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
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
Deciduous
Fruit: Other: 1/8 inch dark brown capsules.
Fruiting Time: Fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
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
Butterflies
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Bees
Awards and Recognitions: RHS AGM

Image
Common names
  • Sweet Pepperbush
  • Sweet Pepper Bush
  • Summersweet

Photo Gallery
Location: My garden in Kalama, Wa. Zone 8
Date: 2013-08-22
  • Uploaded by Joy

photo by: Derek Ramsey
Location: English Gardens, West Bloomfield, MI
Date: 2013-08-01
Location: My garden in Kalama, Wa. Zone 8
Date: 2013-08-22
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Brownstown Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-07-18
Location: My garden in Kalama, Wa. Zone 8
Date: 2012-08-07
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Vermont
Date: 2013-08-23
Photo by treehugger
Location: English Gardens, West Bloomfield, MI
Date: 2013-08-01
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2018-11-02
maturing shrub with golden fall color
Location: Hendersonville, NC
Date: 2022-08-01
Location: Clinton, Michigan 49236
Date: 2017-11-07
Clethra alnifolia 'Ruby Spice', 2016, Summersweet, KLEE-thra  al-
Location: Indiana zone 5
Date: 2014-07-26
Location: Indiana zone 5
Date: 2014-07-26
Location: English Gardens, West Bloomfield, MI
Date: 2013-08-01
Location: My garden in Kalama, Wa. Zone 8
Date: 2012-08-07
  • Uploaded by Joy

photo courtesy of Sunlight Gardens, www.sunlightgardens.com
Location: My garden in Kalama, Wa. Zone 8
Date: 2014-07-29
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: English Gardens, West Bloomfield, MI
Date: 2013-08-01
Location: English Gardens, West Bloomfield, MI
Date: 2013-08-01
Location: Long Island, NY 
Date: 2013-09-06
Location: Brownstown Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-07-18
Location: My garden in Kalama, Wa. Zone 8
Date: 2012-08-07
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Clinton, Michigan 49236
Date: 2017-11-07
Clethra alnifolia 'Ruby Spice', 2015, Summersweet, KLEE-thra  al-
Location: Washington
Date: 2015-10-23
Comments:
  • Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 14, 2012 12:46 PM concerning plant:
    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)
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 5, 2019 12:46 PM concerning plant:
    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.
  • Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Sep 7, 2013 6:26 PM concerning plant:
    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.
Plant Events from our members
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lovesblooms On April 27, 2015 Transplanted
lovesblooms On April 24, 2015 Obtained plant
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MissMew On May 1, 2004 Obtained plant
christine2 On May 12, 2021 Transplanted
christine2 On May 18, 2017 Obtained plant
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aspenhill On July 20, 2019 Obtained plant
Dutch Plant Farm - qty 1
SkirtGardener On September 10, 2020 Obtained plant
Chantell On May 14, 2022 Obtained plant
Planted at top of hill behind house between the 2 viburnums.
SuperHappyCamper On September 15, 2022 Obtained plant
Purchased from Pike's Nursery, clearance $15.
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