The Many Uses and Benefits of Mexican Honeysuckle: A Closer Look at This Versatile Plant


Mexican honeysuckle, also known as Justicia spicigera, is a beautiful flowering shrub that is native to Mexico. This shrub is specifically grown for its stunning orange flowers, which attract pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies. Mexican honeysuckle is a great addition to any landscape, as it adds a pop of color and attracts beneficial insects.

The foliage of Mexican honeysuckle is another reason why many gardeners choose to grow this shrub. The wide, green leaves add a touch of elegance to any garden, and the plant is known to tolerate a variety of soil types and conditions. It can also tolerate periods of drought, making it a low-maintenance option for those who do not have the time or resources to water their plants every day.

In addition to its beautiful flowers and foliage, Mexican honeysuckle is also known for its ability to attract pollinators. The nectar-rich flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds, who are often seen flitting from flower to flower in search of a sweet treat. The shrub also provides a habitat for other beneficial insects, such as bees and butterflies.

When it comes to care, Mexican honeysuckle is relatively easy to grow. It prefers full to partial sun and can tolerate both hot and cold temperatures. It is important to plant Mexican honeysuckle in well-draining soil, as it does not do well in wet or waterlogged conditions. Regular pruning is also important to maintain the shrub’s shape and prevent it from becoming leggy.

Mexican Honeysuckle

The Mexican Honeysuckle, also known as Justicia spicigera, is a flowering shrub native to Mexico. It is a leggy bush with long stems and wide, brown foliage. The plant produces beautiful orange-red flowers with tubular shapes that attract hummingbirds and other important pollinators.

Mexican Honeysuckles can grow up to 6-8 feet tall and wide, making them a great addition to any garden or landscape. They thrive in well-drained soils and prefer partial shade, although they can also tolerate full sun. Their origin in Mexico makes them well-suited to warm climates and they are hardy in USDA zones 9-11.

Planting Mexican Honeysuckle is relatively easy. They can be planted in early spring or early fall. It is important to choose a location where they will receive at least a few hours of sunlight every day. The soil should be well-draining and amended with organic matter before planting.

Maintenance for Mexican Honeysuckle is low. They require regular watering during the growing season, but they can tolerate periods of drought. It is recommended to water them deeply once a week, and more frequently during hot and dry episodes. Pruning is also important to keep the shrub in shape and prevent it from becoming leggy.

In terms of winter care, Mexican Honeysuckles are relatively hardy and can survive mild frosts. However, in colder climates, it is recommended to provide some protection by covering the plant with a layer of mulch or moving it indoors if possible.

The Mexican Honeysuckle is not only a beautiful addition to any garden, but it also serves as a source of food for hummingbirds and other pollinators. Its vibrant flowers and lush foliage make it a standout in any landscape.

So, if you are looking for a low-maintenance, flowering shrub that attracts hummingbirds and adds a touch of color to your garden, consider planting Mexican Honeysuckle!

Recent Episodes

The Mexican Honeysuckle, also known as Justicia spicigera, is a great addition to any garden. This shrub, native to Mexico, is without a doubt a favorite among pollinators. With its large, brown stem and bright orange flowers, it is a sight to behold during the flowering season, which takes place from September to every winter. The Mexican Honeysuckle is specifically known for attracting hummingbirds, making it an important plant for those who love to watch these beautiful creatures.

Mexican Honeysuckle is a low-maintenance plant that can grow in a wide range of soils. It will tolerate both full sun and partial shade, making it a versatile addition to any landscape. When it comes to watering, this shrub does well with regular watering during the summer months and less frequent watering in the winter.

In terms of care, Mexican Honeysuckle requires minimal attention. It does not have any major pest or disease issues. However, it is important to prune it regularly to prevent it from becoming leggy. This will help maintain its bushy appearance and promote better flowering.

Mexican Honeysuckle is hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11, although it can be grown as an annual in colder zones. It is well suited to gardens with a shady habitat, but it can also thrive in sunny areas. Those who are interested in attracting pollinators and adding some vibrant color to their garden should definitely consider planting Mexican Honeysuckle.

In conclusion, the Mexican Honeysuckle, with its beautiful foliage and stunning flowers, is a great addition to any garden. Its origin in Mexico, its ability to attract pollinators, and its low maintenance requirements make it a must-have for any gardener. So, if you’re looking to add some flair to your landscape, don’t forget to include the Mexican Honeysuckle in your list of recent episodes.

