One of the main reasons for growing Honeysuckle is for its scent and so it is important to pick a variety with good scent as not all varieties are as sweet and powerful. There are varieties which look very attractive and will produce good berries, but are not scented such as Lonicera × brownii 'Dropmore Scarlet'.
The best varieties of Honeysuckle to grow for scent are Lonicera japonica 'Halliana' AGM image left, evergreen or semi-evergreen and a vigorous climber growing to around 10 meters. Note it really is vigorous and in the right place will make a very large climber so best to make sure you have space for it. Many gardeners complain that this variety is more mildew prone.
Another climber is L. periclymenum 'Graham Thomas' AGM which is a good variety, H6 which means it is hardy everywhere in the UK, deciduous, with a good perfume. It is illustrated above right and will reach around 7 meters. This tends to be the most highly praised of Honeysuckle and a good all round choice. Lots of creamy flowers all summer followed by bright berries.
Lonicera periclymenum 'Heaven Scent' which is as the name suggests, is very scented, and a fast growing fully hardy climber. It is more compact reaching around 3 meters.
Of the shrubby varieties those with scent are L. fragrantissima, which is less hardy, requires a sheltered spot and flowers in late winter and early spring. Also L. × purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ another winter flower variety. Both grow to around 2.5-3 meters.
All honeysuckles produce lovely berries which are picked off by the birds in the autumn and winter. The scent of a Honeysuckle is strongest at dusk and is attractive to moths. Ideas for plants which are attractive to bees butterflies and birds
Honeysuckle can be prone to aphids and given their attraction to wildlife it is a shame to spray them. If aphids are a real problem, I tend to use soap and water to wash off the aphids. If blackspot is a problem you can prune off the worst affected after flowering and healthy growth should come back the following year.
Looking for winter scent The Winter flowering honeysuckle, L. fragrantissima, has the sweetest perfume of all, tips and growing advice.
Ideas for more Climbing plants and scented plants