Content Detail

Georgia bush-honeysuckle also called mountain bush-honeysuckle is a fast growing, eastern U.S. native found in the southern Appalachian Mountains in moist wooded areas and woodland edges. The mounding habit and arching stems produce small clusters of yellow trumpet blooms in July and August. New growth emerges with a bronze-red foliage, which later turns green then to a lovely red in the fall. Adapts to most soils and is drought tolerant when established.

  • Family (English) Bush-honeysuckle
  • Family (botanic) Diervillaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Native locale North America
  • Size range Medium shrub (5-8 feet), Small shrub (3-5 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Dry soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Road salt
  • Season of interest early fall, early summer, late spring, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Yellow
  • Shape or form Mounded, Multi-stemmed, Round
  • Growth rate Moderate, Slow

Size & form:

This is a low growing, mounded shrub reaching 3 to 4 feet high and wide. 

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to eastern U.S. and found along roadsides and moist wooded areas in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

Bark color and texture:

Its bark is gray-brown twiggy stems.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Leaves are opposite, 2 to 3 inch long, oblong leaves, and pubescent on both top and bottom. New foliage is a bronzy-red turning dark green and yellow-red in autumn.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Flowers are lemon-yellow, 1-inch long panicle (cymes) that appear in late spring to mid-summer.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruit are a dehiscent capsule and are not ornamentally important.

Plant care:

It grows well in part shade to full sun and is found along wood edges, is adaptable to a wide range of soil pH but prefers soils with organic matter to retain moisture. It does not tolerate wet soils but is tolerant of dry soil once established. Plants tend to sucker so prune unwanted suckers. This shrub benefits with a light layer of mulch to retain moisture. 

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

There are no serious pests or diseases for this shrub. It is drought and deer resistant.

Kodiak® Georgia bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla rivularis ‘SMNDRSF’):

This is a series of cultivars that  is tough growing, 3 to 4 feet high and wide shrubs for sun or shade.  Depending on the exact cultivar, the foliage may be orange, red or dark purple.

Summer Stars™ Georgia bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla rivularis ‘Morton’):

A Chicagoland Grows™ Introduction cultivar that has a compact habit reaching 3 to 4 feet high and wide. It has dark green foliage, lemon-yellow summer flowers, and wine red fall color.


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