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Ruby Spice Summersweet - Clethra
Ruby Spice is the darkest pink of all of the Summersweet (Sweet Pepperbush) varieties we've seen. More details below

Ruby Spice Summersweet - Clethra

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Ruby Spice Clethra - Summersweet
Clethra alnifolia 'Ruby Spice'

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 3b-9b  Find Your Zone >

Note:  For our customers who live and garden north of USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 3b, where this Clethra is not winter hardy, you'll be happy to know it can be grown in containers that can be brought indoors during winter and placed back outside when temperatures warm up in spring.

Special Attributes

A North American native plant, 'Ruby Spice' is the darkest pink of all of the Summersweet (Sweet Pepperbush) varieties we've seen. We like the common name Summersweet best because it describes the deliciously fragrant flowers that smell like sweet cotton candy! In summer, the bottlebrush-like flowers are irresistible to hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinating insects. The color show continues in fall when the handsome green foliage ignites into flaming shades of yellow. The shrub seldom exceeds 4 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. An easy-to-grow, multiseason shrub you will not regret planting!

Landscape & Garden Uses

Growing upright to about 5 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide, Ruby Spice Clethra is most useful in sunny landscape beds with moisture retentive soil, though it will tolerant a fair amount of shade and dry soil conditions. Plant it near windows or around outdoor living areas where the fragrance can be enjoyed. A fine addition to butterfly and hummingbird gardens, wildlife gardens, cottage gardens, and fragrance gardens.  

Spacing:  3' for solid hedges;  8' or more for space between plants

Cultural Preferences

Ruby Spice Clethra is a very easy plant to grow and is free of any pest and disease problems. It grows best in consistently moist, slightly acid soils in sun to part shade however tolerates a range of conditions including shade, wet soil, and salt spray.

Helpful Articles

Click on the link below to get helpful advice from our experts on how to plant and care for Clethra Summersweet plants.

Plant Details

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 3b-9b  Find Your Zone >
Plant Type:  Deciduous Flowering Shrub
Height at Maturity:  5-6'
Width at Maturity:  3-4'
Spacing:  3' for solid hedges; 6'+ for space between plants
Growth Habit / Form:  Bushy, Upright
Growth Rate:  Moderate to Fast
Flower Color:  Bright Pink
Flower Size:  Medium, 1"wide x 3-4" long
Flowering Period:  Early to Mid-Summer
Flower Type:  Spires
Fragrant Flowers:  Yes, smells like candy!
Foliage Color:  Green
Fragrant Foliage:  No
Sun Needs:  Full Sun or Mostly Sun, Morning Sun with Dappled or Afternoon Shade, All Day Filtered Sun, Morning Shade with Evening Sun
Water Needs:  Average
Soil Type:  Clay (Amended), Loam, Sand, Silt 
Soil Moisture / Drainage:  Well Drained Moist to Poorly Drained
Soil pH:  5.5 - 7.5 (Acid to Slightly Alkaline)
Maintenance / Care:  Very Low
Attracts:  Butterflies. Hummingbirds, Pollinating Insects, Visual Attention
Resistances:  Deer, Disease, Heat, Insect, Salt Air, Wet Soils

Plant Long & Prosper!

Questions? Contact Us!

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Hi-Yield Iron Plus Soil Acidifier
Corona 3160 Bypass Pruner 3/4-Inch Cut
LimeLite Pelletized Lime
Hi-Yield Soil Sulfur

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