Honeyberries are one of the first fruits to ripen in spring and are a wonderful early season treat. Even though they already have a long history of appreciation, these berries continue to be recognized for their benefits as a nutritional snack and for their value in the garden.
Insight into Growing Honeyberries
The Honeyberry (Lonicera caerulea) is an easy-to-grow fruiting shrub that thrives in cooler climates. Honeyberries are also known as Haskap Berries or Blue Honeysuckle Berries depending on their origin. They present beautiful white flowers in early spring followed by dark blue oblong berries. The berries take on the appearance of slightly stretched blueberries, however, they are more closely related to the Honeysuckle and are within the Caprifoliaceae family. They don’t require highly acid soil and can be planted in a pH between 4.5 – 8.5.
These shrubs can adapt to a wide range of soil types. They prefer more loam or clay soil but can still perform well being planted in more sandy locations. They can grow in either full or partial sun, however the berries produce best in a north facing location or with some shade in a southern area. Two or more different varieties are required to be planted nearby for cross-pollination and to ensure successful berry production.
Honeyberries require a cold dormancy period and are best suited for zones 3-8. Some varieties begin blooming as soon as early March. Even though gardeners in colder locations may be wary of their earlier bloom times, the flowers of these plants are exceptionally hardy surviving and thriving in temperatures as low as 20° F! Either early blooming and late varieties will grow well in cooler locations. Late blooming varieties may be more suited for those in warmer areas since fluctuations in temperature can impede on flower survival.
Honeyberry berries are becoming more and more recognized as a superfood! They are rich in Potassium, vitamin A, Vitamin C and have a significant concentration of anthocyanins which are a grouping of potent antioxidants responsible for the beautiful deep blue coloring of the berries along with providing positive health benefits when consumed.
The berries have a unique flavor and contain sweet-tart notes of huckleberry and blueberry with a floral touch. They can be eaten fresh or incorporated into smoothies, ice cream, desserts and baked goods. Presenting a Blue Honeysuckle pie at a dinner party is sure to turn some heads and pique some interest!
Experience all the benefits Honeyberries have to offer in your own garden by clicking HERE!
At OGW we offer a diversity of food plants and their companions from around the world. We offer unique and rare fruit and nut trees, shrubs, and vines. We've been sharing our passion for edible plants and organic gardening since 1994. We are a family owned and operated nursery in Portland Oregon. We ship our seeds & plants to all 50 states. At our retail garden center we offer seasonal fruit tasting, preservation and plant care classes as well as hold events in the community. We support local food sovereignty- grow your own One Green World!