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Clethra alnifolia 'Sixteen Candles' (Sweet pepperbush)

Clethra alnifolia 'Sixteen Candles' Photo/Illustration: Courtesy Forest Farm


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Clethra alnifolia 'Sixteen Candles' KLETH-rah all-nih-FOE-lee-ah Common Name: Sweet pepperbush Genus: Clethra
‘Sixteen Candles’ summersweet is a newer cultivar of a popular native shrub. This compact selection reaches 3 to 5 feet tall. In summer, ‘Sixteen Candles’ is topped with aromatic, erect, butterfly-enticing white blooms for 4 to 6 weeks. In fall, the leaves turn an attractive yellow.
Noteworthy characteristics: A shorter cultivar selected for its sturdy branching system and large (up to 6 inches), upright, white flowering "candles".
Care: Like other summersweets, ‘Sixteen Candles’ loves wet locations in partial shade but does fine in average garden soils in full sun. Supply plants with composted organic matter to encourage roots to spread. Wandering roots and stems can easily be chopped off and transplanted.
Propagation: Sow seed at 43 to 54°F in spring or autumn. Root greenwood cuttings in early summer.
Problems: Fungal dieback and root rot can occur.
Height 3 ft. to 6 ft.
Spread 3 ft. to 6 ft.
Growth Habit Spreads
Growth Pace Invasive/Aggressive Grower
Light Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture Medium Moisture
Maintenance Low
Tolerance Deer Tolerant
Characteristics Attracts Hummingbirds; Fragrant Flowers; Native
Bloom Time Fall; Late Summer; Summer
Flower Color White Flower
Uses Beds and Borders
Style Shade, Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest Summer Interest, Fall Interest
Type Shrubs

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