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


Probably a little earlier than Lancaster Pa. But maybe not.

January is typically our coldest month…but with Jan 2020 being well above normal, and the forecast for Feb. to be at or below normal…I am looking for Feb. to be colder. We’ve had 14 so far…for the low.
If that holds, it will be the highest winter low in my 64 year lifetime! (And it would place us in zone 8a instead of 6b if it happened often!)

I expect single digits in Feb.

And, I have currants with swollen buds, honeyberries with leaves, red leafed crab apples with leaves 1/4 inch in size, and I trimmed some scions from my autumn olives today…they are leafing out too.

Forecast today was for 44…but it’s 51 currently. They’re missing the forecast bad. This was the national weather service.


Dax, my guess is both sun and dappled shade work ok in Chicago area. Or morning sun.
I’ve planted them in full afternoon sun and they survived fine in Kentucky…but with some leaf damage. Didn’t seem to affect fruiting the next year.


Yes. Before planting I will prepare a strip of land. I will make a groove like when potatoes are planted, but deeper and bigger. Pour fine quality compost. The roots of the plants are covered with fine compost and on top I give a layer of coarser parts of compost and then wood chips and similar coarse parts. Then I cover it with a non-woven fabric that no longer adheres to the ground and is held in thick pieces as if in the air. It is created at the root system of the climate. They love it very much and grow well.

I cut the bushes late in the autumn or whenever they are still sleeping. The new shoots grow very intensively and are fragile. They need to be tied up against wind breaking. When they start to wood, then they are resistant.
I make a cut in the late autumn also for the plants I am going to plant. For plants that have slight increments, I also cut them to 15-20 cm from the soil.

Of those I know, it certainly Aurora + Honeybee pollinator

Here we praise from the series Boreal - Blizzard. Others no longer. The new Blue Banana,Blue Treasure,Giant’s Heart ,Strawberry Sensation they are new and we haven’t tried them yet.
Do you have any available from Russian varieties? From the earlier Russians, if you get Jugana - big fruits and fertile. If you want a very sweet and aromatic, but do not mind the weak crop - Leningradsky the Great. Slovak variety Amur - very balanced taste - sweet, like black cherries, on a longer stem, does not fall, suitable for plucking from the bush.

that you were to choose varieties, for me.
One more question, I was under the impression these are full sun plants. I guess not. I live in Illinois USA with climate like Chicago, Viktor. Do they go under the conifer for 2-3 hours late afternoon sun only or under the oak for dappled lighting conditions or do they like the Rhododendron morning sun, only- or do I place them in full sun? It’s very hot and humid with summers producing good rains most years but droughts do occur frequently where no water for 30-60 summer days with heat 32 c to 38 c.

They are fully sunny plants. But the roots should be protected from sunburn. That is all! Naturally, they grow thickened by the rivers where they protect their roots against sunburn. If we plant them at a spacing of 1.5 - 1.8 m, we have to protect them roots, which are shallow. Therefore, they grow well when composted and covered with a non-woven fabric. In any case, do not sit in the shade. They will grow, but it’s miserable. The taste of the fruit is bland and poorly born, ripens slowly and there is a problem.
They try to plant them in warm and drier regions until half-shade. But that’s on the edge.

If that is the case, then all the more I would plant them in open space and larger spacing so that they have plenty of sun, ripen quickly and do not mold. I mentioned the mold that I noticed in the Russian variety - the Bakerian Great. The fruit grows from 3.5 to 4 cm. There is a tube at the end. In humid weather and when they hang on the bush for a long time, it happens. It also happens with varieties with a fine surface and long ripening when the weather is long-lasting. In prolonged humid weather, moldy and lodging varieties such as Wojtek are moldy and even when the branches with many fruits are near the ground. They ripen slowly, the fruit is not tasty and moldy. Then there are losses.
Now I’m experimenting with forming a bush in the form of a bouquet so that the fruits are not down. I expect bigger fruit, even ripening, better harvesting, no losses . As it turns out, I’ll just see it.


Thanks for sharing your experience with these Viktor!
I wonder if any of the varieties you mention are marketed here under other names?
I have a similar pruning strategy, but Ive only used it on 2nd year plants which were poor form when I planted them- I learned this method is used in Poland to insure good structure.


Many thanks, Viktor.

My friend’s bushes are in full sun and noticed nothing wrong with them. Perfect health. I think @RichardRoundTree (I know) he’s having a lot of soil issues. He even found a full layering of plastic under his ground that somebody had put there. He’s got a real problem on his hands. Hence my questions about sunlight. I figured Richard was simply dealing with more and more issues of his ground.

I will bookmark your answer and thank you once-again.



