Seems like I didn't water my Clethra alnifolia quite enough during this terribly dry summer. It looks quite burnt. I've started to water it every other day now and I'm wondering about the chances of it coming back, if not this year, then next. Should I should fertilize at this point or wait for the spring? Should I snip the dead flowers off or leave them? Or should I just look into buying another plant and take better care next time? Thank you.
As long as the plant is not already too far gone and if it still has green, pliable branches/stems, then it should be okay, but you must remember to continue with its overall care. I would not fertilize while the plant is under stress, as this could actually do more harm than good. You can, however, cut back any dead growth and simply continue caring for it as usual. If the plant survives winter, you should begin to see new growth come spring, if not sooner.