The fire goat noose really causes a stir in the garden. The vigorous creeper achieves this not least thanks to its sensational flowers.© vodolej - Fotolia.com
The attractive play of colors of the fire honeysuckle (Lonicera heckrottii) accompanies you into autumn and in the evening hours the fire honeysuckle seduces with a sensual floral scent. The plants can grow up to more than three meters and embellish gates, fences or facades. The plant is easy to care for and can therefore be cultivated without any problems. In the following you will find out what needs to be taken into account when caring for and growing the plants and how you can keep their flowers for a long time.
The fire goat sling catches the eye. This is not only due to the height of two to four meters. The dark green leaves appear early in the year and have a blue-green tint on their underside. Between April and October, the leaves then become eye-catchers. From June to September, the striking, fragrant flowers are added. With ideal site conditions, it is not uncommon for the flower to show up until the first frost. The plants are native to Europe, Asia and the USA and are therefore well adapted to our climate.
The fire goat noose is not a pure climbing plant, but a creeping plant. Accordingly, the adhesive roots are missing. The fire goat noose therefore needs our support and must be given a climbing aid.
With stature heights of up to four meters, the fire honeysuckle is one of the short-lived representatives of the honeysuckles. The garden honeysuckle or the forest honeysuckle wind itself up to ten meters.
When does the fire goat bloom?
You can look forward to a very flowering plant. The first flowers appear in June and the flowering period usually lasts until September. In ideal location conditions, the plants often start a new blossom firework that can last until the first frost. The flowers reach a length of about four centimeters. The flower is colored purple on the outside. Inside the flower has a yellowish-white color. When the flower has faded, it turns completely yellow.
A specialty is the intense, vanilla-like scent. With a little luck, you can also experience the formation of the pea-sized red fruits. However, the inedible berries are rarely developed.
Different types of honeysuckle presented
In addition to the fire honeysuckle, about 180 different plant species are known. All varieties are perennial creepers with attractive flowers, which require relatively little maintenance.
❍ Evergreen honeysuckle:
Even in winter, the evergreen honeysuckle impresses with its foliage. As an alternative to ivy, the evergreen honeysuckle can be used for greening facades all year round. The plant was brought from China to Europe in the early 20th century. Depending on its location, the evergreen honeysuckle can reach a height of up to ten meters. If the plant cannot absorb nutrients via the roots in winter, the leaves can also curl up or fall off if necessary. As a rule, however, new shoots occur in spring.
❍ Red honeysuckle:
The red honeysuckle impresses with its red flower. The flowering period extends from June to October. The maximum height here is only two to three meters. This honeysuckle variety is robust and also very well adapted to the urban climate. The foliage appears already in April and at mild temperatures the foliage is not thrown off in winter. The soil should be rich in nutrients. A partially shaded location is preferred.
❍ Gold honeysuckle:
The gold honeysuckle is extremely growth-friendly and can grow up to twelve meters under favorable site conditions. The gold honeysuckle is characterized by a lush bloom. The flowering period is limited to the months of May and June. High humidity and urban climate are well tolerated. The plants can form strong stems. The occasionally trained red berries serve the birds as a source of food in autumn.
❍ Garden honeysuckle:
This garden plant is quite old and comes from southern Europe and from Asia. In Germany, the garden honeysuckle occasionally also appears overgrown. The strongly fragrant flowers appear in May and June, and occasionally blooms again in autumn. The plant is particularly susceptible to mildew and has therefore become a less common plant for lovers.
The right location and the right substrate for the fire goat sling
If you want an easy-care beauty to move into your garden, it is worth taking a closer look at planting the fire goat sling. The plants are nicknamed "Jelängerjelieber" and in fact you can hardly see enough of the flowers reminiscent of orchids. So that the popular creeper will soon be admired in your garden, there are a few things you should consider when planting.
