Seed Swaps

Cleome Sparkler mixed - Spider Flower - annual self seeds

3 planted behind white Astilbe, 1 nearer the wall behind a folxglove. Also 1 over in the bed between Magnolia and Pyracantha. 1 left to maybe go in one of A’s beds.

Cleome’s can grow quite tall, up to 4 feet in some cases.
Flowering season can last for 2-3 months.
When young protect from slugs and snails.
Once established they can reproduce at a quick rate.
May need staking as susceptible to windy conditions.
Has spiny stem which needs gloves to pull when older but ok when seedlings. Good for insects.

Apparently look and smell skunky like a cannabis plant so I’m sure the neighbours will be talking.
Can be nipped back for bushier plants.
Supposed to do well on clay soil and self seed.
Self sown seeds need to be thinned, in order for the plants to become tall and bloom to their fullest capacity.
They don’t like to be transplanted.
Seeds must be thoroughly dried before storing, they mold quickly otherwise.

Cleomes make excellent, long-lasting cut flowers, but beware of the sharp little thorns when you’re picking and arranging them.
Sarah Raven’s growing tips in The Telegraph:

  • Cleomes are half-hardy annuals and need sowing under cover in spring. They hate root disturbance, so are best grown in modular trays. Put them out in the garden in a sunny, sheltered spot once the frosts are over in May.
  • Germination can be tricky but follow these tips and you should be all right. The fresher the seed, the better. If you can harvest your own in the next month or so and store it somewhere cool and dry during winter, so much the better.
  • These are one of the few annuals that need light to germinate, so sow them in the surface of multipurpose potting compost and don’t cover them. Water from below, standing the seed tray on a sand bed. Watering from the top will wash aside the seeds.
  • Cleomes like good light levels and the germinate most quickly if sown quite late. Start them in April, or even early May – not before. In March, they just sit there and many seeds will rot before they sprout. They also like lots of heat. Whack the propogator up to maximum – more than 68F (20C). This spring I germinated some on blotting paper placed beside an Aga and trasnplanted the seeds into pots as soon as there were signs of life.
  • Once they’re a couple of inches tall, pinch out the seedlings. If you leave them to their own devices, they tend to shoot up to the skies, one central stem on tits own. When they are pinched out, more energy goes into lateral bud development and you get stronger, bushier plants that will fill out to between 2ft and 3ft across. Space them generously, so they have room to grow, don’t squeeze them into the normal 1ft square.

Seed starting info from /cleome.html#ixzz1NeZRLBSH" rel="nofollow">Simple Gifts Farm:
How to Start Cleome Seeds Indoors
It helps to toss the seeds in the frig for 5-7 days before you start germinating them. Do NOT freeze them, the crisper is fine for chilling.
Cleome seed is a touch particular (and different) in that it loves hot day time temperatures of 85F soil temperatures and night time temperatures of 65F.
If you keep it at a constant soil temperature of 72F (as we try to do with most annual seeds) you’ll have miserable luck getting it to sprout.
Sow and barely cover the seed.
Water with warm water in the morning to kick up the soil temperatures.
Even at the best of times, cleome is an erratic germinator so take each seedling as it develops 4 true leaves and transplant it into its own pot. Leave the seed starting pot to continue germinating.
You should see seedlings in 10 days if they’re coming and should be ready to transplant in approximately 4 weeks from putting into the seed starting soil.

How to Start Seeds Outdoors
This plant prefers to be planted outdoors and if you’re having trouble with it, try this method.
In a small “nursery” area, sow the seed the first week of May.
Use a nursery area so you can keep them watered (barely cover the seed when planting) and can transplant them from this area to their growing area. You’ll likely find the outdoor temperature fluctuations kick them into growth better than indoor growing.
You’ll be able to move them to their own growing spot in about 3-4 weeks and they’ll bloom in late July.

Growing Conditions
Once you have this plant started, it loves full sun and good soils.
The dwarf varieties will tolerate some light shade but the taller (old-fashioned) plants will flop in the shade.

This planting is in the C's West Wall garden .


Latest Milestone Flowering

Quantity: 6

Plant Cleome Cleome spinosa 139


Linked Plantings & Stash Items

Name Garden Gardener Location Planted Archived



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