Viktor, why blizzard over beauty and beast? Ive heard beauty is the heavier producing of the 3 I havent gotten fruit yet from any of mine but was hopeful for all of them…


Victor, thank you for all this information! Super to read through these posts and understand this plant better.


Yes it is not a bad plant for sure. Still I like my blueberries too! I like all berries, and it’s nice to have these on hand. I look forward to increased production in the future.


and you know with so many breeders looking to improve on the crop, they will get substationally better. compared to other more famous fruits, honeyberry is just really starting to catch its wind!


I agree the best cultivars are not here yet. Speaking of cultivars The Arkansas blackberry program has released it’s 20th cultivar! This one rates higher than all others. I was not impressed with the taste of thornless blackberries, but here we may have one I would be happy with. Ripens with Natchez, which is early. Ponca is the name. It should be available next year. It’s not that hardy though, so we will have to see how it does here. The others worked, so i suspect it’s fine. I will be trying this one for sure. I need a good regular blackberry. All of mine are hybrids. New Berry is fantastic and I never see it. I don’t get it? It’s productive too. Barely hardy here though.


i got several bowlfuls off my baby cakes dwarf blackberries. would have got more but i forgot and fertilzed them 2xs. most burnt but some later canes survived and fruited. good sized berry for such a small plant (3ft) . my nelson blackberry plugs managed some 5ft primocanes so i should get to taste them next summer. the baby cakes i got were a lot better than store bought but i haven’t compared them to other fresh blackberries yet. my wild canadian blackberries have huge canes and shouldd also fruit this summer. finally going to get my own blackberries enmasse! sure wish the breeders would concentrate on cold hardiness. Canada’s got a bunch of cultivars but not offered here yet.


The Boreal series is later. Beast is a bland taste. . But it’s my subjective impression. Blizzard comes first in this series. All of this series are fertile and have big fruits.
Well Aurora better. Therefore, I decided to destroy almost the entire planting variety Wojtek and replace it with the variety Aurora. Wojtek is fertile and commercially interesting, but Aurora clearly wins.

I have a lot of Russian varieties and some of the Russians like my taste and size. They tend to ripen and are the first fruit in the garden. There are still a number of varieties that are yet to appear. First the Russian harvest is in May and then the Canadian harvest. This combination suits me.
From the garden I destroyed Altai, Atut, Wojtek, Duet, Tundra, some varieties with small fruits. And restoring planting from new. I want to try also News: Blue Banana, Blue Treasure, Giant’s Heart, Strawberry Sensation.
We will see.


I have been doing this experiment for the first year. I want to use the vitality of the bushes after trimming and shape the bush. When I rejuvenate the bush I cut it off completely. Subsequently, new shoots will grow rapidly, which I will bind together. Gradually gritty and firmer. They will retain this shape. Late in the autumn I wrap them with a non-woven fabric in the shape of a bouquet. Subsequently, in the bottom of the black fabric to prevent the activation of growth and flower buds. These should form at the top of the fabric, and the new twigs should tilt the older twigs to the side to form a bouquet. The fruits should be at the top.

I expect a comfortable harvest without big losses, the fruit should ripen faster and evenly, better quality and taste of the fruit. After collecting the fabric, I tear it off and leave it just tied. This is how I will give birth for three years and repeat it. I’ll see how the bushes respond.

There is a possibility to plant shrubs in a smaller spacing and more varieties together, for better pollination.

If I succeed, I’ll let you know.


Hey Viktor,

I like your bouquet. I t makes perfect sense, and, you’re using the right material. I’m looking at success on year 1.

If I were to buy Aurora for non-astringency and Blizzard will these two pollinate well? How about a mate for these two?

Everyone- who will be selling these new varieties: Blue Banana, Blue Treasure, Giant’s Heart, Strawberry Sensation? Not which lab will be propagating (thanks Viktor for that info.) but nursery that USA citizens will order from? Honeyberry USA possibly?

Does anyone know who has tasted these newest varieties? Perhaps the owners of Honeyberry USA?

Thank you,



i ordered the BU varieties directly from bu. Aurora and blizzard won’t pollinate well. go to lovehoneyberry.com and they have charts of recommended varieties and different pollination groups


Another lovely haskap smoothie for breakfast today.


Berries unlimited is selling these. I bought two 2 years ago. Blue Banana and Honey Gin. Which make a great pair for pollination.


I like to make a syrup. It’s so good! I make smoothies too with fresh or frozen. Right now all I have left is black currant, but man that stuff is syrup of the Gods!


I’m on their website Drew and it says they have a thousand dollar minimum. Have they gone from retail to wholesale-only?


They will sell if you call and talk to them. I forget the head guys name, but if you talk to him hell figure something out. I got like 10 one gallon bushes last spring of various varieties. Theres pictures posted somewhere on this site, I forget what they charged but it was fairly reasonable, maybe $150 shipped or something like that.