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Clethra Vanilla Spice®
ENLARGE IMAGE Easy care and beautiful North American native!
  • Vanilla Spice summersweet is a native shrub with fragrant white flower spikes in summer.
  • Vanilla Spice summersweet is a native shrub with fragrant white flower spikes in summer.
  • Vanilla Spice summersweet is a native shrub with fragrant white flower spikes in summer.
NEW FOR 2020!

Clethra Vanilla Spice®

Supersized blooms deliver supersized fragrance
ZONE 4,5,6,7,8,9
As low as $14.99
  • Extra large flowers with amazing fragrance
  • Glossy green foliage turns bright yellow in fall
  • One of the best shrubs for shade
  • Deer resistant
  • Grows in full sun or part shade
  • Ship size: Starter Quart
  • View all TREES & SHRUBS
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Clethra Vanilla Spice® Description

  • Glorious cherry-vanilla fragrance in summer from white flower spikes
  • Vanilla Spice has extra-large blooms for even more fragrance and a showier display
  • Glossy green foliage develops excellent bright yellow fall color
  • Native shrub grows well in shade and wet soils
  • Deer resistant

Special features: Deer resistant, Shade tolerant, Wet soil, Native, Attracts pollinators, Fragrant

Quick Facts

  • Botanical name: Clethra alnifolia 'Caleb'
  • Common name:
    Summersweet, Clethra
  • Zone:
  • Sun exposure:
    Full sun (6+ hours) to part shade
  • Delivery:
    See schedule
  • Ship form:
    Starter quart
  • Soil type:
    Not fussy about soil; in nature, often grows in very wet areas.
  • Soil moisture:
    Moderate to wet
  • Height x width:
    3-6' tall and wide
  • Flower color:
  • Foliage color:
    Glossy green
  • Season of interest:
  • Uses:
    Specimen, Flower gardens, backdrop, Landscaping, Pollinator gardens, Wildlife gardens, Native plant gardens
  • Patent:USPP 21589
  • Cannot ship to:
    AK, CAN, HI, PR



Soil:  Though it can tolerate some dryness once established, summersweet does best in moist, even wet soils. Where it grows wild, it is often found alongside rivers and streams.  
Light: Full sun (6+ hrs/day) to part shade (4-6 hrs sun/day). Can grow in deeper shade but flowering and fall color will not be as intense.
Water:  Moderate to wet
Space:  Min. 3' apart
Fertilizing:  Little fertilizer is needed.
Winterizing:  No special treatment is required. A 2-3" layer of shredded bark mulch is recommended.
Maintenance:  No special care is required. Trim as needed in early spring.