The cleome flower is a perennial plant if grown in USDA hardiness zones 10 or 11, but classed as an annual plant in other areas of the United States.
This flower is scientifically known as cleome hassleriana or cleome, which is far easier to remember than the scientific name for most plants.
Cleome flowers vary in color. Some can be a rich lilac, while others have soft pink petals, and some flowers are so pale that they look white.
This natural variation in colors makes them great options for landscaping your garden.
Here is a complete care guide and information about the cleome flower for you to look through.
You should know whether this is the right flower for your garden by the end of this post. Enjoy!
|Scientific Name||Cleome hassleriana|
|Common Names||Spider flower, spider plant, or grandfather’s whiskers|
|Hardiness||Zones 10 and 11|
|Indoor or Outdoor Plant?||Outdoor plant|
|Sun Exposure||At least six hours of sunlight per day|
|Water||Drought tolerant once established|
|Size||Up to five feet tall with a two-feet spread|
|Soil Type||Well-drained soil of average quality|
|Flower||Pink, lilac, and white flowers|
|Growing Difficulty Level||Very easy as it can self-seed|
Cleome Flower Appearance and Characteristics
The cleome plant is very striking. It can grow up to five feet tall and produces very delicate but stunning flowers in an array of pinks and lilacs.
These plants not only grow very tall, but they also spread out up to two feet wide.
Cleome Flower Growing Guide
The best thing about growing cleome flowers is that you can decide on their location in your garden by thinking of where they will look best, rather than having to consider their light needs, especially if you live in a hot, sunny location.
You will also be happy to learn that these plants re-seed themselves, so you won’t need to re-plant them in the summer.
Follow the instructions in this guide if you want to learn how to grow your cleome flower to its full potential. Good luck!
Cleome flowers are super drought tolerant once the plant is fully established. During the hot summer months, it is best practice to keep the soil a little moist so that your plants bloom beautifully.
I suggest keeping the soil moist one inch beneath the surface of the soil to ensure your plant doesn’t dry out.
Make sure to check the soil’s moisture levels daily during drought or long periods with no rainfall or water.
Cleome flowers grow in most light conditions; however, they should be grown in full sun for the best results.
Growing your plant in excess shade will prompt it to grow so quickly that it may not hold its shape at such great heights.
The quality of the flowers produced will also highly depend on the light that your plant gets.
Plants with high exposure to sunlight will produce beautiful, bright flowers that are very strong and robust.
You can plant cleomes in very simple garden foam with good drainage or use average garden soil. This is another reason why gardeners love this plant so much!
As long as the soil drains away excess water quickly, then your cleome flower plants will do just fine.
Planting this plant in dense clay soil may cause its roots to rot even if you amend the clay soil.
Temperature and Humidity
These plants grow well in areas with fluctuating day to night temperatures.
The ideal day temperatures for cleomes are between 75 to 80 F during the day and 60 to 65 F at night.
If you are planning to plant these plants from seedlings, then the day temperatures should stay between 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and night temperatures should be between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Germinating seeds appreciate humidity that is between 90 and 100%.
Potting and Re-Potting
You can plant these pots in your garden rather than planting them directly into the ground if you wish.
This might be convenient for you if you want to control the size of the plant.
With that being said, you will get the best out of your plant if you plant them directly into your garden bed.
Large plants are hard to re-pot, so once your cleome flower plant is established, it will be best to leave it where it is undisturbed.
Propagating and Pruning
You can propagate Cleome plants from seeds very easily. Here is a step-by-step guide for you to use:
Cultivate a Deep Bed
You should cultivate the garden bed as deeply as possible. Make sure that the soil is free of any clumps and rake it smooth once you are satisfied that the soil is ready.
Dig Holes Four Feet Apart
Dig holes that are four feet apart so that your plants have enough room to spread out and grow without interference.
You should put between four and six seeds in each hole so that there is a high chance of successful growth.
Add Seeds and Soil
Once you are happy with the number of seeds you have planted and their location, you can cover them with soil.
Leave to Germinate Naturally After the Last Frost
These seeds will germinate naturally during the warm summer months, so don’t worry about your seeds during the cold months, as they will stay dormant during the frost.
You May Also Like: The Complete Moluccella Laevis Growing Guide
Advantages of Growing Cleome Flower
There are lots of advantages to growing cleome plants in your garden.
Indigenous people have used these plants for medicinal and culinary uses, and you can too! Here are some of the advantages of growing cleome flowers in your garden:
This plant has many medicinal qualities. It can treat stomach problems and reduce inflammation in sensitive areas such as the eyes.
It has also been used historically to treat sore thoughts by gargling the plant’s juices with water.
You can use this plant as a remedy for the sample or similar medical conditions as and when they arise if you have this plant in your garden.
Simply make a paste out of the stem, flower, and roots and use it as medicine.
You can cook the leaves much like you would cook spinach, or you can eat the leaves raw in salads.
The leaves are delicious in stews and soups, so if you have this plant at home, be sure to give it a go next time you fancy making a leafy green dish.
Deer and Rabbit Resistant
Deer and rabbits can be a real nuisance, and trying to keep these animals off of your land can be incredibly difficult.
Rabbits and deer are often attracted to big, bright plants and flowers, so you may be surprised to learn that these plants are not an attraction for them.
Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies
Hummingbirds and butterflies are beautiful and peaceful garden visitors that most people long for.
Planting a cleome flower plant in your garden will increase the chances of spotting birds ad butterflies in your garden.
Cleome Flower Pests, Diseases, and Problems
Fortunately, these plants aren’t prone to pests or diseases; however, you might find the odd whitefly, aphid, or spider mite making an appearance now and again.
You won’t need to use anything drastic to get rid of these pests either; a simple soap spray should do the trick!
Cleome Flower Seeds
Here are some great high-quality cleome flower seeds for you to order if you want to get growing:
How can you keep cleome flowers in bloom?
You should fertilize the plants every month and remove dead blooms from the plant as and when you see them.
Using a slow-release fertilizer will also do the trick if you prefer.
Should I keep cleome plants in the sunshine or shade?
You should keep these plants in full sun if you want them to be healthy, happy, and full of flowers.
Plants that are kept in the shade will grow very tall but produce fewer flowers.
Can I grow cleome in pots?
Yes, these plants can be grown in large containers or big pots. This will keep the plants more contained than if you were to plant them into the ground.
Do I need to deadhead my cleome flower plants?
Deadheading your spent cleome flowers is unnecessary; however, if you want your plant to produce more flowers, it will encourage new blooms.
Doing this will stunt the production of new seeds, so be careful if you are relying on your plant re-seeding itself for next year.
Are cleome plants poisonous to cats and dogs?
No, these plants will not harm your pet.
It is unlikely that your cat or dog will want to nibble on this plant as it is better at attracting birds and butterflies rather than cats and dogs.
Nonetheless, this plant shouldn’t be seen as a threat to your dog’s health if it is ingested.
However, if you have a dog, you might want to look into homemade dog urine repellents to keep your dogs from urinating in your gardens and ruining them.
Should I grow cleome plants in a small garden?
How you landscape your garden is down to you. Cleome flower plants are not ideal for small gardens as they tend to grow very big and out of control.
It is best to plant these in an area with at least four feet on either side of them to grow happily without interfering with other plants in your garden.
Do you think you will be growing cleome flowers in your backyard?
Let us know what you think in the comments section below, and share any tips and tricks you have on how to grow these plants successfully