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How to Grow Cleome


Annual, Cleome Hassleana, Spinosa

Cleome is an easy to grow annual. This plant produces an elegant display in flower gardens, and naturalized as a wildflower. Native to South America, this tall plant includes 19 species.

Spider Flowers have long, strong stems. As the stems grow, wispy flower blooms develop upward along the stem in colors of pink, magenta and ivory. Blooms are large, 6-8 inches across. As the upright flower blooms, long seed pods progress up the stem, resembling spider legs. 

Plant Height: Plants grow 2-6 feet, depending upon variety. Cleome looks best planted and growing in mass along the back of your flower garden. But, certainly use them anywhere. They are an attractive wildflower.

Spider Flowers make good cut flowers. Their musky scent is unpleasant to some people.

Cleome attracts birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, and bats. Bats are frequent pollinators.

Cleome plants are drought and heat tolerant.

Other Names: Spider flower

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Cleome Propagation:

Cleome are grown from seed. They are prolific re-seeders.

Sow seeds outdoors in the spring, after the last frost in your area, and after the soil has warmed up.

Or, you can start plants indoors, 4-6 weeks before the last frost.

Days to Germination: 10 - 14 days

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How to Grow Cleome - Spider Flowers:

Fast growing Cleome is easy to grow.

Select a location with full sunlight to light shade.

The plants grow well in average to good soil that is well draining.

Ideal soil pH: 6.0 - 7.0

Mix in a little compost into the soil at planting time. Fertilize plants once a month, with a general purpose fertilizer.

Plants tolerate a little crowding. Weed young plants to help them get off to a good start.

Water plants evenly throughout the growing period. Plants are heat and drought tolerant. They should be fine during mid-summer.

Mulch around plants to maintain a neat and tidy appearance.

Pruning plants is helpful to maintain appearance, create bushier plants, and to prolong blooms. Pinch growing tips of young plants. Prune away any dead leaves, stems. You can also remove seed pods, but that will take away from the "Spider Flower" look. 

Flowers Bloom: Summer to Fall

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Insect and Disease:

Insect and disease problems are infrequent.

Keep an eye out for aphids, spider mites and whiteflies.

Apply an insecticide, only if needed.

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