Growth Facts

Hummingbird Summersweet

Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird'
Let this Accent’s divine fragrance perfume your yard in summer.

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The perfect accompaniment to those blissful summer days! Hummingbird Summersweet makes midsummer days seem even more delightful with its intoxicating perfume. Whether your warm-weather backyard fun involves grilling out, playing badminton, swimming in the pool, or tending to your tomatoes, Summersweet’s powerful fragrance will make you want to linger outside a little longer. A pleasure for the eyes as well, this intriguing Accent also puts on a pretty display. Fluffy, creamy white flower spikes look like the tails of kittens who are pretending to be fierce. Plant Hummingbird near your porch, patio, or play area, and enjoy the show!

Growth Facts

The Story

It took a while, but Summersweet eventually got the respect it deserves. Although it was virtually unknown for ages, this charismatic Accent is native all over the eastern U.S., from Maine to Florida and west to eastern Texas. It normally grows as a large, spreading plant in wet soil. This petite version was discovered in the 1970s in Georgia and was first planted near Hummingbird Lake at Calloway Gardens. (Hence the name, though it does attract hummingbirds, along with butterflies and all kinds of pollinators.) In the 1990s, Hummingbird Summersweet finally started to attract the attention of the greater gardening community, winning many accolades and awards.

The Details

Hummingbird Summersweet will brighten your autumn landscape, too. When the days turn crisp and cool, Hummingbird puts on another glorious show. Its dark, forest green leaves suddenly become a luminous yellow, shining like polished gold.

How to Grow

Remarkably adaptable, Hummingbird Summersweet is equally at home in the hot, sticky South as in the frigid North. Although it originated in Georgia, it tolerates temperature drops to -30ºF!It performs well in both sun and shade. The one thing it does demand is a steady supply of water. Don’t let it dry out. This is an excellent choice for a rain garden or for that troublesome low spot in your yard that stay soggy much of the time. Prune Hummingbird in the spring or anytime you like—it blooms on the new wood of the season, so an early trim won’t remove flower buds.

Size Guide

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