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Sixteen Candles Summersweet - Clethra
A North American native plant, 'Sixteen Candles' Celthra, also known as Summersweet or Sweet Pepper Bush produces abundant upright spikes of pristine white fragrant flowers the hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators love. Get all the details below

Sixteen Candles Summersweet - Clethra

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Sixteen Candles Clethra - Summersweet
Clethra alnifolia 'Sixteen Candles'

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 4a-9b  Find Your Zone

Note:  For our customers who live and garden north of USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 4a, where this Clethra is not reliably 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, 'Sixteen Candles' Celthra, also known as Summersweet or Sweet Pepper Bush produces abundant upright spikes of pristine white fragrant flowers the hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators love. We like the common name Summersweet best because it describes the deliciously fragrant flowers that smell like sweet cotton candy. The color show continues in fall when the handsome green foliage turns to bright yellow. The shrub seldom exceeds 4 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. An easy-to-grow, multi-season shrub you will not regret planting...and the hummingbirds and pollinators will thank you for it!




Landscape & Garden Uses

Growing upright to about 4 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide, Sixteen Candles Clethra is useful in sunny landscape beds with moisture retentive soil but will grow well in shade or part shade with wet or moist soil conditions. Plant this one near the patio, deck or other outdoor living areas where the fragrance and hummingbord and and butterfly action can be enjoyed from close up. 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

Sixteen Candles Clethra is very easy 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. It prefers consistently moist soil in full sun but will tolerate dry periods in shade or part shade.




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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