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Bush Honeysuckle Handles Dry Shade

Virtues: Bush honeysuckle is a summer-blooming shrub that grows easily in dry, shaded areas such as underneath trees. Its summer flowers provide food for bumblebees and other pollinators.

bush honeysuckle

Common name: Bush honeysuckle

Botanical name:Diervilla lonicera

Exposure: Part shade or full shade

Season: Summer for flowers; fall for colorful foliage

Flowers: Tubular yellow flowers appear in summer. They look like honeysuckle flowers, hence the common name for this shrub, which is not related to true honeysuckle (Lonicera).

Foliage: Toothed green leaves cover bush honeysuckle from spring through summer. In fall the leaves turn red.

Habit: This is a deciduous shrub with arching or horizontal branches. It grows 2 to 3 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. It spreads by rhizomes (underground stems) and it can form a large colony over time.

Origins:Diervilla lonicera is native to roughly the eastern half of North America, where it grows in dry woods.

How to grow bush honeysuckle: Site in part shade or full shade, in dry to medium, well-drained soil. More sunlight will encourage better fall foliage color. Because bush honeysuckle can spread to form a thicket, site it where this behavior is not unwelcome, such as on a dry slope or in shade where little else will grow. Drought tolerant. USDA Zones 3–7.

Image by Rob Routledge, Sault College, License: CC BY 3.0