Plant Encyclopedia

Kodiak Fresh®

Diervilla x splendens

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Kodiak Fresh®

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The Kodiak Fresh® (Diervilla x splendens) is a standout medium-sized deciduous shrub, characterized by its lime-yellow summer foliage and vibrant yellow flowers. As part of the Kodiak series, it transitions into a fiery palette of orange-red new growth and brilliant orange in fall. Native to North America, this adaptable plant thrives in varying light conditions, from full sun to shade. It's not only drought-tolerant and deer-resistant but also a favorite among bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Growing between 24-36 inches in both height and spread, it's perfect for borders or mass plantings.

Kodiak Fresh® Diervilla is known for its resilience and low maintenance. Suited for hardiness zones 3a to 8b, it's versatile in soil requirements and prefers a neutral pH. Annual care is straightforward: a trim in spring and a touch of controlled-release fertilizer. Though it might be called "bush honeysuckle", it's eco-friendly, as it's non-invasive unlike some honeysuckle varieties. This shrub is a blend of beauty, adaptability, and sustainability.

Plant Attributes

The Kodiak Fresh® stands out in the realm of horticulture due to its array of impressive attributes. One of its most captivating features is the transformation of its foliage; from a luminous lime-yellow during the summer months to a radiant orange-red as new growth emerges, culminating in a dazzling orange display in the fall. Complementing this color symphony are the brilliant yellow flower clusters, adding another layer of visual appeal. These vibrant colors not only enhance aesthetic beauty but also make it a prominent feature in any garden or landscape setting, turning heads with its dynamic display across seasons.

Beyond its visual allure, the Kodiak Fresh® Diervilla boasts functional and ecological attributes that are invaluable to gardeners and the environment. As a native to North America, it has evolved to be resilient, showing remarkable adaptability in different light conditions, from sun-drenched spots to shaded areas. Its drought tolerance ensures it remains lush even in less-than-ideal water conditions. Furthermore, its deer-resistant nature means it can thrive without the threat of being grazed upon. For those seeking to promote biodiversity in their gardens, this shrub is a magnet for pollinators, drawing in bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. All these characteristics make the Kodiak Fresh® Diervilla not just a plant of aesthetic value but also of ecological significance.

Landscape Use

The Kodiak Fresh® Diervilla x, with its striking features, offers various landscaping uses:

  • Border Plant: Its defined height and width make it an excellent choice for borders, providing structure to garden edges.
  • Mass Planting: Given its vibrant foliage and flower colors, it's ideal for mass plantings, creating a visually striking area in gardens or landscapes.
  • Specimen Plant: The unique purple foliage and pristine white flowers make it an outstanding standalone or centerpiece in gardens.
  • Naturalizing: Its native attributes allow it to blend seamlessly in natural or wild settings, helping in creating a native garden look.
  • Erosion Control: Its robust root system can help in stabilizing soil, making it suitable for slopes or areas prone to erosion.
  • Wildlife Attraction: Serving as a magnet for pollinators, it can be used in gardens aiming to attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
  • Mixed Shrub Border: Given its size and shape, it can be combined with other shrubs to create a diverse and layered shrub border.
  • Container Planting: Its upright rounded shape and vibrant colors make it a "thriller" in container gardens, especially in larger pots.

With its combination of beauty and adaptability, the Kodiak Fresh® Diervilla x enhances various landscape designs, from formal to natural settings.

Planting & Care

The Kodiak Fresh® Diervilla x, while naturally hardy and adaptable, will benefit from specific planting and care guidelines to ensure it thrives and showcases its beauty:


  • Location: Choose a location that offers full sun exposure, although it can adapt to varying light conditions.
  • Spacing: When planting multiple shrubs, ensure a space of 24-36 inches between each to allow for growth and proper air circulation.
  • Soil: While adaptable to a variety of soils, it thrives best in neutral pH soils. Ensure good drainage to prevent root rot.
  • Depth: Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball but no deeper. Position the plant so the top of the root ball is level with the ground surface, then backfill with soil and tamp down gently.


  • Watering: Initially, water regularly to establish roots. Once established, it's drought-tolerant but will benefit from consistent moisture, especially during dry spells.
  • Fertilization: In spring, apply a controlled-release fertilizer to promote growth and flowering.
  • Pruning: Trim the shrub in spring to maintain its shape and promote new growth. Remove any dead or damaged branches as needed.
  • Pests and Diseases: Being native, it's generally resistant to most pests and diseases. However, always monitor for any signs and treat promptly if needed.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base (but not touching the stem) to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

Additional Information

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Kodiak Fresh®


Plant Features

  • Height: 3-4 feet
  • Width: 3-4 feet
  • Shape: Upright rounded
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Flower Color: White
  • Hardiness Zone: 3-7
  • Foliage: Purple
  • Heat Zone: 7


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