Honeyberries or Haskaps are a type of honeysuckle that are native to the northern regions of North America and Europe/Asia. They have have been popular in Canada, Scandinavia, Russia, and Japan for centuries, but are relatively new to the lower 48 United States. If you like blueberries, but have been unsuccessful at growing them, Honeyberries are a more grower friendly alternative with similar fruit.
The 4′-6′ tall multi stemmed shrubs grow very fast and look like blueberry bushes, but do not require acidic soil to grow in. They grow well in average garden soil, and even in part shade. Honeyberries are shallow rooted so a thick layer of mulch helps to retain moisture around the plants. The bushes leaf out very early in the spring, and within days the branches are covered with fragrant, pale yellow, bell shaped flowers which quickly develop into berries.
The aromatic, light blue fruit of Honeyberries is oblong in shape, sweet-tart and juicy, and the size of a medium blueberry. They also ripen earlier than most other berries (in June), are high in vitamins, and can be eaten fresh, frozen, or used for preserves and baking.
Honeyberries are seldom bothered by pests or disease, and usually begin bearing fruit the year after they are planted. Mature plants can produce 10-15 pounds of fruit each.
Honeyberries may be profitable crop for farmers market vendors since they ripen with strawberries, asparagus, gooseberries, and early vegetables.
Two different varieties are required for pollination, and bushes are hardy anywhere in Michigan.
Berry Blue – Very productive, long harvest period, and an excellent pollinator for all varieties.
Tundra – A very vigorous grower with large berries and high productivity.
Indigo Gem – An extremely productive variety with large berries also ripening with Tundra.
12″-24″ tall plants in 1 gallon pots are priced at $11.00 each.