help with Clethra in Central FL

Casselberry, FL(Zone 9b)

Hi. I got a Clethra alnifolia "Rosea" a few years ago and I have never seen more than a few leaves on it. I put it in an area that stays moist, not boggy, but never actually gets dry either, in full sun. Most of the year I have nothing but buds that are waiting to just pop up and grow. One year I thought it died, but i rubbed a tip and it was still green. This year I put it in a more shaded area, and the buds started to open, but then nothing. It is still alive, but I dont know what else to do with it.

This has been one of my most challenging plantings. I am tempted to put a vine near it so at least it will *look* green. A nice moonvine would be pretty. I still have those popping up once in a while.

Thanks for any words of wisdom. I dont want to get rid of it, it cost too much. :(

Casselberry, FL(Zone 9b)

Clethra refers to Summersweet. I am looking at next weekend to put a vine on it, to help out. Any help really is appreciated. Thanks for looking... Ana

Lake City, FL(Zone 8b)

Ana - I have two Clethras - the Rosea and another variety. The Rosea is in a pot and doing OK - seems to just exist. The other one is in the ground in shade for most of the day - gets some afternoon sun and is also doing OK - I've had these plants for about 2 years now and they never have bloomed. I think I am going to transplant the one and plant the other in morning sun and filtered afternoon shade - the summer heat and humidity really seem to take a toll on these plants. They seem to like alot of water and this year I haven't been able to put in an irrigation system yet so I've been depending alot on mother nature to do the watering.

I've also been experimenting with a new fertilizer "Naturize" that is put out by a Jacksonville company and sold at Walmart. So far I've seen a difference in the appearance and growth of the plants that I have used this stuff on - so I'm going to try and put some of this stuff on those plants and see if I see a difference.

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