What's the verdict on Honeyberries...are they tasty?


keep roots cool with wood chip mulch


I feel they definitely have that first tart bite to them similar to a good fresh blueberry with alot of other tastes after the first. Sadly i don’t think i let them ripen enough as I haven’t taken to covering mine yet and the birds, so im always lucky for the fruit I get. I try to go with the later blooming varieties as they can wake up early here and while they take 90-100 degree days here just fine. The two honeyberries that have died on me both died on the first 90+ degree early spring warm up and it happened on two separate years and most of the honeyberries seemed stressed by the first quick warm up.


Great post! That’s exactly the type of information I like to find when deciding on varieties to get. Thank you!


You know that depends on the blueberry. I have some that are extremely sweet, no tartness at all. Pink Popcorn has no acid at all, Spartan and Toro are very sweet with a touch of tartness some years, and zero others.


What varieties are you growing? Mine have the color and texture of blueberries but not the taste.


For those who have used both plastic and mulch, which works better, I planted several hundred last fall and Im debating putting plastic over them or trying to mulch. The ones I planted last spring with no mulch or plastic were overrun by weeds, but they did grow some and most survived. Im thinking eventually they might be able to compete with weed pressure? Whats your experience with this? I dont have a riding mower yet but once I do, I should be able to knock the weeds down better manually than I did this past year. I tried to keep them in check with a weed wacker, but thats a lot of work and they did get away from me after a while!


I use google patent search to try to find patented plants. If you search for honeyberry haskap and the name of the variety you should find something if its patented, I know Maxine has some patented varieties. Ive seen several producers put PP on their varieties, but I think thats just used as a deterrent and often not the case. If someone has a variety thats been PP for a few years, likely they arent willing to spend the money to get the patent or they are just lying, thats a theory and I dont have any evidence of this, and Im not sure how to research whos Patent Pendings are legit or not and Im not sure what the law is as far as cloning PP plants. Im willing to destroy those I have copied if they become patented after I have them in the ground. US doesnt recognize ‘plant breeders rights’ that many countries have, including canada. I have kept track of how many U of S plants Ive cloned over the years and plan to send a ‘donation’ to them eventually to cover the royalties as paid by most propagators… They have what I think is the best breeding program and it benefits us to support them as long as they keep it going.


Yes they do have a great program. The dwarf cherries are great. I got enough this year to make a few dishes and such. Everybody raved about them. Tough trees too! I was gifted a Wowza and I ran it over with the lawn mower! Was I pissed! I have so many plants in my backyard my vision was blocked, and it was a new planting I forgot about. Anyway it grew back a little, it didn’t die. I lost a year, but still have the plant! So I have Carmine, Juliet, and Wowza which is enough for lot’s and lot’s of cherries!


mine look like that after fruiting also and we have very cool summers. i think they are such a early fruiting plant that they start to shut down well before it gets cold out. when i first started growing them, i thought i had a soil deficiency. i use lots of wood chips around all my trees and plants. the more the better!


It should be fine if it was established and growing. I run over my carmine jewel suckers all the time and they come right back… Sets them back a bit, but it should survive and catch up next summer. Neighbor also ran over some of my carmine seedlings out on my land this summer with his brushhog, they all started growing again too.


It was only in the ground a few weeks, maybe a month? When I did it, so I thought I may have killed it. I think it will make it, but we will see? I should get my first decent crop of Juliet next season.
Back to honeyberries I added the Boreal series this year. Two look great one is iffy (forget which? Not here, at my cottage). I should get some fruit next year, but too small to protect so may not get a taste. I would protect but my nets are in high demand. I need more!


I’m thinking of adding the Boreal series also. i have 1 carmine jewel, 2 juliet, 1 romeo, 1 lutowaka rose and i montmorency cherry. all are growing well and the juliet and romeo put out a few cherries but the birds got them before half ripe. once they are in full production ill be up to my ears in cherries!


