I think I have made a mistake by planting a hedge of clethra alnifolia along the fence in my backyard. I planted it (last Spring) there for several reasons, but my original goal was to plant something that could handle what I thought was swamp-like conditions and clay soil.
My first problem is that when the clethra came back this Spring, it greened up very slowly and it still is not full-looking. Secondly, how much do these plants love water? This area gets inundated when we have these 3 day rainstorms that soak the backyard. It also sees plenty of water from massive summer rainstorms. In fact, we have seen both in the last week. Is it too much rain? Not enough?
Secondly, I'd like to know how fast these things grow. I see no real increase in plant size and I'd ultimately like a hedge, not just a row of clethra. Also I planted both the pink variety 'Hummingbird' and the white. Would this affect anything? Did I blow it? They just look like weedy seedlings.
I cut off all dead wood (there was a lot of it) and fertilized with an all-purpose fertilizer. Was that wrong?
I don't want to rip these out because they look like hell. I'm hoping someone will say it takes years for them to fill in and just have some patience. Or, is clethra just a scraggly, ugly plant?