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


I finally got to try a couple varieties this year - Blue Sea and Blue Mist. They are both a pleasant nibble to me (I don’t mind sour fruits) and I found them to be sweet and tart. Blue Mist (I believe) had a bit of an aftertaste that was slightly off-putting so I favored the Blue Sea. I’ll have several more varieties to taste in a couple years.

Things I like about honeyberries - they taste decent, they fruit so early in the season when little else does, they are easy to propagate, they thrive and fruit abundantly in part shade (and all my fruit tree planting is creating plenty of shady nooks), and they seem undemanding. I also appreciate that there is so much interest in breeding them.


I will be caging my Aurora and Hokkaido Blue soon- my local expert said the time to protect them is two days before they start turning color😀. These two pollinated each other, though some of the HB flowers opened well after all bloom on Aurora had past, so they might not all set… looking forward to trying these as I am a honeyberry virgin.


The more I experience and see other’s experiences with honeyberries, the less I am liking them. I was very excited about them in the beginning but they seem to be a let down so far.

It seems that there are a lot of false claims about them. For example, I’ve seen estimates of 5-10lbs of berries on 5 year old plants, 3-7 kilos per mature 3-4 year old, etc but I see 7 berries on a 3-4 year old plant above. I’ve only seen one descent harvest and I’m not sure from how many plants. Most seem to be way less than a pound. I remember thinking what will I do with 100lbs of honeyberries. Luckily, it doesn’t seem like I’ll have to deal with that issue ever.

My Solo and Maxie honeyberries that are still hanging for 4 weeks and are supposed to be sweet are still quite tart. Apparently sweet for a honeyberry means that your mouth won’t completely pucker and seize up for a minute after eating because these aren’t sweet…less tart at best. I can’t imagine what a tart one is like.

Borealis which was supposed to be Excellent for fresh eating is not.

I have had a good Cinderella and an ok tasting Aurora which are listed with fantastic taste but I’d expect better from a description of fantastic. I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more on the taste description of Cinderella since it seems to be one of the better tasting ones.

Perhaps they are better processed with some sugar or made into wine but you’d need more than a handful of berries for that.

Bird netting seems to be a requirement. No way a berry that is dark blue is going to sit on a bush for 3-4 weeks without any protection whatsoever especially when it is the only berry around at the time.

I wondering if I’m too far south to grow them well. Maybe planting them in full sun but shading them during the summer would provide better results this far south. I don’t normally get to say that…this far south…hehe.

It’s too early for me to really have a strong opinion but my excitement is waning I’m starting to lean toward a no, they aren’t tasty or worth growing in my area yet but have great potential. With that said, I’m still going to give mine a chance and hope for the best.

And of course, new varieties keep getting released so maybe they’ll have some tasty and productive varieties in a few years along with some growing tips for us honeyberry growing southerners. They are a developing fruit.


I had about 20 on each of my 2nd leaf plants, 4 of them 2 Russian, 2 Japanese. They grew well, so not bad. These bushes get huge! To me it seems yields will be huge too. But I’m not that familiar with them. [quote=“Don, post:164, topic:9256”]
Bird netting seems to be a requirement.

Besides maybe my yellow alpines, I have to protect everything anyway.
I too though get one needs to make choices. I have been eliminating some plants this year, a first for me, I hate to kill anything.
The birds love them as much as my strawberries and blueberries. Lot’s of birds around here with full stomachs, except for that one that got caught in the net and pan fried in the sun before I found it.


Winter flowering honeysuckle heart berries quite frequently.


This is a 3rd yr indigo gem. Berries are sweet and tart still. Last one i measured a few days ago was 17 brix. Made a cake with some tonight.


Lookin’ good! Was that the entire yield from your IG?


Most are still hanging and some robins have been sneaking under the net. I think i have it fixed now. I harvested about 2 cups of berries so far. Looks like another 6 to 8 left.


I’m giving my nankings one more year but if they continue to be a dud I’m replacing them with Honeyberries.


How many plants do you have?

I have 10, in 4th or 5th leaf, but I didn’t get irrigation in place until last year and half of them got deer browsed as part of an experiment.

I picked 4 cups yesterday and have that much or less left remaining. I don’t know how many the robins ate before I got the nets up last week.


Unfortunately I dont have many, or room for many more. I have 16 total I think, of like 10 different varieties, but most of them are 1st and 2nd year plants which havent produced anything yet. I only have 2 that are decent sized and they are both older varieties, Indigo Gem and Honey Bee. They are spread around my yard and a few are at my parents who live near me.


https://www.ppsfruittrees.com/pages/haskaps Good overview of canadian varieties here and some growing/harvest info.


got a tundra, indigo treat and aurora i planted last fall. they have some berries forming right now so i should be able to sample some soon!


My Aurora’s fruits have just started turning color, I will wait a couple weeks before I pick any. Nice to be looking forward to a sample from plants I installed just this spring! Bushes have been caged against birds, these fruit are very attractive to the winged ones.


Our weather has heated up. I tried a few of my haskaps yesterday, and they were quite a bit more mild and a couple had some definite sugar. If I get a chance to pick a few in the coming heat wave, I’ll try to measure brix.


It was nearly 100 degrees today. I tasted a few and they are getting much better. I brought one in to measure, 15 brix. I’m sure some are sweeter than that.

Some of the black currants are also getting sweet.


I’m surprised you were able to get them to grow in your zone. do you have the later japanese varieties?


mine are still green on my indigo treat and tundra. i just put in a aurora this spring and its growing like crazy but the few flowers it had didn’t make fruit. too soon i guess. a very vigorous variety tho. put on 12in. new growth in a little over a month! my clove currant that i put in at the same time has only put on half that.


Picked honey bee today, not a huge harvest but enough to make a pie.


I had less, not bad! The darn birds got most of mine. I need more netting next year. I have 4 nets, but other fruits were covered.The birds are doing well here in my yard this year. Taking anything not netted.