Plant Care Clethra Alnifolia

Clethra Alnifolia

About Clethra Alnifolia

Sweet pepperbush is a deciduous shrub that may grow to 5 to 10 feet. It is native to eastern North America from Maine south to Florida and west to Texas. Small, white flowers occur in dense clusters on long 3 to 6 inch terminal spikes mature in late summer. The flowers produce high quality nectar and pollen that supports hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators.


Clethra alnifolia

Also known as

Coastal Sweet Pepperbush, Coastal Sweet Pepperbush, Coastal sweetpepperbush and Summersweet

How to care for Clethra Alnifolia

💦 Water

How often to water your Clethra Alnifolia

Water needs for Clethra Alnifolia
0.5 cups
every 9

Clethra Alnifolia needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Clethra Alnifolia

Water 0.5 cups every

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

☀️ Light

Finding light for Coastal Sweet Pepperbush in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Clethra Alnifolia: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Clethra Alnifolia love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

Place it less than 1ft from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Clethra Alnifolia does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Clethra Alnifolia in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Clethra Alnifolia

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Clethra Alnifolia: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Clethra Alnifolia after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Clethra Alnifolia is generally considered an easy-to-care-for plant and makes a great choice for beginners!

Benefits of Growing Coastal Sweet Pepperbush →

Common Coastal Sweet Pepperbush Problems →

💦 Water Needs

Clethra Alnifolia prefers for the soil to dry out between waterings and should be watered regularly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Coastal Sweet Pepperbush Water Frequency →

Coastal Sweet Pepperbush Root Rot →

☀️ Sunlight Needs

Clethra Alnifolia requires abundant, bright and direct light. Place it less than one foot from a window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Coastal Sweet Pepperbush Light Requirements →

Coastal Sweet Pepperbush Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →

🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Greg does not have confirmed data on this plant’s toxicity. If you, a family member, or a pet consumes plant material of unknown toxicity, it’s always best to consult a medical professional.

If you or someone else ingested this plant, call Poison Control at US (800) 222-1222. If a pet consumed this plant, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA at US (888) 426-4435.

🪴 Soil

Clethra Alnifolia does best in well-draining soil. A good soil will contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Adding a handful of perlite to regular store-bought potting soil should do the trick!

Best Soil Mix for Coastal Sweet Pepperbush →

When and How to Successfully Repot Coastal Sweet Pepperbush →

💩 Fertilizer

Clethra Alnifolia should be repotted after it doubles in size or once a year, whichever comes first. Fresh potting soil has all the nutrients your plant needs, so as long as it’s refreshed yearly, you shouldn’t need to use fertilizer. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!

⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Clethra Alnifolia grows vertically and new growth will emerge from the top of the plant.

How and When to Prune Coastal Sweet Pepperbush →

🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Clethra Alnifolia can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 3a-9b. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Coastal Sweet Pepperbush Temperature Tolerance →

🌱 Propagation

Clethra Alnifolia can be propagated by division into new individual plants.

  • Check to see if there is more than one plant. In some cases they may still be beneath the soil surface. If you feel confident, you may remove the soil to check for baby plantlets below!
  • If there are multiple plants growing, unpot the plant and gently tug the plants apart, being careful not to disturb too many of the roots. They may be connected by large root segments which you may need to break to free the plantlet.
  • Pot up the new plant in well-draining soil
  • Repot the parent plant back into its original pot

🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.

Care Summary for Clethra Alnifolia

Clethra Alnifolia

Clethra Alnifolia

Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 9 days


< 1ft from a window


Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

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