds on the juice of various crops. Aphids are extremely fertile, as a result of which its population is growing very rapidly.
Aphids are dangerous in their numbers
To combat aphids, you can use a variety of drugs, including folk remedies such as infusion of tansy, garlic, celandine or tobacco.
Spider mite. It is a microscopic sucking insect often found on honeysuckle. It is possible to determine its presence by the twisted leaves and the cobweb entwining them.
Spider webs on leaves are a sign of ticks
To combat the tick, special agents are used - acaricides, such as Fufanon, Actellik and others.
In addition to these pests, on honeysuckle, you can sometimes find various beetles, leaf rollers, moths and other insects, the larvae of which feed on the green mass of the plant. To combat them, various insecticides are used: Iskra, Inta-Vir, Karbofos, etc. The range of drugs used is very wide.
Kamchatka honeysuckle is not only a fruit shrub that produces tasty and very healthy berries, but also a good ornamental plant. In addition, this species is a wonderful honey plant. All these qualities in combination give the right to say that planting Kamchatka honeysuckle in a personal plot is the right decision.
Reviews of Kamchatka honeysuckle
Oleg Sergeevich Ereshchenko, 57 years old, Vladivostok
Kamchatka honeysuckle is not only tasty, but also very useful. I have been growing it for many years. Unpretentious, does not freeze in winter, bears fruit every year. Great berry bush!
Anatoly Petrovich Efremov, 71 years old, Barnaul
Honeysuckle is truly life and youth. As far back as I can remember, these bushes have always grown with us, and we picked these blue berries as boys. Now my son grows it in the garden, sometimes he brings it to me.
Viktor Andreevich Sakharov, 45 years old, Oryol
Several years ago I planted several bushes of Kamchatka honeysuckle and was not disappointed. Fruiting regularly, the harvest is good. And almost no care is required. I only cut out old branches and sometimes throw up fertilizers.