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Gardener shares how to turn invasive plant species into 'liquid gold' with simple method: 'I had no idea'

"Those are all over my yard."

"Those are all over my yard."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Invasive plants can't be allowed to run wild, but many of them were introduced to new areas because they're good to eat. Finding new uses for them β€” like this TikToker has β€” kills two birds with one stone, taking invasive plants out of the wild and putting delicious food on your table.

The scoop

Is your garden overrun with invasive honeysuckle? North Carolina TikToker MegGrowsPlants (@meggrowsplants) posted this handy tip in a recent video.

@meggrowsplants Honeysuckle syrup πŸ’› 1 cup honeysuckle flowers 2 cups water 1 cup sugar -boil honeysuckle flowers and water together, reduce to a simmer and let it reduce by half. Strain out the flowers, and add sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Done! Store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Honeysuckle lemon drop martini 2 oz vodka or liquor of choice 1 oz lemon juice 1 oz honeysuckle syrup Lemon and honeysuckle for garnish #gardentok #gardentotable #honeysuckle #gardenharvest #foraging #growyourownfood #gardeningtips ♬ original sound - MegGrowsPlants

"Here's how to turn honeysuckle into liquid gold," says Meg, showing off one of the bright yellow blossoms. "Honeysuckle can be super invasive and seems to grow wild everywhere, so if you find yourself with lots of it like myself, you can take advantage and turn it into a delicious honeysuckle syrup."

Meg then demonstrates the recipe, which uses one cup of honeysuckle flowers, two cups of water, and one cup of sugar. You boil the flowers in the water until the liquid has reduced by half, strain the honeysuckle tea, then add the sugar and stir until it dissolves.

"Now you have a syrup that can be used for delicious honeysuckle lemonade, mocktails, or cocktails!" says Meg. "My favorite thing to make is this Honeysuckle Lemon Drop martini. It's so light, refreshing, and tastes just like spring."

How it's helping

This hack is great for several reasons. First of all, it's an easy way to capture the elusive taste of honeysuckle nectar, which you can usually only find one drop at a time inside each flower. "If you're from the South, you probably have fond memories of snacking on honeysuckle as a kid," says Meg. "Its one delicious drop of nectar is an absolute delicacy."

Next, honeysuckle syrup is a delightful flavoring and sweetener for food and drinks, saving you money compared to store-bought flavored syrups.

Finally, honeysuckle is an aggressively invasive plant, meaning it grows out of control and takes over whole areas, crowding out the native plants. The more honeysuckle you can clear out and eat, the better the chance other plants have to thrive and reclaim the area, restoring the ecosystem's balance. 

Plus, if you're clearing it out of your own yard, you'll free up garden space to grow your own food, which has major benefits.

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What people are saying

Some commenters were shocked to find out how destructive honeysuckle can be β€” and how delicious.

"Those are all over my yard. I had no idea," said one user.

Others were excited to unlock new flavor options.

"The farmer's market near me used to sell bottled honeysuckle iced tea," said another commenter. "It was delicious but they stopped selling it. Now I can try and make it."

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