The Ultimate Guide To Growing And Caring For Cleome (Spider Flowers)

 Cleomes (Spider Flowers)

Cleomes (Spider Flowers)

Emma Downey

Emma Downey
Gardening Expert

Updated on 1/26/2023

Cleomes aren't the most popular annuals offered at nurseries, and one possible reason is that they have a rather weedy appearance when they are young seedlings. Cleome, unlike showy marigolds and sparkling New Guinea impatiens, typically do not begin flowering in the garden until after plants have been well established. Even though they may plant them in the early spring, many gardeners choose to put the seeds directly in the garden soil in the late fall instead.

Basic Information About Cleome

  • Cleome, spider flower, Rocky Mountain bee plant, and smelly clover are some of the common names for this plant.
  • Botanical Name: Cleome
  • Family: Cleomaceae
  • Annual is the type of plant.
  • Size: at Maturity Between 1.5 and 5 Feet Tall and Between 1 and 2 Feet Wide
  • Sun ExposureFull sun, half sun
  • Type of Soil: Normal, with Good Drainage
  • Soil pH: Acidic to neutral
  • The Summertime Season of Bloom
  • White, pink, lavender and rose are some flower colors.
  • Zones 10 and 11 of the Hardiness Scale
  • Native Territory
  • South American nations

Cleome Care

 cleomes.

cleomes.

Cleomes, which often grow to a height of between three and four feet, are an excellent choice for creating a high focal point in an annual garden, typically dominated by bedding plants of a more compact stature. Even though the pink, purple, white, and lavender blossoms do not give out a discernible scent, hummingbirds, butterflies, and hummingbird moths are drawn to these flowers throughout the summer.

Cleomes have a propensity to be hardy from the moment their seeds germinate and start growing, so they may be created simply from sources in the garden. Once it has been established, the plant appears to care for itself. In addition, the erect stalks do not need to be supported by stakes if they grow in direct sunlight. This plant is resistant to a wide range of illnesses and insects.

Light

The optimal conditions for growing cleome blooms are whole light, as the shade can cause the plants to become leggy and perhaps collapse. If you begin with transplants, you will see blooming from the beginning of summer up to the first frost. Depending on the temperature, gardeners who start cleome from seed often see the first flowers appear in the plant between the middle and end of June.

Soil

Soil

Soil

Cleomes do well in average garden soil or rich, well-drained garden loam.

Water

Cleomes can tolerate dry conditions after they have been established, which makes them an excellent addition to a xeriscape garden. If you cover their planting bed with a layer of organic mulch at least three inches thick, you may reduce the amount of water they require even more.

Temperature And Relative Humidity

Cleome seeds require temperatures that are significantly higher than average to germinate properly. Temperature swings during the day and the night are necessary for optimal seed germination. Temperatures should be between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night and vary from 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. The humidity levels should be between ninety and one hundred percent. Temperatures may need to be reduced as the plant matures, falling between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the night. Cleomes cannot tolerate temperatures below freezing.

Fertilizer

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If the soil is healthy and has sufficient drainage, together with the mulch, then fertilizer is not required.

Cleome Varieties

The following are just a handful of the 180 different types of cleomes that are popular among gardeners due to the colors they produce and how they grow:

  • This plant's 'Helen Campbell cultivar is notable for its blooms' pure white color and low maintenance requirements.
  • The sterile and thornless 'Linde Armstrong' cultivar grows to 12 to 18 inches and has pink flowers, roses, or mauve.
  • The fragrance of 'Rose Queen' is enticing and draws attention. This cultivar comes in various colors: rose, cherry, white, and purple. Take care not to injure yourself on the spines sprouting at each leaf's base.
  • The 'Sparkler Bush' is a one-of-a-kind hybrid plant with a bushy appearance with blooms that can be either white or pink.
  • The SpiritTM series features thorns and sticky leaves in addition to plants that may grow to heights of two to four feet and have a more branching growth pattern. Blooms can be a variety of colors, including white, pink, or lavender.

Pruning Process

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Cleomes only require very minimal pruning in the spring. During the growth season, you should prune away dead leaves or damaged parts. Before planting, prune the plants to be about half their original size, promoting new development after the plants are established in the ground.

Propagating Cleomes

Because cleomes may be grown from their seeds, it is not only useless to attempt to propagate them, but it is also unlikely to be successful.

How To Germinate And Grow Cleomes From Their Seeds

How To Germinate And Grow Cleomes From Their Seeds

How To Germinate And Grow Cleomes From Their Seeds

Growing cleome plants from their seeds is a simple process in the garden, and it could be too easy because the plants tend to self-seed to the point that it annoys them. Because the seeds must be exposed to light to germinate, you may scatter them in the garden once the threat of frost has passed and then check for seedlings after ten days. Alternately, you may seed them in the fall, and they will germinate in your garden the following year during the growing season when the conditions are ideal for them to do so.

If you decide to let the plants produce their seeds, you will need to trim the freshly sprouting seedlings so that there is at least 18 inches of space between each plant. It increases the vitality of individual plants, which in turn encourages each plant to produce a more significant number of blooms. Remove the long seed pods that grow on cleome if you wish to reduce the amount of self-seeding the plant does.

Putting Cleomes In Pots And Repotting Them

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It is possible to cultivate cleome in big pots; however, use a compact variety such as one from the SparklerTM line for the best results. To create a full and lush container, combine your potted cleomes with vincas, which form a mound, and petunias, which trail down the sides of the container.

The Secret To Making Cleomes Flower

Cleomes are among the easiest flowers to cultivate and care for, which is excellent news for those who enjoy gardening at home. Once established, they are resistant to dryness and react well to trimming; a regular watering practice will help you get them started on the right foot. Cleomes may be maintained in a tidier state by removing their spent flowers, a process known as deadheading. It stimulates new growth and prevents plants from producing their seeds.

Some Common Problems Can Affect Cleomes.

Some Common Problems Can Affect Cleomes.

Some Common Problems Can Affect Cleomes.

Cleomes are unexpectedly resistant to pests and highly durable against specific plant diseases. If the plants are too close, mildew and rust may become an issue; you should thin the plants to avoid this problem. If the soil is unhealthy, the plants will not be as healthy as they could be, attracting insects that might reduce the plant's lifespan. If the ground is good, the plants will be more beneficial than they could be.

Frequently Asked Questions