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Growing Summersweet

Growing Summersweet

Ruby Spice Summersweet


A hardy North American native shrub with spikes of fragrant flowers in late summer. Plants leaf out late in the season and leaves develop an attractive yellow fall color. Good for hedges, butterfly gardens, around ponds, and in rain gardens. Hardy in zones 4 to 9. Also called Sweet Pepperbush. Plant in spring after the danger of frost has passed. Prepare a hole 12 to 18 inches deep and wide amended with compost or other organic matter, and plant with the roots slightly deeper than when in the pot.


Easy-to-grow plants for full sun to full shade. Plants tolerate heat, drought, heavy soil, and wet soil conditions. Has a suckering habit. Suckers can be pruned out or allowed to develop if a spreading habit is desired.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use full rates of Gromax Fertilizer Tablets 20-10-5 (51165), Algoflash All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 (51085), or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221).

Alternative Products

Other flowering shrubs for moist to wet soils include Bergeson Compact Dogwood (20329), Sambucus, and Viburnum.

Complimentary Products

Moderate feeders that benefit from occasional fertilization. Other hardy shrubs with fragrant flowers include Butterfly Bush, Little Henry Sweetspire (20587), and Snow Dwarf Mockorange (20710).

Summersweet Facts

Free from serious pest problems. Ruby Spice Summersweet (20307) is a sport of Pink Spire discovered in 1992.

Growing Tips