Clethra Hummingbird Summersweet Shrubs for Sale Online
Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird' (Summersweet) is a pollinator shrub that produces a plethora of white flowers for several months in mid to late summer when little else is blooming. It stands apart from the other Clethra Summersweets in that its blooms are especially compact and fragrant, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. The glossy round leaves turn an outstanding harvest gold in the fall. They need moist acidic soil, do not let the soil dry out. Some suckering may occur but can be left to achieve a natural look.
|Mature Height:||2.5 to 3 Feet|
|Mature Width:||3 to 4 Feet|
|Sunlight:||Full sun to part shade|
|Habit:||Dwarf, deciduous, densely branched, multi-stemmed clump forming|
|Flower Color:||Fragrant, white flowers in mid to late summer.|
|Foliage:||New growth emerges a dark green, changing to an golden yellow in the fall|
|Soil Condition:||Any well drained soil but will tolerate "wet feet"|
|Water Requirements:||Water well until established|
|Uses:||Extremely attractive when used as a focal point in the mixed border, mass planting, or a specimen planting. Provides unmatched winter interest especially when planted in front of a contrasting backdrop|
How to Care for Clethra Hummingbird Summersweet
Before you buy a Clethra Hummingbird Shrub, make sure to read about the recommended care instructions to keep this plant healthy and thriving.
How do I plant Clethra Hummingbird Shrubs?
We suggest when planting your newly purchased Clethra Hummingbirds plants that you dig a hole twice as wide as the root system but not deeper. Depending on the quality of your existing soil you may need to add a locally sourced compost or topsoil to the back-fill soil. We do not recommend using straight topsoil or compost as a back-fill soil because more times than not these products will retain entirely to much moisture and will cause the root system to rot. Adding compost or topsoil will help the young feeder roots to spread through the loose, nutrient rich soil, much easier than if you used solely the existing soil which more times than not will be hard and compacted. The most common cause of plant death after transplanting is planting the new plant to deep. That is why we do not recommend planting in a hole any deeper than the soil line of the plant in the pot. A good rule is that you should still be able to see the soil the plant was grown in after back-filling the hole.
How do I water Clethra Hummingbirds?
After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the Clethra Hummingbirds a good deep watering. This is not to be rushed. Most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5 a three gallon pot would be 15 and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks. Gator bag Jr. can be used to help aid in this process and also provide plants with a good soaking due to the slow release of the water into the root-zone of the plant. Soaker Hoses can also be used to water when planting a long hedge.
How do I fertilize Clethra Hummingbirds?
Feeding your plants is probably the single most forgotten part of growing healthy long lasting plants. We recommend feeding your Clethra Hummingbirds in the very early spring and again in mid fall after all new growth has hardened off. Bio-tone starter fertilizer is the best product to use at the time of planting. Clethra Hummingbirds tend to use more nitrogen than some other plant families. Our ideal fertilizer schedule for you to use is as follows. Do an early spring fertilizer with a product such as Espoma Tree-tone or Plant-tone at the recommended rate this will give the plant a boost of nitrogen that will be needed for healthy abundant foliage. Follow this up with a early summer application of Espoma Holly-Tone, this will provide the necessary nutrients and raise the acid level in the soil which Clethra Hummingbirds favor. Espoma products are easy to use, just sprinkle around the base of the plant and water it in. Be careful with products such as miracle-grow as these products can burn newly planted plants when not used at the recommended rates. Slow-release fertilizer can help prevent rapid sucker growth that is vulnerable to diseases and insects.
How do I mulch Clethra Hummingbirds?
We highly recommend that you mulch your Clethra Hummingbirds with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away which will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or trunk of the plant.