So that the plant pleases with lush growth and flowering, you should not leave the location to chance. The plant best tolerates a partially shaded location. But it is also possible to cultivate the fire goat noose in the shade. Especially the stem of the fire honeysuckle should always be in the shade. The fire goat sling is less able to stand in full sun. If the plant is too hot and if you water it too little, it will quickly become clogged. In addition, the growth slows down and there is no flowering. The plants often dry up and die.
The fire honeysuckle is less picky when it comes to soil requirements. The creeper usually copes well with normal garden soil. It should be a fresh and nutritious soil. This favors the addition of compost or horn chips. Also pay attention to the permeability of the substrate, because the plant cannot tolerate waterlogging. In return, the root foot should not dry out. It is therefore advantageous if it is permanently in the shade. Incidentally, you can improve water permeability by adding grit or sand to the soil.
Planting the fire goat noose - step by step instructions
Since they are absolutely hardy plants, you can plant the fire goat sling both in spring and autumn. Proceed as follows:
- Select location.
- Remove weeds and stones from the ground.
- Dig out the planting hole twice the width and depth of the root ball.
- Enrich the substrate with compost, sand or grit.
- Insert the plant. Maintain a planting distance of half a meter for several plants.
- Close the planting hole.
- Press down the floor.
- Protect the surface from stones with stones or ground cover.
- Water the plant.
- Attach climbing aid (e.g. wire ropes, bamboo sticks, fences, posts, gates).
Cultivate fire goat noose in the bucket
The fire goat noose can also be cultivated in a bucket. A sufficiently large planter is advantageous so that the root ball can spread. Since the plant is very sensitive to waterlogging, you must first check the planter for sufficient drainage holes in the soil. A drainage of shards of clay or gravel, attached to the bottom of the planter, also improves the permeability of the soil. Container plants require a nutrient-rich substrate and should occasionally be supplied with liquid fertilizers for flowering plants. The location of the container plant should also be carefully considered, because the fire goat loop needs a climbing aid in the container too.
Recommended reading: Make climbing aids from willow branches yourself - creative support for plants made from natural materials
How to care for the fire goat sling properly
If you have chosen a half-shady location and the root area is mainly in the shade, you can avoid regular watering when planting outdoors. A regular water supply is only necessary during longer dry periods. Tap water is often too calcareous. Therefore, you should water the plants with rainwater. Container plants need to be watered more often. This not only affects hot summer days, the floor must not dry out in winter and sporadic irrigation on frost-free days is also advisable.
For outdoor plants, it is advisable to enrich the soil with compost when planting. This gives the plant an effective long-term fertilizer and additional fertilizers are not necessary.
You can mix compost with the substrate in spring and autumn. However, this should be done carefully. The fire honeysuckle is a shallow root and the roots could be injured.
If the honeysuckle is in the bucket, the plant has less substrate available. You meet the limited supply of nutrients with commercially available liquid fertilizer, which you administer every four weeks during the spring and summer months.
To prevent the plants from chopping, you should cut back into the old wood. This can take place in late autumn or early spring. In any case, it should be a frost-free day. Just cut back individual shoots and avoid the radical cut back. The plants often react sensitively to cutting measures and then only sprout again tentatively. In any case, use sharp and high-quality garden tools so as not to injure the plant unnecessarily.
You should also occasionally clear the plants. The right time for this is the months of January to March. You should remove old and sick shoots. Under no circumstances should you remove removed and woody shoots. You can use them as cuttings to multiply the plant.
The fire goat sling is hardy and therefore does not need any special protection in the cold season. However, this only applies to outdoor plants. Planters must be wrapped well with garden fleece or coconut mats. The soil must be protected from frost with leaves or brushwood.
Leaf loss or curling of the leaves can occur in winter. The plant thus reduces its nutrient requirements. The plants are not damaged and the new shoots take place again in spring. Smaller tub plants can be hibernated indoors in a cool but frost-free place. Most of the time, however, it is almost impossible because the vigorous creepers can no longer be transported when fully grown.