September To Do List

September is a great month for taking care of your Mexican Honeysuckle plants. Here is a list of tasks you can do to keep your plants healthy and thriving:

1. Tolerate Hummingbirds Mexican Honeysuckle plants are loved by hummingbirds. If you enjoy watching these beautiful creatures, consider planting Mexican Honeysuckle in your garden. They will be attracted to the flowering plants and their nectar-filled flowers.
2. Provide Shade Mexican Honeysuckle plants can tolerate full sun, but they also do well in partially shady areas. If you have a large tree or other structures that provide some shade, consider planting Mexican Honeysuckle there.
3. Watering During the hot summer months, Mexican Honeysuckle plants need regular watering. However, in September, you can start reducing the amount of watering. This will help the plants prepare for the upcoming winter.
4. Prune Leggy Shrubs If your Mexican Honeysuckle plants have become leggy, you can prune them back in September. This will encourage new growth and help maintain a compact and bushy shape.
5. Provide Winter Protection In zones where the winter temperatures drop below freezing, it’s important to provide some winter protection for your Mexican Honeysuckle plants. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plants to insulate the roots.
6. Planting New Honeysuckle If you want to add more Mexican Honeysuckle plants to your garden, September is a good time to do so. Prepare the planting area by loosening the soil and removing any weeds or debris. Dig a hole that is slightly wider and deeper than the plant’s root ball. Place the plant in the hole, backfill with soil, and water thoroughly.
7. Enjoy the Recent Episodes If you have been growing Mexican Honeysuckle for a while, you may have noticed that the recent episodes have been particularly good. The plants have been producing lots of flowers and the foliage is looking lush and green.

By following this September to-do list, you can ensure that your Mexican Honeysuckle plants will continue to thrive and provide beauty to your landscape.

Mexican Honeysuckle Care: How To Grow A Mexican Honeysuckle Bush

Mexican Honeysuckle, also known as Justicia spicigera, is an attractive flowering shrub native to Mexico. With its large, wide leaves and stunning orange-red tubular flowers, it adds a vibrant touch to any landscape. This bush, which belongs to the Acanthaceae family, is particularly loved by hummingbirds and other pollinators for its nectar-rich flowers.

When it comes to Mexican Honeysuckle care, it is a relatively low-maintenance plant. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11, but it can also be grown as an annual in colder regions. This bush can tolerate a wide range of soils, although it prefers well-draining soil. It can be planted in full sun or partial shade but will do best in a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

In terms of watering, Mexican Honeysuckle requires regular watering during its active growing season, from spring to fall. It is important to keep the soil moist but not overly saturated. However, be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. During the winter, watering should be reduced to prevent waterlogging, as the plant is dormant during this period.

The Mexican Honeysuckle bush is known for its leggy habit, with stems that can become sprawling. To keep it compact and encourage branching, pruning can be done in early spring. This will also help to remove any dead or damaged branches. If the bush becomes too brown or leggy during the winter, it can be cut back to the ground to rejuvenate it for the next growing season.

Although the Mexican Honeysuckle is generally pest and disease resistant, it may occasionally suffer from aphids, scale insects, or powdery mildew. Inspect the plant regularly and treat any infestations or diseases promptly to prevent them from spreading.

Given its origin in Mexico, this shrub is adapted to warmer climates and is not well-suited for regions with severe cold temperatures. In those areas, it can be grown as a container plant and brought indoors during the winter.

All in all, with its beautiful foliage and stunning flowers, the Mexican Honeysuckle can be a great addition to your landscape. Whether you plant it as a standalone bush or include it in a mixed border, it is sure to attract pollinators and provide a visual feast. Its low-maintenance care requirements and tolerance for partial shade make it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Mexican Honeysuckle in Gardens

Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera), also known as the Mexican Bush Honeysuckle, is a flowering shrub native to Mexico. It is a popular choice for gardens due to its attractive foliage and large, orange-red flowers that bloom from April to September. These flowers are a great source of nectar for hummingbirds and other pollinators.

When planting Mexican Honeysuckle in gardens, it is important to choose a location where it will receive partial shade. It can tolerate a wide range of soils, although it prefers well-draining soil. Regular watering is essential for the plant’s care, especially during hot and dry periods.

In colder climates, Mexican Honeysuckle is often grown as an annual or brought indoors during winter. However, in warmer zones, it can be grown as a perennial and will tolerate temperatures down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius).

Mexican Honeysuckle is a low-maintenance plant that does not require much pruning. However, if it becomes leggy, it can be pruned back to encourage a bushier growth habit. Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

The plant’s origin in Mexico makes it well-suited for a wide range of landscapes, including gardens, shrub borders, and even containers. Mexican Honeysuckle is often used in mass plantings to create a colorful and vibrant display.

In gardens, Mexican Honeysuckle can be planted alongside other plants that have similar care requirements. Its bushy foliage provides a great contrast to plants with different leaf shapes and colors.

Overall, Mexican Honeysuckle is a versatile plant that will thrive in gardens, providing beautiful flowers and attracting important pollinators. Whether in a sunny or shady spot, this plant will add a touch of vibrant color to any garden. If you’re looking for an easy-to-grow plant that brings interest and beauty to your landscape, Mexican Honeysuckle should be on your list.

✿ Read More About Woody Shrubs.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.