how to get rid of insects on honeysuckle

Asked May 26, 2017, 9:19 PM EDT

Hi there, Last summer I noticed the leaves and the flowers on my native honeysuckle vine (which is about 4-5 years old) were shriveling up. It's planted against a fence for the hummingbirds. This spring, as it is starting to leaf out, I see that it's happening again. I took a picture and saw all kinds of little green insects on the leaves. Photos attached. Also, it looks like there are spidery webs on them too. We do not use any pesticides as we have beehives in our yard. Is there a safe way to treat this plant? Also, some other plants (Monarda) Bee Balm have spider mites. The blooms are destroyed before the bees can enjoy them. Do you have a recommendation for getting rid of spider mites? Thank you so much for your advice!

Montgomery County Maryland aphids bee balm honeysuckle vine

1 Response

We viewed your photos of the honeysuckle vine. The flowers look like they were subject to botrytis, a fungal disease which can blight flowers. This can occur under cool, wet, overcast or very humid conditions, which cause plant parts to remain wet for extended periods. You can deadhead and dispose of old spent blossoms but this is not practical on this vine. No control is necessary.

We see aphids in the right photo. They are common on a honeysuckle vine.
Aphids are more an issue early in the season as the beneficial insects are not active yet. With a return to warmer weather we will start seeing more beneficials at work and they reduce aphid populations naturally. If you are seeing spider webs, it is possible spiders may be feeding on the aphids. Look for beneficial insects.
You can spray the plants with a strong spray of water from your hose but otherwise No control is necessary. Monitor the growth of the plants throughout this growing season. If the aphids continue to be an issue, you can spray with insecticidal soap. Follow label directions and do not spray in hot weather.

Please send us photos of the flowers and mites on the Monarda so we can see what you may be dealing with.