Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet)

ClethraClethra alnifolia, also know as Summersweet Clethra, is a beautiful, fragrant, summer blooming, compact shrub.  These shrubs bloom in July and August when the blooms of many other shrubs have faded.  They add color to the garden as well as fill it with a sweet and spicy scent.  ‘Ruby Spice’ features panicles of pink, fragrant blooms while ‘Vanilla Spice’ blooms white.  Deciduous leaves are a nice medium to deep green and in fall they turn an attractive golden yellow.

These shrubs are native and tolerate wet or dry conditions once established.  They tolerate full sun to full shade but grow best in light or dappled shade receiving morning sun.  Blooms will still grace the plant if planted in shade.  Clethra will grow best in acidic, well-draining soil.  Amend clay soils with pine bark and soil conditioner for best drainage.  Clethra is hardy and carefree.