Cleome Growing Guide

Cleome, also known as Spider Flower

Crop Rotation Group

Miscellaneous 

Soil

Fertile, well-drained soil.

Position

Full sun to partial shade.

Frost tolerant

None. Cleome cannot tolerate cold temperatures.

Feeding

Mix a light application of a balanced organic fertiliser into the soil prior to planting. In midsummer, drench plants with a liquid plant food to stimulate new growth.

Companions

Tomato, Dahlia and Cosmos. Cleome looks best when planted in large clumps or masses. Tall varieties make great flowers for the back of the border.

Spacing

Single Plants: 20cm (7") each way (minimum)
Rows: 20cm (7") with 30cm (11") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Sow cleome seeds indoors in moist seed starting mix, or wait until the soil has warmed and sow the seeds where you want the plants to grow. Dwarf varieties can sometimes be found as bedding plants. Allow 30cm (12 inches) between very tall varieties.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.

Notes

Despite the beauty of the blossoms, cleome is seldom used as a cut flower because of its acrid aroma. Some new varieties do not have this problem. Cleome colours include pink, white, and lavender.

Harvesting

Snip off spent blossoms to keep plants looking neat, and to prolong flowering. Tall varieties may need staking.

Troubleshooting

As cleome plants mature, the lowest leaves wither and fall to the ground. Grow a mound-forming plant in front of cleome to hide the lowest sections of the plants from view.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Cleome