Description & Overview

Kodiak® Orange bush honeysuckle is unlike other invasive honeysuckle types. This is not a true honeysuckle, but rather the flowers resemble those of true honeysuckles. This cultivar is a hybrid of two U.S.-native plants, so if you’re trying to ‘go native’, this is a wonderful compromise for your yard!

In spring, the new growth is orange which is a welcoming site is after a long winter. The foliage finally changes to shades of green and yellow that are quickly accented by yellow, tubular flowers. At the nursery, we’ve noticed plants blooming throughout spring and summer which is perfect for helping pollinators and adding even more interest this plant. As days start getting shorter, leaves begin their metamorphosis to brilliant shades of red and orange that are so intense, you’ll be sure to turn heads. We really like this plant!

Core Characteristics

Category: Shrub

Wisconsin Native: No - Variety of North American Native

USDA Hardiness Zone: to zone 4

Mature Height: 3-4 feet

Mature Spread: 3-4 feet

Growth Rate: Moderate

Growth Form: Mounded

Light Requirements: Full Sun to Full Shade

Site Requirements: Well-drained, average

Flower: Yellow

Bloom Period: June – July, Early to mid-summer – or longer!

Foliage: Green, Yellow

Fall Color: Bright red-orange

Urban Approved: Yes

Fruit Notes: 2-valved capsule, 1/3-1/2” long, green-brown, seeds are golden brown, very small.

Suggested Uses

Kodiak® Orange Diervilla is extremely adaptable to where it can be planted, from full sun to full shade! Be aware that more flowers and the best fall color are produced when placed in more sun than shade. Diervilla can tolerate a wide range of soil types and pH levels. Rocky, loamy, sandy, clay soils are no problem for this plant! Do not plant Diervilla in soggy, wet soils where drainage may be poor.

Try Kodiak® Orange bush honeysuckle as foundation plantings. As a modest green shrub during spring a summer, it will give you the additional benefit of honeysuckle-like flowers throughout the season. Come fall, that spectacular fall color will truly shine and make your house stand out in the neighborhood! It looks especially appealing in front of darker-colored homes. Again, make sure to give this plant as much sun as possible to get the best possible fall color.

Do you want more than just green in your green screen? Try planting some Kodiak® Orange either mixed in with the screen or just in front of it. Mix in some red-twig dogwood (Cornus sericea) or Sunrise Forsythia (Forsythia x ‘Sunrise’) for added fall color and winter interest.

You can also line a walkway or driveway with these plants, they are drought tolerant and can handle those hot dry conditions. Have a sloped backyard or front yard where other plantings have failed? This bush honeysuckle can handle this difficult site situation, too!

What really stands out is when Kodiak® Orange is planted in masses. With that many flowers blooming constantly through the season, you’ll practically hear the plant buzzing! In fall, you’ll see a beautiful sea of red-orange shades that hold their color for weeks on end. Experiment with other fabulous fall color plantings that will elevate your landscape from those around you.

This is an excellent plant to replace invasive burning bushes!

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Wildlife Value

Host:

Laurel Sphinx (Sphinx kalmiae), Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis), Harris’s Three-spot (Harrisimemna trisignata)

Typically Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) provides cover for sharp-tailed grouse, while also providing them food as they consume the buds. Hummingbirds and bumblebees will visit the tubular flowers.

Fruit capsules are desirable to songbirds in autumn and winter.

Maintenance Tips

Prune plants in early spring with rejuvenation pruning. Flowers are produced on new growth.

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Pests/Problems

Black Walnut Tolerant: Yes
Deer Resistant: No
Rabbit Resistant: No

Although some sources may boast deer resistance, there are instances of deer nibbling on this plant.

Insufficient information about black walnut toxicity.

No serious pests.

Leaf Lore

Kodiak® Orange is a hybrid between Diervilla splendens and an unknown parent due to open pollination. Diervilla is a hybrid between our native Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) and South Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla sessilifolia).

Traditionally, Indigenous peoples used Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle for constipation, as an eyewash, for stomach pain, as a diuretic, to increase milk flow and more.

The genus, Diervilla, honors the French surgeon, Sieur de Dièrville, who introduced Diervilla lonicera to Europe.

Companion Plants

Can’t get enough of that fall color? Try adding these for that extra pop of color before winter:

Tamarack (Larix laricina), Common Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana), Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra), Spice Island Koreanspice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii ‘J.N. Select A’), Sweetspire (Itea virginica), Downy Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), American Filbert (Corylus americana), Red Oak (Quercus rubra), Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides), Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), Full Moon™ Maple (Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’), Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), Blackhawks Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii ‘Blackhawks’ PP27,949), Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Bevan’s Geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Bevan’ Variety’), Glossy Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa var. elata)

Viburnum lentago, Nannyberry Viburnum, is a wonderful native shrub with many fantastic qualities but is often underutilized in landscapes. Native to W…
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Written by Beth DeLain