Detect diseases and pests on the fire goat noose© 36Grad Design - Fotolia.com
The fire goat sling is quite robust and easy to care for, but it can still happen from time to time that diseases occur or the plant is attacked by pests. It is not uncommon for these circumstances to be due to nursing mistakes. The following has been observed on the fire goat noose:
❍ Powdery mildew - danger to leaves and shoots:
The fire-goat snare can be attacked by the real and the downy mildew. A sure indicator for the appearance of the fungal disease is a gray-white, floury coating on the leaves. In powdery mildew, the coating is visible on the top of the leaves. If you do not treat it in time, the leaves will turn brown and eventually fall off. In the case of downy mildew, the leaves show a gray-violet discoloration on their undersides. Powdery mildew occurs more often when the plant lacks moisture. Downy mildew infestation, on the other hand, is promoted by watering defects and too much moisture.
What should I do?
You can prevent powdery mildew by watering the plants moderately. Waterlogging should be avoided in any case. Affected parts of plants must also be removed generously. Parts of plants infected with mildew must not be disposed of on the compost. A very effective remedy for mildew is, for example, a milk-water mixture with which you spray the plant regularly.
❍ Aphids - the voracious visitors:
Aphids appear to have a special preference for the honeysuckle. They particularly like to settle on the flowers. Eliminate honeydew while sitting there. This greasy coating then covers and glues the plant.
What should I do?
Aphids can be controlled very well with natural means. If you recognize the infestation in good time, it may be sufficient to spray the plant with water. Other effective solutions are treatments with soapy water or nettle slurry (instructions for making nettle slurry yourself). Brushing the shoots with olive oil or neem oil has also proven effective.
❍ Root rot - the undiscovered danger:
If the plants are permanently too wet, root rot can occur. This remains undetected for a relatively long time, since the parts of the plant above ground cannot be seen at first. An infestation can only be recognized when the leaves wither and the shoots die. Root rot can not only be seen, but also smelled. If there is a foul smell, there is an urgent need for action.
What should I do?
Unfortunately, the plants can usually no longer be saved. Younger plants are easier to transplant, which should be done immediately. Home remedies have no effect on root rot. Good ventilation of the floor and the avoidance of waterlogging alone serve as reliable preventive measures.
How can the fire goat noose multiply?
The fire goat noose can be propagated in different ways. The multiplication is quite uncomplicated and usually brings guaranteed success. You can propagate the plant via cuttings, subsidence and by sowing.
Propagation by cuttings:
Propagation by cuttings should begin in early spring. It should be a mild and frost-free day. If possible, the time should be chosen so that there is no new shoot after the winter. Then do the following:
Cut the slightly woody shoots to a length of about ten centimeters. Then remove the lower leaves. The foliage remains only a few centimeters. Now grow the cuttings obtained in a mixture of potting soil and sand. Position the planter preferably in a bright and warm position. You must now keep the substrate moist regularly. Spray the cuttings regularly with water, as this promotes growth. After a few weeks, the first new shoots will appear. You can then assume that the plant has been successfully rooted. Once the cuttings have grown for a few months, you can plant them outdoors.
Propagation by subsidence:
Propagation by subsidence is somewhat more complex and complicated. In spring, you have to insert a shoot near the ground into the earth and weigh it down or fix it. The shoot tips must not be covered with earth. Where the roots are to be formed, you have to lightly scratch the shoot with a knife. Now moisten the earth and wait. In a few months, new roots will have formed, so that you can separate the subsidence from the mother plant and replant it.
Propagation by seeds:
If you have a little patience, you can also multiply the fire goat noose by sowing. You can obtain the seeds directly from existing plants or buy them commercially. If the seeds are harvested in autumn, they can be brought up immediately in soil. You should only cover the seeds thinly with soil and then keep the substrate evenly moist. The germination time at room temperature is then about a month. Before you plant the young plants, you should give them some time to develop.