February’s Shrub of the Month

Diervilla sessilifolia: Bush Honeysuckle

Southern Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla sessilifolia) is a bright and tough shrub for the garden. It’s sunny yellow blossoms bloom most all summer and into the fall. The trumpet shaped flowers emerge at the end of its stems in clusters. The shrub is in the honeysuckle family and has a slight honeysuckle shaped flower, hence the name Southern Bush Honeysuckle. When the flowers are done blooming and have been pollinated, small, oblong fruit appears and hold through the winter. Not only is the flower attractive, but the leaves are lovely as well. New growth tends to be tinged with red and leafs out quickly in the spring. It is a fast-growing plant and it’s arching branches will get 3-5’ tall and wide. It spreads by suckers and is tough as nails. It grows well in zone 4 and can handle our cold winters here in the mountains of western North Carolina. We’ve seen it up on Mt. Pisgah where is flourished and it also grows well as lower elevations and into zone 8. Plant it in full sun for optimal growing conditions. It may need ample water while it sets root in your garden but after its established, it’s drought tolerant. Southern Bush Honeysuckle is a great shrub to support the bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. They love the nectar the plant produces, and it’s always covered in pollinators in the summer. Its small stature makes it great for home gardens. It can be planted as a specimen plant to attract pollinators, to create a hedge, or as a naturalized ground cover on a sunny bank. It loves to be cut back each season and is very, very low maintenance.  If you don’t have a Bush Honeysuckle in your garden, get one today!