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


See i get alot of different flavours out of the honeyberries but all a similar texture


most of them are bushes but i am trying a few juliet in tree form on my boulevard.


I have read good things about Happy Giant and Blue Moose also but I have yet to get any fruit on mine as the oldest are just 2 years old so I can’t comment…Aurora is good, I didn’t mention it just
because everyone else does:p


I find some have herbal or bitter flavours that were not completely bred out of them…but some of those mellow and change even as they ripen…so many different factors…variety…maturity of the bush…soil…sun…overall weather of the season, degree of ripeness…and also can vary quite a bit from berry to berry on the same plant.Overall I have found the Canadian varieties good with the newest ones being the best…I suspect the Polish ones will have some good ones and I haven’t had a chance to try the newer US ones…some of the older ones were not very good.


Blue Moon and Blue Velvet are the only honeyberries I’ve been fortunate enough to sample so far. I am sure there are improved ones. My feelings were too many had a wet scar and would not hold up in commerce, but that they were good to eat fresh–and I presume good for cooking, and also for wine. I was introduced first to those two varieties by a u-pik blueberry farm in the Knoxville, (RockyTop) Tennessee, area around 7 years ago. I have a couple plants I’ve bought bare root since then, but they have not fruited. I’ve been busy with apples, blueberries, etc and haven’t taken the time and patience for the honeyberries so far. Superior to currants and gooseberries for fresh eating, and roughly in the category of homegrown blueberries, but smaller berries.


I have used a few different mulches, this summer I mulched some with rotten hay (enough that the seeds were dead) and some with nut shells. The hay worked beautifully. It suppressed the weeds very well, protected the plants from the heat so they did not defoliate. They were quite happy. The nut shells just didn’t stop the weeds. Plastic, I have tried on a few berries not honeyberry, I don’t like it. It messes with moisture. I am trying cardboard, which is cheaper (free) and works well as a mulch, the worms get underneath and go wild. Both the hay and the cardboard only last three months or so.


try fresh wood chips or chopped hay. keeps weeds out all summer. usually fertilize then lay a 4in. layer of green wodchips in spring. if you renew the mulch every spring you won’t have any weeds. all my plants love it and i rarely have to water. i control the weeds from invading from the side with a little roundup a few times during summer. doesn’t take much.


I have only seen "Tundra " recommended for u pick or mechanical harvesting …and having a dry scar…one variety ?..to me that seems like they just simply are not well suited for upick/ mechanical harvesting…sure the better tasting varieties are very nice straight off the bush when fully ripe…and they make such stellar jam…I think if I were looking for a upick business I would just chose another fruit…they are not the easiest berry to pick…no spines , but a lot of getting down on your knees and looking up and under the leaves for fruit and they don’t take any rough handling they squish fairly easily…so they are great if people want to pick for jam…they wont last long in the fridge.


Yup…they are great and also strange plants…I have seen a plant or two spontaneously throw a few flowers in the fall when they should be shutting down for winter…at first I thought it was because some plants were put in in the spring and some in the fall and some waiting in pots to be planted mixed them up a bit in terms of what season it was…but nope, they just do that…must be a day length thing and because they are so hardy…chill hours don’t mean much…it’s like they are ready to go anytime almost.


I swear mine have a repeat bloom function, Usually there first flower hits with my last frost (Happens with alot of plants for me) then they get a few that come on and then a month or two later i get a larger harvest of blooms that happened inside my plant.


I understand that the blossoms of honeyberries/haskaps can be viable down to 17 - 20 degrees F.

But, I could be wrong. Certainly I’ve seen the blooms at those temps…just haven’t made good records as to if those blossoms set fruit.


Usually our last frost is pretty severe, Definitely the outside ones fry and shrivel within a day of the hard frost, the “second berries” usually come from inside the plant and i see blooms many times in late june which seem to become berries in late july early august. I usually get my first set of berries like late june which i watched from the late may blooms, Its possible they are just delayed and Im not seeing the little bud sites thinking about being a honeyberry?


This spring we had a northwester come through the last weekend of April. Temps down to -10 Celsius with howling winds and snow. All of my haskap were awake, but only my Polar Jewel(a pure Russian for pollination) had the majority of its flowers and leaves fully open. The Polar Jewel lost all of its flowers and many of the leaves on the north side. I was impressed with how the partially open flowers on Aurora, Borealis, and Indigo gem all went on to provide a decent harvest. The Polar Jewel provided no fruit, but by early summer it was looking quite healthy again.


All of mine seem to have dry scars. I would agree they are not best for Upick. For one you should not be picking them. Shake the bush any that stay on are not ripe. use a tarp.
Some I found shed too easy others not enough but in general it is a good way to harvest.


My location is in the middle of Europe, namely Slovakia - northeast of Slovakia.

