Plant Library

Purple-Leaf Japanese Honeysuckle

Lonicera japonica 'Purpurea'

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Purple-Leaf Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica 'Purpurea') at Green Thumb Nursery

Purple-Leaf Japanese Honeysuckle flowers

Purple-Leaf Japanese Honeysuckle flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Purple-Leaf Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica 'Purpurea') at Green Thumb Nursery

Purple-Leaf Japanese Honeysuckle foliage

Purple-Leaf Japanese Honeysuckle foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  15 feet

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Purple Leaved Japanese Honeysuckle

Brand:  Monrovia


A ubiquitous and rather vigorous vine which is highly cherished for its strongly fragrant purplish-red flowers and purple tinged foliage; quite aggressive, can get a little weedy in the wrong place, but ideal for a fragrant cover for a fence or wall

Ornamental Features

Purple-Leaf Japanese Honeysuckle is covered in stunning clusters of fragrant red trumpet-shaped flowers with purple overtones at the ends of the branches from late spring to late summer. It has attractive deep purple-variegated green foliage. The pointy leaves are highly ornamental and remain green throughout the winter. It produces black berries from late summer to late fall.

Landscape Attributes

Purple-Leaf Japanese Honeysuckle is an open multi-stemmed evergreen woody vine with a twining and trailing habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance woody vine that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Invasive

Purple-Leaf Japanese Honeysuckle is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover

Planting & Growing

Purple-Leaf Japanese Honeysuckle will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. As a climbing vine, it tends to be leggy near the base and should be underplanted with low-growing facer plants. It should be planted near a fence, trellis or other landscape structure where it can be trained to grow upwards on it, or allowed to trail off a retaining wall or slope. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 25 years.

This woody vine should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Screening  Garden  Groundcover 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features