Cleome is a genus that includes flowering plants of the family Cleomaceae.

Cleome serrulata, also known as the Cleome serrulata, is a native of southern Canada. It can be found in the United States west coast to Ohio and southwest Texas.

It is also known by the names Rocky Mountain bee, skunk weed or Navajo guaco.

It attracts bees and other insects as an annual.

Once established, cleomes require very little maintenance.

They are a landscaper’s dream because of their height and multicolored flowers.

Although they may not appear much in a six-pack nursery, they can grow into beautiful and colorful plants.

Scientific Name
Common Name
Spider plants, spider weed, and bee plants
Sun exposure
Part shade or full sun
Can tolerate drought, but may require occasional water.
SizeAverage height is 3 to 5 feet. Some dwarf varieties are also available
Soil & PH
Well-drained, average soil with a low level of nitrogen and a neutral to acidic pH.
You can choose from cluster pink, rose, white and purple flowers.
Growing difficulty
It is easy to grow and requires little care

Characteristics and appearance

Spider plants are tall plants that grow to 3-5 feet tall and have beautiful pink, white or light purple flowers.

Some varieties can be mono-colored while others are multi-colored and come in a variety of colors, including pinks to purples.

They bloom most often in summer, and can last until the first frost.

They look stunning when they are grown against a fence or wall.

While some varieties are sweet when the flowers are open, others have very little smell.


Half-hardy Cleomes can be found in the cleomes.

These plants are beautiful and can be found in a wide range of colors.

They make a beautiful ornamental border for other flowers.

Cleomes are generally not considered to be invasive.

Cleome plants are easy to care for once they have been planted.

They are an annual, but they can be found in some areas.

This will ensure that the plant you grow is low-maintenance for your garden.

Some people save seeds from the burst pods and plant them in other areas of the garden the next year.

Cleomes are attractive to many species of insects, including bees and butterflies.

The pollination of squash and beans is a common task for bees.

Cleomes can sometimes be called “bee-spider-flower” in certain areas.

Growing Guide

A well-prepared and sown bed can yield vigorous plants that will continue to produce flowers until fall.

When there is no danger of frost, seeds should be planted outside in spring.

Growing cleome flowers requires patience. To help your Spider plant thrive, you should prepare the soil the same way as other seeds. Remove any weeds. Add organic matter to enhance the soil.

Organic matter can be added to soil, just like with most annuals.

Organic matter can be defined as a broad range of materials that are used to improve soil quality and feed plants.

This is sometimes referred to as soil “conditioner” or soil “improver”, also known as ” Humus”.

Organic matter can contain soluble or minerals nutrients.

The soil microorganisms can help to break down organic matter and produce micronutrients for plants.

Microorganisms are slower in winter than they are in summer.

It is better to add organic matter in spring before the cultivation begins.

Gardeners can either use compost or manure in a well-rotted state, or buy organic matter commercially.

Cleomes cannot withstand frost.

These annuals thrive in temperatures between 75 and 80 F during daylight hours and 60 to 65 F at nights.

They are drawn to the sun, so find a sunny spot where you can plant your seeds.

Cleomes do best in full sun or partial shade.

They don’t require any special soil, but like all plants, they need a spot with good drainage.

The cleome flower will benefit from organic matter added to the soil’s top six to eight inches.

Mix the soil by turning it up.

Now you are ready to plant your seeds.

For the latest frost dates in your area, check your Farmer’s Almanac.

Some gardeners keep their seeds in the refrigerator for up to a week before they plant.

Let your cleome seeds sit in water for 24 hours.

Each hole should contain six seeds. The soil should be covered with a quarter inch.

The sun must touch the seeds.

It is best to water plants lightly.


Cleomes germinate within 7-21 days. The 14th day is the best.

Baby plants that are less than 1-2 inches tall can be thinned if they are placed 8 inches apart.

When plants are established, thin again to 2 feet apart.

It is crucial to control weeds, since they compete with annuals for space, water, nutrients and space.

Mulches can help retain soil moisture, and even maintain soil temperatures.

Cleomes are drought-tolerant once established and can withstand heat in summer.

To avoid diseases, gardeners should water young plants starting at the bottom.

The soil should be moist, but not wet.

A slow-release fertilizer is recommended by seed companies for flowering plants.


Cleomes can withstand drought, and they thrive on occasional watering.

To avoid fungal disease or infection, water the soil from the bottom first.

The only thing that plants require is staking. They need at least six hours of sunlight each day, and soil with good drainage.

Cleome serrulata, (Syn. Peritoma Serrulata (Syn.

Because of the bitter taste, birds don’t eat the seeds. Hummingbirds love Cleomes because of their nectar.


Traditional Native American medicine uses an infusion of plant stems and leaves to treat stomach problems and fevers. A gargle is also used to soothe sore throats. A poultice is used to treat the eyes.

It is still used by the Navajo to make yellow-green dye in their woven blankets and rugs.


Cleomes can withstand drought, and they thrive on occasional watering.

To avoid diseases, gardeners should water young plants starting at the bottom.

The soil should be moist, but not wet.

Burpee also suggests slow-release fertilizer for flowering plants.

Potting and repotting

Cleomes are best grown outside, although most gardeners recommend that they be planted indoors as soon as possible.

Start seeds indoors at least four to six weeks before the last spring frost.

These plants should be planted by gardeners from seeds.

It is not worth the effort to pre-start seeds indoors.

Sometimes, transplanting older plants can be a difficult task.

Place your seeds in the fridge for at least a week. Then, soak them in water for 24 hours before you plant.

A heat mat at 70-75 degrees F is recommended.

These seeds require sunlight so make sure to use a grow lamp.

Propagation & Pruning

Because their stems are strong, cleomes don’t require any staking.

Problems, pests and diseases

If too much of this plant has been consumed, it can cause nitrate poisoning. Animals should avoid eating it.

Cleomes are usually deer- and rabbit-resistant.

Common Diseases

Each area is unique. We recommend that you check with your local Cooperative Extension Service to ensure pest and disease control.

Fungus is a common problem in Cleomes.

These are some of the most common diseases:

Alternaria Leaf Spot

This fungus forms small brownish-red spots with white centers along the midrib and upper leaves.

Warm, humid, and rainy weather are more likely to bring on the disease. Rotten leaves should be removed. To prevent the disease, water the foliage and leaves from the bottom.

Damping Off

Seeds appear healthy and vibrant when they first sprout. However, as soon as they start to wilt, their health and vitality is gone. This is called “damping off”.

This can also be caused by fungus, which is usually active in moist environments at temperatures above 68 F.

Don’t over-water or fertilize new seedlings. Your seedlings should have enough space, good air circulation and not be overcrowded.

Powdery Mildew and Downy Mildew

Avoid overwatering and crowding your garden. Keep it clean.

Other Problems

Remove any plants that have been damaged by a heavy frost during the season. This will prevent disease next year.

Some stalks are too woody to be composted.

Your Cleome Plants may be able to return next year in certain areas.

These beautiful, sun-loving plants are easy to maintain and can add height and color to your garden.

Cleome flowers are a landscaper’s dream.


Is it possible to grow Cleome from seeds?

Cleome can be grown from seeds in a relatively simple way.

Can Cleome self-seed once it has been planted?

It can easily self-seed in all climate zones.

Can spider plants produce individual flowers?

Flowers clusters are beautiful and delicate. They come in many colours, some are multi-colored.