This fruit is top and not just a taste. I have grown it for over 20 years. I have about 15 varieties and Russian, Slovak, Czech, Polish, Canadian and still renew them for newer varieties. They reproduce very easily and quickly, so do not be afraid to experiment. It is the first fruit we taste, easy to grow, no chemical treatment, resistant to late frost and in bloom up to - 8 degrees Celsius and in winter tolerates - 40 degrees Celsius. Full of antioxidants and thus overcomes many varieties of hitherto grown small fruit in our gardens.
I have a problem with English, but I would still like to share my experience with you in growing and tasting this excellent fruit.

Here is a forum - knowledge and experience of cultivation in our region:


welcome Viktor. its good to hear from fruit growers in other countries. honeyberries are easy to grow here as well. they like our cold weather up here. some say most are too tart off the bush. i prefer eating them fresh but i also eat black currant fresh but most Americans don’t like their musky taste.


Thank you for your welcome

20 years ago, our assortment was weak and often from seeds. Some were bitter. In 2001, two varieties were bred in Slovakia - Altai and Amur. Altai was very tall shrub - 1.8 m, poor fertility, fruits quite tasty with a special aroma. It served as a pollinator for the Amur variety. Amur is an unsurpassed variety so far in terms of balance of taste from all varieties that I have grown so far. It’s my honeyberries king.
Varieties I have experienced in cultivation:Amur, Altaj, Modrý Triumf, Sibír, Fialka, Morena, Čulimskaja, Jugana, Tundra, Leningradsky Velikan, Wojtek, Nymfa, Bakčarský Velikan, Amfora, Duet, Honeybee, Aurora, Blizzard, Beast, Sinij Utes, Vostorg.

I will break it down into criteria:

  • taste criterion (They excel from the list with their dessert and aromatic taste)
    1 is top.
  1. Amur
  2. Leningradský Velikán
  3. Aurora
  4. Jugana
  5. Morena
  • Fertility + taste criterion
  1. Aurora
  2. Morena
  3. Amfora
  4. Jugana
  5. Wojtek
  • Shelf life + fertility + taste criterion
  1. Top is Aurora
  • Only fertility
  1. Honeybee
  2. Wojtek
  • Size of fruits
  1. Bakčarský velikán – až 3,5 - 4cm
  2. Amfora – 3 – 3,5 cm
  3. Jugana

My top varieties are Aurora and Honeybee Pollinator, Honeybee, Amur, Amfora, Leningradký Velikán, Jugana, Morena.

If you want a dessert variety, you have to count on weaker fertility. The more varieties we have, the higher the probability of good pollination.

The sweetest variety and most aromatic I’ve tasted from my collection is the Leningradský Velikan. Amur has a more balanced acid / sugar ratio. There’s a taste for me.

Leningradsky Velikan - a variety selected in the Vavilov Institute from third generation seeds from the surroundings of Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka. The shrub is of medium size. Fruits dessert, sour-sweet taste with strong aroma. Secondary flowering undetected. Harvest from one shrub around 1kg. Falling fruit poor. Advantages of the variety: very tasty fruits, excellent transportability.
Lack of variety: less fertility

Then comes the Slovak variety Amur, which has a very balanced and dessert taste and does not fall. Disadvantage - poor fertility, but with good pollination fertility is quite sufficient. These varieties are good to eat directly from the bush and are excellent.

Amur - variety selected in the Slovak breeding institute Bojnice in 2001 from the free pollination of the Russian variety Gerda.

Shrubs of medium height with a height of about 1.5 m. Fruits with an average weight of about 0.8g with a bell-shaped fruit. Tasteful, relatively sweet, with no trace of bitterness. Advantages of the variety: excellent taste of fruits.

If somebody wants to include more criteria such as fruit size, fertility and taste in the variety selection, I would prefer the Canadian Aurora variety. A very vital variety that combines excellent properties such as fertility, size of fruits, flavor, aroma, strength of fruits and thus resistance to harvesting and storage is therefore also suitable for commercial use.


i have aurora, indigo gem and indigo treat. i just ordered a honey bee. aurora is by far the best flavored of the 3 and also the best producer. unfortunately most european varieties aren’t unavailable here with the exception of some japanese and russian types. you have a great selection of honey berries. they are just starting to get popular here. I’m on the Canadian border. they are very popular there.


Yes it is good. The U of Sas. program has now developed the Blizzard series. Bigger than Aurora with similar taste. I will need 2-3 more years to decide how they compare to Aurora. Breeders here are also using Japanese cultivars in their crosses. Many new cultivars will be developed as time goes on.


I’m closely watching those selections and look forward to more reports on how they perform. i have another aurora and a honey bee coming this spring. i may remove indigo gem/ treat as they have produced poorly with poor vigor here.could also be the fact that i have a comfrey bush in between them only a few get away. i gave them a little more fertilizer to make up for it but it doesn’t seem to help much.