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Clethra Sugartina®'Crystalina' - Summersweet

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Plant Size Info

The only thing that makes a warm summer day even sweeter is filling the air with delightful fragrance from great plants - that's why planting Sugartina Crystalina summersweet (Clethra alnifolia - sometimes it's also called pepperbush) will make you so happy! In summer, this fabulous native shrub is covered in white flower spikes that emit the most delicious scent: some say it smells like vanilla, others say cherry, and still, others say root beer. In any case, you'll find pollinators like swallowtail butterflies and bees love it, too. Come fall, its glossy green foliage turns an unforgettable bright yellow.

Sugartina Crystalina clethra from Proven Winners is about half the size of conventional selections, so it's easy to incorporate into your pollinator garden or use in landscaping, even in small spaces. More great news: it's quite shade tolerant, grows in wet soil, and is unbothered by deer! 

Vital details:

Plant size: 2.5-3' tall and wide

Light: full sun (6+ hrs/day), part sun (4-6 hrs/day). Can grow in deep shade but flowering and fall color will be diminished.

Water: Average to wet

Hardiness: USDA zone 4-9 (Find your hardiness zone)

Pollinator value: flowers attract butterflies and pollinators.

Notable features: fragrant, deer resistant, native, fall color, summer bloom, dwarf.

Pot size: one quart

Plant name: Clethra alnifolia 'Crystalina' pp#21,561, cbr#4160

Clethra Sugartina Crystalina has white flowers with a delicious scent
Closeup of Clethra Sugartina Crystalina white flowers
Clethra Sugartina Crystalina growing in a part shade garden
Closeup of Clethra Sugartina Crystalina flower
Sugartina Crystalina Summersweet growing in a garden with annuals, Hydrangea, and Arborvitae


Care & Planting Guide

After your plants have arrived:

The plants in this box have just spent a lot of time being jostled around in the dark and must be unboxed right away. Unpack the entire box, removing packaging material and plants. Remove any plastic covering the pot and/or soil surface and check if the soil is dry. Water anything that is dry or looks wilted. Any plants that have come unpotted during shipping can be replaced in their pots and their roots covered with soil.

Place plants in a cool, shaded spot out of direct sunlight for 24- 48 hours after unpacking them. This allows them a recovery and acclimation period before planting. If you must hold them longer, place them out of direct sunlight, wind, heat, and cold. Check daily for watering.

Our Guarantee

Our Guarantee

No Risk 60 Day Guarantee

We guarantee that you will be satisfied with your purchase and that your plants will arrive healthy, free of pests and diseases, and true to name.  If for any reason you are dissatisfied, notify us within 60 days of receipt of your order and we will refund you.

Fall Guarantee

Notify us within 7 days if you have a concern about orders shipped in autumn so we can make a note of it.  Warranty on such plants is extended to May 31 of the following year.  Our fall guarantee does not cover plants that are not hardy (i.e., able to survive winter) in your area, so please verify your USDA hardiness zone before purchasing. If you have questions about whether a plant can survive winter in your area, please call us before purchasing.

Our Larger Root Systems

We ship jumbo size plants with hefty root systems that outperform smaller plants obtained from other mail order nurseries.


We take great pride in our packaging.  Please contact us immediately if any of your boxes arrive damaged, or if you find any shortages or inconsistencies in the order. Please note: multiple boxes shipped by Fed Ex might not always arrive the same day. For more information, please see our shipping page.

Dormant Plants

Any plant shipped dormant in the spring is guaranteed to break dormancy even if it takes more than one month.  Call us directly if you have any concerns.


Photos of the plant(s) will be required so that we may provide the best assistance possible.


A plant refund is based on the plant cost less discounts and shipping charges.  Allow up to 2 weeks for processing.  We reserve the right to request a return of an item. Click here to request a refund.

Product Care

After 60 days, we cannot be responsible for product that is in your care.  This includes overwintering, animals, insects, diseases, poor planting, plants beyond their hardiness zone, drought, flooding, etc.  Our expert staff is here to assist you with any problem you may be experiencing.  Our goal is that you are successful with our product.

Our Record

Our parent company,, has successfully shipped high quality plants for more than ten years.  We take the same pride in the quality of plants sold here at

USDA Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones Map


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has devised a system to provide gardeners with a basic guide to plant hardiness – how much winter cold a plant can withstand. The Hardiness Zone Map system divides the United States and Canada into numbered zones based on lowest average winter temperature. Even within a zone, different micro-climates exist, such as large urban areas which may be warmer or land situated at different elevations.


The Hardiness Zone Map is a valuable tool but it is not foolproof. There are a variety of factors that can influence the hardiness of a given plant in a garden. These factors include: soil type, drainage, snow cover, exposure to wind, winter, rainfall (or lack of), as well as fluctuations in temperature.


When you are on a plant page, scroll down until you see the bold "Hardiness" text.

Shipping Policy

Use collapsible tabs for more detailed information that will help customers make a purchasing decision.

Ex: Shipping and return policies, size guides, and other common questions.

Shipping Policy

How to Contact Us: 
General Customer Service & Phone Orders:
Phone: 1-877-447-4769 (Monday-Friday 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST).
Mail:, 12601 120th Avenue, Grand Haven, MI 49417

Shipping costs

We try to keep shipping rates as low as possible to offer you the best value. Unlike other companies, with us, when you buy more, you save more on shipping! Our standard rates are:

 Order Value:

Shipping Cost:

$0.01 – $39.99


$40.00 – $59.99 


$60.00 – $99.99


$100.00+ FREE


Don't worry: our discount rates don't mean we cut corners on shipping. Our professional shipping staff packs each order - each plant! - with the care they'd take in their own gardens. Your plants will arrive in good, healthy condition, ready for you and your visiting pollinators to enjoy. 

Customer Reviews

Based on 18 reviews
A little early, but loving this plant!

Too early to tell its success, but I can confirm it definitely has taken hold and felt at home in my full-shade garden! Love this site and their information/knowledge/clarity. Will purchase form again.

Completely disappeared!

I planted three of these summersweet shrubs last year at our lake house. They were healthy when they arrived and seemed to do well before we left for the winter. Returning just yesterday, they have completely disappeared. No evidence of them at all. What do you think might have happened?

Hello! While we can't be sure of exactly what happened to your plants. it could be possible deer damage. In areas that experience high deer traffic, it can be common for deer to eat anything in sight. Please contact with your order number and photos of the plants so we may provide the best assistance. All orders are covered by our 60 day guarantee. We look forward to helping!


Packaged very carefully and well, fast shipping and healthy plants!

Larry B.
Not doing well

Can’t really comment on the plants. Ordered 2, both white stressed from shipping upon delivery. One struggling and not sure it will survive. The other is completely dead. I sent a message to the company asking for replacements; have not gotten a response yet.
So no actual plants to review yet.

We're sorry you're unsatisfied with your plants. After reviewing your order, it seems that we have gotten in contact with you regarding your order. Referring back to our response, we advised that they should bounce back, but to continue keeping a eye on them. If this is no longer the case, our team of horticulture experts would love to take another look at updated photos of the plants. Please contact us at with your order number and updated photos of the plants. We are more than happy to apply your warrany once we receive the updated pictures! Happy gardening!

Ethel J.

You Guys are Awesome! I just love my Beautiful plants. Thanks so much you guys are the best.