Honeyberry / Haskap Garden Guide

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Honeyberry / Haskap Care At A Glance

  • Edible blue honeysuckles native to Northern California, Pacific Northwest, and Canada as well as Russia and Japan.
  • Not dependent on low soil acidity like Blueberry plants are.
  • Suitable for USDA zones 3-8. (See additional notes about cultivars below)
  • All varieties require cross-pollination.
  • First crop harvests usually 1-2 years from planting.

Honeyberry / Haskap Planting Instructions

Bare root plants

  • Soak roots for 8 to 24 hrs. prior to planting.
  • Plant within 72 hrs. after receiving. Dormant plants require cold weather establishment.
  • Plant in full sun, in well-draining soil amended with ample amounts of organic material.
  • Dig a large hole 2-3 times the size of the rootball.
  • Plant with the top of the rootball no more than 1 inch below the natural soil grade, ensuring the crown remains above the soil surface.
  • Remove any grass or competing weeds from a 2 ft. circumference around the new plants.
  • Top-dress over the root zone with 2-3 inches of fresh compost or mulch.
  • Immediately after planting, tip prune all stems back by 1/3 to 1/2.

Potted plants

  • No root soaking is required, however, do harden plants off for 7-10 days prior to planting out to acclimate them to the local conditions.
  • Follow other planting instructions above.
  • Protect newly planted Honeyberries / Haskap from hard frosts by covering them with frost cloth, burlap, or home linens.

NOTE: If plants are affected by frost, or transplant shock, do not panic, simply cut stems back by 1/3 to 1/2, which will initiate new bud and shoot growth in 6-8 weeks or sooner.

NOTE: All varieties require cross-pollination. Using an alternating grid planting pattern or planting in rows of alternating varieties with similar bloom periods ensures the best pollination. Bumble bees are the best pollinators for Honeyberries / Haskap due to how and when they typically forage.


  • The watering rule of thumb is 1 in. of water per week, per plant, which equates to approx. 2.5-3 gal. of water every 2-3 days through the growing season.
  • Do not rely on or consider rain events as they are too unreliable and sporadic.
  • Honeyberries / Haskap do not tolerate heavy wet clay soils or standing water.
  • Amend soils well, prior to planting to avoid long-term issues or slow deterioration.

Honeyberry / Haskap Care - Maintenance After Establishment Maintenance

  • Allow plants to grow to full size for the first several years before pruning.
  • Fruits are produced on 1-year-old wood.
  • Prune using thinning cuts during dormancy to remove any damaged, diseased, and older branches to encourage an open growth habit of sunlight penetration and air circulation.
  • Never prune branch tips. Flowers and fruits are produced at the ends of branches.
  • Fertilize in early spring with 1/2 dose and another 1/2 again after harvest with 10-10-10 all-purpose or an organic with 3-5-3 formulation.
  • Top-dressing with fresh compost/aged manure blend in early spring and again in mid-summer is also beneficial.
  • Most honeyberries / haskap are susceptible to powdery mildew, especially early in the season. Wettable sulfur fungicide has shown to be the best preventative, as well as other proper cultural sanitation methods.

Honeyberry / Haskap Cultivars & Pollination Details

Blue Moon™ & Blue Velvet™

  • Two Russian Honeyberry varieties that are shipped as 1-2 ft. well-rooted bare-root plants.
  • These varieties are best suited for planting in colder zones of 3a to 4b.
  • Pre-soak roots prior to planting for at least 8 hrs.
  • Prune stems back by at least 1/3 immediately after planting to encourage new growth.
  • Plants mature at 3-4 ft. high & wide.
  • Best fruit yields come from plantings of 5-8 plants, spaced 4-6 ft. apart in alternating single rows or in a grid.

Canadian Honeyberries / Haskap

  • Canadian varieties and Berry Blue™ shipped as small; greenhouse-grown potted plants.
  • Most suitable for USDA zones 4b-8a. (The warmer the climate the more disease susceptibilities can occur).
  • Harden off for 7-10 days prior to planting. After planting in spring, protect plants if frost threatens.
  • If plants are still completely dormant, they can be planted out at any time.
  • Plant size varies by cultivar, but the range is from 3 to 6 ft., and typically begins bearing fruit 2-3 years from planting.
  • At least two different varieties with similar bloom periods are needed for proper cross-pollination.
  • For best fruit production, plant at least 5-8 plants with a spacing of 6 to 8 ft. by alternating variety or in a grid pattern.

'Aurora' is long, mid-early season flowering. Plant it with other early or mid-types like 'Honey Bee', 'Tundra', 'Berry Blue™', or 'Borealis'.

'Boreal Blizzard', 'Boreal Beast', and 'Boreal Beauty' are all mid to late-blooming and good partners for cross-pollination with one another.

'Boreal Beauty' is the best late-blooming cultivar to pair with Russian varieties for potential cross-pollination.