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Hardiness Zone: 5a
Buttercup from MI
The honeysuckle bush responds by sending out new side shoots and tufts of leaves at the ends of the damaged branches. These branches typically see only a few inches of growth during the season and are also likely to succumb to similar injuries.
As the side shoots die off during the winter, the "witches broom" effect they create becomes more noticeable. Plant scientists are still uncertain as to whether the damage is actually caused by the aphids themselves or by a plant pathogen the aphids carry.
Damage is usually only aesthetic and is limited to the honeysuckle bush (the honeysuckle bush serves as the only host to this particular type of aphid).
To control minor infestations, tufts can be removed by clipping them off as they appear. For heavy or reoccurring infestations, periodically spray the bush with water to remove the aphids or apply an insecticidal soap in the early spring.
Possibly something called witches brooms...many small clumps of leaves. They are the result of aphids feeding on new growth and stimulating the plant to grow in this manner. Too many and the bush may ultimately die. It is best to prune them out as soon as they are observed.
I'm about to cut down a 40 yr. old old-fashioned Honeysuckle bush because my Bradford Pear got so tall that the Honeysuckle gets no sun and is too scraggly with few leaves, (but has NEVER had a sign
of any sort of pest, much less aphids. Perhaps the older varieties just aren't affected?) I had the bushes
turn wild on me at another home and took over the cyclone fence and anything else they could reach. I
My bush never had side shoots, only new growth
from last year's growth. Now, it's about over for it. I
will plant nothing in it's place because there is enough there now, with a Red Cactus in front which
also requires NO care and sends out lovely red flowers on long spikes faithfully all year long. The combination of these things was hardly planned, but really works well for less care and interesting blooms
together. Hope your's gets well and has lots of sun.