Plant Encyclopedia

Kodiak® Black

Diervilla rivularis

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Kodiak® Black plant

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Originating from North America, the Kodiak® Black Diervilla rivularis stands out with its deep burgundy-black foliage, intensified during spring and autumn, beautifully contrasting with its bright yellow flowers in the summer. This deciduous shrub, which grows between 3 to 4 feet in height and spread, is a versatile choice, flourishing whether in full sun or shade. It's a magnet for pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, adding life to any garden.

Moreover, its adaptability is showcased in its drought tolerance and deer resistance, making it an ideal fit for gardens in hardiness zones 4 to 7. Not to be mistaken for the invasive "bush honeysuckle", the Kodiak® Black is non-invasive and requires minimal care. A simple trim in the spring and an occasional dose of controlled-release fertilizer will ensure its vibrant display throughout the seasons.

Plant Attributes

The Kodiak® Black Diervilla rivularis, with its North American origins, sets itself apart with deep burgundy-black foliage, most vibrant during transitional seasons. With a medium stature reaching 3 to 4 feet, this shrub delights with its bright yellow summer blooms.

It's a versatile addition to any garden, thriving in a spectrum of light conditions. Beyond its visual allure, this shrub is a beacon for pollinators and stands strong against deer, ensuring both beauty and practicality in landscaping. Contrary to its "bush honeysuckle" nickname, gardeners can be assured of its non-invasive nature.

Landscape Use

  1. Border Plant: Its medium height and striking contrast between its burgundy-black foliage and bright yellow flowers make it a standout when planted along garden borders or pathways.
  2. Mass Planting: Given its non-invasive nature, Kodiak® Black can be planted en masse to create a sea of dark foliage and vibrant flowers, providing a dense ground cover or a visual focal point in larger gardens.
  3. Naturalizing: It can be used in naturalized settings, seamlessly blending with other native plants and adding diversity to the environment.
  4. Container Planting: Thanks to its mounded habit, it can serve as a 'thriller' in container gardens, acting as the main attraction surrounded by other complementary plants.
  5. Erosion Control: Its robust root system and adaptability to various conditions make it suitable for areas prone to erosion, helping stabilize the soil.

Planting & Care


  1. Selection: Choose a site that aligns with the plant’s exposure preferences, which range from full sun to shade.
  2. Soil: While the Kodiak® Black is adaptable to most soil types, it thrives best in well-draining soil. Before planting, ensure the soil is loose and free from large clumps.
  3. Spacing: Given its mature size, plant each shrub 48 to 60 inches apart to allow ample room for growth.
  4. Depth: Dig a hole twice the width of the plant's root ball and just as deep. Place the plant in the hole ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the ground surface. Backfill the hole, firming the soil as you go.
  5. Watering: After planting, water thoroughly to settle the soil.


  1. Watering: The Kodiak® Black is drought-tolerant once established. However, during its first growing season, ensure it receives regular water. After that, moderate watering will suffice, especially during prolonged dry spells.
  2. Fertilization: In spring, apply a controlled-release fertilizer to give the plant a boost and support its growth throughout the season.
  3. Pruning: Trim the shrub in early spring to maintain its shape and remove any dead or damaged branches. As it blooms on new wood, this will also encourage vibrant flower production.
  4. Protection: While the plant is deer-resistant, in areas with high deer activity, consider protective measures like deer netting or repellents.
  5. Disease and Pest Management: The Kodiak® Black is generally hardy, but keeping an eye out for common pests or signs of disease will ensure it remains healthy. Address any concerns with appropriate treatments or consult with a local nursery for advice.

Remember, even though Kodiak® Black is sometimes referred to as "bush honeysuckle", it's non-invasive, allowing for worry-free cultivation in your garden or landscape.

Additional Information

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Kodiak® Black


Plant Features

  • HEIGHT: 3-4′
  • HEAT ZONE: 7
  • WIDTH: 3-4′
  • SHAPE: Mounded
  • EXPOSURE: Full Sun to Shade
  • FLOWER COLOR: Yellow
  • FOLIAGE: Burgundy-black

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