Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla spp.)
Mature height: 3 to 5'
Mature width: 3 to 5'
Growth rate: Fast
Plant form: Mounded, rounded, spreading
Deciduous or evergreen: Deciduous
Native range: See text below
Native to Minnesota: See text below
Invasive in Minnesota: No
Light: Sun to full shade
Soil texture: Sand, loam, clay
Soil pH: prefers 6.1 to 6.5, tolerates higher
Soil moisture: Droughty to moist, excessively drained to moderately drained
Hardiness zone: 3,4 to 7 (see text below)
Pests and stresses: None serious; leaf spot and powdery mildew may occur.
Other: Suckering plant, tolerant to drought and soil compaction. Deer resistant.
Native range of northern bush honeysuckle in Minnesota, Minnesota DNR
Two bush honeysuckle species are available to gardeners. Northern bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) is a Minnesota native whose range extends from Newfoundland to Georgia and west to Saskatchewan and Alabama. Southern bush honeysuckle (D. sessilifolia) is native to North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. Both species are very similar in the landscape except for differences in hardiness and fall foliage coloration. D. lonicera is hardy to zone 3 while D. sessilifolia is hardy to zone 4.
Bush honeysuckles are easy-to-grow, low-growing, suckering plants that are adaptable to many soil types and all light levels. Because of their suckering habits, these species are best used for mass plantings, hedges, or on slopes where soil stabilization and erosion control are needed. Bush honeysuckle's tolerance to drought and soil compaction provides additional landscape benefits. Although deer browse on Diervilla in the wild, they are rarely browsed in landscape plantings.
Bush honeysuckle's graceful display of foliage and flowers provides interest from spring through fall. In spring, 2-6" leaves develop. New leaves are dark red and then change to green with bronze tones. Ornamental clusters of 2-7 small, non-fragrant, tubular flowers are produced from June through September; most bloom occurs in June and July. As the flowers age, they often turn orange or red. Flowers attract bumblebees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds. Small beaked non-ornamental capsules containing seed mature from July to September. In fall, foliage of northern bush honeysuckle turns yellow, orange, red, or purple while fall color of southern bush honeysuckle (including the cultivars below) is often lacking.
R. Routledge, bugwood.org
Non-ornamental seed capsule
Some cultivars grown in Minnesota:
|Cultivar||Variegated Foliage||Extended bloom period|
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