Looking like tiny fire crackers, the intensely-colored blooms of Lonicera Sempervirens Major Wheeler are right up in your face, demanding to be noticed. This climbing honeysuckle has been variously described as “the best,” a “stand-out” and a “non-stop bloomer,” and guess what? It’s all true.
This vine is not to be confused with the invasive honeysuckle shrub. Major Wheeler is a relatively new cultivar that promises and delivers an explosion of intense red blooms that cover the plant all summer. It is hardy to Zone 4, and unlike clematis, (which I also love), it requires no care other than planting and initial training up whatever it is you want it to climb. This plant grows to about eight feet.
I planted mine last summer to attract hummingbirds, and they do go crazy for all those tubular red blooms. I love watching them probing every single flower. The plant did ok the first year but this summer, what an explosion! As you can see in the photo below, it all but covers my ugly light.
Drought-tolerant, hardy, floriferous, and a hummingbird, butterfly and bee magnet, this is a wonderful plant with tidy, mildew-free foliage. I have also read that later in the season, it produces berries that other birds like robins love. Try it this summer – if you can get your hands on one.