Indigo Gem is one of the most recent Canadian Kamchatka honeysuckle varieties. It’s characterized by abundant fruiting, an upstanding posture, and rapid growth. This shrub is highly resistant to frost and diseases.
General description: The Indigo Gem Kamchatka honeysuckle is a shrub that grows up to 1.5 m in height and reaches a width of around 1.2 m. During the flowering season it’s plentifully bestrewn with small flowers and is very prolific. It is known the world over under many names, such as the sweetberry honeysuckle, fly honeysuckle, blue-berried honeysuckle, Haskap berry or simply the honeyberry – all these names represent this amazing plant of extraordinary properties. The Kamchatka honeysuckle’s popularity grows day by day, largely owing to the rise of health food trends. The Indigo Gem honeysuckle yields delectable and very healthy fruit, therefore it is worth seriously considering cultivating it in one’s own garden, especially since it’s easy to do so.
Flowers: This plant’s flowers are quite inconspicuous, pale yellow, and resistant to spring frosts. It’s a cross-pollinating shrub, which means that to gain the highest possible fruit yield, it needs to be planted in the near vicinity of other varieties of Kamchatka honeysuckles. Perfect pollinators are the Aurora and Honeybee varieties.
Blooming: The Indigo Gem variety blooms in April.
Leaves: This shrub's leaves are oval, green with a slightly bluish underside. Fresh foliage is slightly tomentose (fuzzy).
Fruit: Indigo Gem's fruit is a cylindrical berry, dark blue in colour with a lighter, waxy coating. It’s juicy, sweet and sour in taste, and very aromatic. The riper the berry, the sweeter it is. The Kamchatka honeysuckle’s fruit is rich in healthful nutrients, such as pectins, organic acids, vitamin c and sugars. Moreover, pigments contained in the berries have remarkable properties of strengthening blood vessels and removing heavy metals and other toxins from the body.
Ripening: The Indigo Gem starts to fruit from mid-June to mid-July. It can fruit as early as a year after planting. In the second and third year the plant can produce from 0.5 to 1 kg of berries from a single shrub. The Indigo Gem variety may provide as much as 5 kg of fruit from just one shrub and Kamchatka honeysuckles bear fruit for up to 30 years. This variety is suitable for both manual and mechanical harvesting.
Cultivation requirements: Kamchatka honeysuckles are easy to cultivate. They tolerate sandy and dry soils, however they grow best in slightly acidic, moderately moist, sandy loam soils, preferably in sunny positions, although slightly shaded spots are also tolerated by this shrub.
Care: During the first five years after planting Kamchatka honeysuckles need absolutely no pruning. The first thinning out to remove old shoots is to be done after about five years (depending on whether the shrub needs this). Thanks to such pruning, the fresh new shoots will gain access to more light and we gain the possibility of shaping the shrub to our liking.
Overwintering: The Kamchatka honeysuckle is particularly frost resistant. It does not freeze in temperatures as low as -40°C. At the beginning of November, young shrubs should be covered in soil with peat so that a mound of about 30 cm in height is formed over the plant.
Wojtek is a Polish variety of the Kamchatka blue honeysuckle. The shrub reaches 170 cm in height. It is an excellent pollinator for the Zojka and Jolanta varieties. It bears fruit as early as the turn of May and June. It is suitable for beginner gardeners and can be grown in flowerpots and ...
Zojka is an early-fruiting variety with large, sweet berries. It's an excellent pollinator for the Wojtek variety. It grows up to 1.5 m high and is completely frost hardy in the Polish clime. It fruits just a year after planting and in summer, seedlings are often sold already bearing fruit! ...