PlantsClethra→Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia 'Ruby Spice')

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Sweet Pepperbush
Give a thumbs up Sweet Pepper Bush
Give a thumbs up Summersweet

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 4-6 feet
Plant Spread: 3-5 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Fruit: Other: 1/8 inch dark brown capsules.
Fruiting Time: Fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
Other: Rose pink
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Other: July to August
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Water gardens
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Bees


Celebrating Winter Interest!Celebrating Winter Interest!
By dave on February 14, 2015

Pine cones, seed heads, winter bloomers, colorful red berries, and much more! Let's kick off Winter Interest Week with a look at the most popular plants in our database that give some kind of interest to our gardens in the winter. We also introduce a new gallery option in our database for winter interest, with bonus acorns this week!

(Full article9 comments)
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Photo gallery:

Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 14, 2012 12:46 PM

A sport of 'Pink Spires', 'Ruby Spice' is considered perhaps the finest truly pink Summersweet. It has 4 to 5 inch spikes of good, bright rose-pink fragrant flowers for a month or more in mid-summer. It has a dense suckering habit growing to 8 feet by 6 feet and prefers sun or part shade and moisture. (Sunlight Gardens)

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 5, 2019 12:46 PM

This cultivar was selected from a branch sport of 'Pink Spire' in 1992 and has slightly darker more rose-colored flowers that show the color more throughout the petals and tends to hold its color a little longer.

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Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Sep 7, 2013 6:26 PM

The summer blooms of Ruby Spice Clethra attract all sorts of pollinators, from bumble bees to wasps, all of which flock to the sweetly scented flower spikes. Clethra grows well in either sun or shade, but it seems to need more water in a sunnier location.

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Plant Events from our members
lovesblooms On July 9, 2015 Bloomed
lovesblooms On April 27, 2015 Transplanted
lovesblooms On April 24, 2015 Obtained plant
MissMew On June 5, 2017 Obtained plant
Suzanne (Connon). Replaced original plant
MissMew On May 1, 2004 Obtained plant
christine2 On May 18, 2017 Obtained plant
aspenhill On July 20, 2019 Obtained plant
Dutch Plant Farm - qty 1
SkirtGardener On September 10, 2020 Obtained plant
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
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Has anyone renovated their entire yard? by SkipNJ Jan 29, 2021 11:42 PM 27
Fall Swap Discussion Thread by Catmint20906 Oct 13, 2016 10:19 AM 264

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