VANILLA SPICE® Summersweet

Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun Height: 3-6' Width/Spread: 3-5'

Supersized flowers are comprised of florets that are about double the size of typical Clethra blooms. This showy selection of our native summersweet is the most lime-tolerant of any Clethra.


Light: Grows happily in full to part sun, but still manages to flower alright in shaded conditions. Flower coverage, fragrance, and brilliance of fall color are at their best with at least four hours of direct exposure to the sun.

Soil: Really thrives in moist soil with an acidic leaning pH.

Water: Enjoys very moist conditions and is a bit drought tolerant once it’s established.

Fertilizing: Doesn’t typically need fertilizer. If you know you have poor soil, you can apply some granular fertilizer formulated for flowering shrubs in the springtime when the soil is workable.

Pruning: Regular pruning isn’t needed, as it maintains its best looking, carefree habit naturally. If you’d like to shape it a bit, you can do so in the spring when the plant is just starting to put out new growth.

Botanical Name

Clethra alnifolia 'Caleb' PP#21,589, CBR#4167


4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Flower Color


Foliage Color







Full Sun, Part Sun


Moist, Wet

Season of Interest



Edging, Specimen


Attracts pollinators, Clay soil, Fall interest, Fragrant, Native, Salt tolerant

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Gardening Simplified magazine
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