Speaking of cherries, I had pretty good luck rooting romeo cherry this fall, got 11 to root, not sure how many cuttings I took, still prolly only 50% or so success. Funny thing is all my juliet I took at the exact same time, treated exactly the same and in the same container even died… Guessing this might have to do with mother plant nutrition or something, possibly just genetics, hard to say. Also I took some Bali cherry cuttings for the first time and I got 3 out of maybe 10 to root. They are still indoors under lights right now.


I just ate the last delicious piece of Mulberry Upside Down Cake that I made Saturday night. Sure was tasty!
I will make one out of Honeyberries for comparison if I ever manage to collect enough.


Well like four or more years ago i bought four varieties of hapskap from what i swear was berries unlimited. They were all the older varieties that were late blooming and i cannot remember the names but blue velvet was one of them. Out of these four, two died and i need to find my legend to figure out which ones still lived.

Then about two years ago i bought the honeyberry USA Dr Thompson Keiko and kawaii and Beauty and Beast from the UoS. These have done good maybe i put them in too much shade? but they have been much happier. Beauty did not have super tart berries but it was its first year to produce and they were pretty good, The keiko and kawaii had very good berries and very tart. Mine are never very sweet i would have to get a brix meter but not more than 20 for sure.

Drew, that first tart bite is what i just love about blueberries, Everyonce in a while i will buy sweet blueberries from the grocery store and sometimes i just feed them to my dog they are so tasteless. Wish they would label varieties on those blueberry clamshells. I sadly get real confused when Im on the west coast because the weeds are wild bramble blackberries which some are just amazing and i get deluged with fresh fruit and amazing flowers. Since thats the main place i have eaten blueberries and most of the trees are old and all the fresh blueberries are just super tart and lightly to medium sweet. Those are my absolute favourite. What are your favourite varieties?


My juliet cuttings i took died also! 100% failure on 3. Personally i have great success with mulch but its just a few plants in my backyard and i have dogs, if you cant get enough im sure plastic would be easier and faster.


Did you let your cherries bush or prune to a tree? I let all of my dwarf cherries bush. I am going to stool one this year to propagate (hopefully).


I like to grow both. I’m adding Northland because it has the flavor of half high bushes bred into a northern highbush. Just to get that flavor of half highs, at least somewhat. Adding Draper too as I want to grow the MSU cultivars. Many of them. I only have one now, Liberty. very productive, but tends to over produce. Benefits from thinning.

I have only tried less than 15 cultivars. I like Cara’s Choice as it has a complex flavor. I want to try Hannah’s Choice too. Cara’s is a small plant so not that productive. Still I treat them like gourmet berries. Legacy is good too. It is big and productive. Berries are tart when first blue, if left on they become sweet. Holds fruit a long time. most blueberries do though. I also like Chandler for it’s huge tasty berries. This one got better with time. 4th or 5th year the berries were excellent. Always good, just got better once established. I also like Pink Popcorn as it ripens so early. The berries being white nothing seems to eat them. It is very productive. Berries are chewy and low acid. I got used to them and now like them more than when I first tried them. They develop a rose tone when fully ripe.


It makes me sad that blueberries just don’t thrive here at all. I think its less to equal effort to keep citrus happy. I do absolutely love blueberries and more so fresh and i’m assuming all the ones i have eaten off are northern highbushs they are all very tart and atleast 40 year old bushes and i love them at just barely ripe as long as they don’t acid burn my mouth. I think that’s the similar stage i eat all my honeyberries at but its because i haven’t gotten enough and leaving them for birds to find is a bad idea. Once they produce more im going to get a net rotation going on.

I will have to check those out i would like to find some to send to some family that lives in seattle type coastal weather (Colder really) and would thrive but also tastes excellent.


I’ve got way more honeyberries than we will ever eat once the bushes mature, but am curious about the strawberry sensation variety. I would like to hear more comments on that variety. Do they taste significantly different from the other varieties? I don’t find that much difference in taste in most varieties. A few are less astringent or a bit sweeter, but the basic taste is very similar in most. Am I missing out on something by not trying strawberry sensation? Thanks.