Cleome or not to Cleome?

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I love Cleome but not everyone does. It’s a reseed nightmare if you hate it. I don’t mind pulling out what I don’t want. It’s wispy and fun don’t you think. If you don’t like growing it then just leave the growing to me. I can handle it. There are hollyhocks growing with them but they aren’t blooming yet. Soon as they start, I’ll post the whole bed. Oh wait—Irish Eyes are watching the cleome.

100_8928I planted the Irish Eyes from seed so you know I’m excited about that. Well I planted the cleome from seed too but anyone with half a brain can plant cleome and get it to live—right!?

100_8932Mr D is being just as artsy fartsy right now. He’s practicing his fly fish ties. He looks so manly over there tying knots. He’s in his jammies or I’d show ya.

100_8936I like the smell of cleome but I bet that is a reason some don’t grow it. I call it a scent but some call it an odor.

100_8935The cleome above is in my back beds and those below are in the front.

100_8985They look delicate and sweet but they are powerful and strong too. Just like most good women. Some have thorns–ouch. Most of my varieties grow more than 5 feet tall so they are planted toward the back of the beds. I have some really pretty perennials and some very interesting Cockscomb out front. It’s almost ready to reveal.

100_8987It’s also called Spider Flower. Way too much fun huh?

100_9007There is so much more coming in to bloom and I’ll get a better picture of this bed in about a week. I’m pleased as punch. So rewarding and what a joy when someone stops to visit.

32 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi, I’m a newbee here. I gave my website, but they are pix from my Photography business. I should post some cleome pics on it.

    Does anyone start them (cleome) indoors for setting out in spring? If so, when do you start them. Mine from last year reseeded outside, but they came up too late and ended up pretty small (only about a foot tall and not many blooms).
    Also, do I have to wait for the seed pods to turn brown before collecting them?

    I think they smell like a comination of basil mixed with tobacco. Not a bad smell to me. Their beauty outweighs any smell they give off, besides it might deter the rabbits that seem to chew everything in sight.

    Any advice anyone can offer about gathering the seeds, and starting indoors would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Marianne

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  2. cindee says:

    Beautiful blooms. The cleome is really pretty. I would love to have some here.(-: We have some that grows down along the creek. It is white. Not the new pretty one like you have!!(-:
    I’ll save you some seed!

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  3. I’m in the camp that loves Cleome. It’s the best cheap thrill plant avialable in my book. H.
    Yes, I have seen your Cleome and it rocks!

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  4. Lovely entrance garden! I have never tried cleome but you have inspired me. Plus I’m a sucker for tall plants.

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    1. Thank you. It’s really starting to pop and I can’t wait to show you more.

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  5. I hvae just planted Cleome for the first time ever. A friend of mine gave it to me. I am excited to see it bloom next year

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    1. It should bloom this year right? Mine always blooms the first year–now hollyhocks are sometimes biennials.

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  6. Jen says:

    Cleome is one of those flowers I’ve been meaning to get into but haven’t made the commitment yet. I have a sunny patch of flowers that I hope will re-seed themselves there. So should I grow it from seed? Divide someone elses? or nursery purchase (least preferred since it’s most expensive!)

    Your bed there looks like it’s really filling out – gorgeous!

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    1. Just wait and I’ll have lots os seeds to share. I like popping the seed pods. Kinda like popping the pods on impatiens. They do well directly sown but I did these in dixie cups 😉

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  7. Darla says:

    My first year with cleome and I love it too! Started mine from seeds. I have been gathering seeds already for next year!!

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    1. So easy to gather the seeds so probably never will have to order more. Although—I do want some burgundy ones. I like the all white too.

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    2. They are a fun flower with huge impact. They have to be in the back for sure. I do have two dwarf varieties—one is Senorita Rosalita from Proven Winners.

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  8. Beautiful English garden there. Never heard of Cleome. Sounds like it’s a “controversial” flower, only for the confident! Like you, FG. Thanks for the pics. They’re beautiful.

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    1. I do tend to tackle plants that others would find too troublesome. Cleome’s only problem is it’s desire to reseed everywhere. You have to dig them up when they are seedlings or they will take over.

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  9. I grew Cleome last year and it got to about 5 feet also.

    I think it’s a nice annual.

    This year it seems a little slow. It’s not in bloom yet, yours are ahead of mine. I found last year’s a little slow to get started, however by mid July they were doing their thing.

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    1. I have known them to have a slow start also. Your gardens do look so grand. This will fit in perfectly.

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  10. chuck b. says:

    I’ve been curious about Cleome. It fits in wild-type gardens, which is my favorite kind. Do the flowers smell particularly bad? I’ve heard that they do, at least to some people. Also, does is the flower head interesting when it dies? I started some Cleome from seed one year, but decided that I couldn’t use them and never planted them out. My germination rate was not that great as I recall.

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    1. My seed came from Thompson and Morgan and had a high germination rate. The seed heads are pretty cool but they pop and disburse seeds throughout the season. Not like a seed head that gives winter interest. Some say it has a mild skunk smell but not to me. To me it smells like a strong earth scent. I like the smell of geraniums too and it’s got an odd odor. Oh wait—cleome might smell like the old fashioned boxwoods. That might be a good example.

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  11. Catherine says:

    Your garden looks so pretty! I have Cleome. I planted it for the first time last year and only found one seedling from it. It definitely does have a smell, but I only notice it if I brush against it. I hope mine will look as pretty as yours, it’ll be awhile before it blooms.

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    1. Once they get going, they bloom quickly and for a very long time. And often, they reseed several times to maturity in one season. So they are with you from bloom to frost.

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  12. Your front bed is just awesome! I am just speechless, well, almost.

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  13. Kathleen says:

    I like cleome too Anna but I must be a loser gardener because I couldn’t get it to germinate this year! What the heck??? Your bed is so pretty.

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    1. My dahlias and zinnias didn’t come back boo hiss.

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  14. Janet says:

    Will be taking pictures of my cleome soon…it is in my wild flower garden…taking over the garden is more like it. Your front flower bed is really pretty.

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    1. Thank you and I agree it can take over. Got to be diligent about removing the seedlings where they aren’t wanted. i needed the height though.

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  15. Jared says:

    I first saw cleome in gardens next to the ocean in Maine. It’s one of my favorite flowers, and you have some amazing photographs of it here. I love the “fragrance,” too, and the stickiness of the stems. It’s definitely summer when the cleome is blooming!

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    1. Oh yes!, it is so summer. Thank you and you know I love taking pics of the garden–well, anyone’s garden.

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  16. Gail says:

    I like cleome…and was pleased to see a big bumble visiting it today…I have Helen Campbell. Your images are fantastic…you’ve captured the color beautifully. gail

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    1. Thank you. There are a few more varieties I would like to have. I just love them.

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  17. Brooke says:

    Beautiful hun. I love cleome, but I only have a few popping up this year. Will get more seed this fall.

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    1. I had them two years ago and am repeating them in my new garden. They are so much fun.

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