Q: Please tell me how and when to grow "Sparkler" Cleomes from seed in Louisiana. These are the shorter and bushier Cleomes. Do I plant seeds outdoors in the fall or spring in zone 8b? What month? How much sun and water? Any pest problems?
Hardiness Zone: 8b
Pam from Baton Rouge, LA
You can plant "Sparkler" Cleomes from seed similar to the way you would plant any variety of Cleome. Sow seeds directly in the ground in early spring when temperatures reach 70ºF. Seeds will germinate after about two weeks. Soil should be nutrient-rich and well-drained with a neutral pH. Plant seeds in a location with full sun or light shade, spaced 8 to 12 inches apart. The seeds need light to germinate so just press them lightly into the soil, but don't cover them.
Cleomes are somewhat drought tolerant, but will do better if kept watered regularly-especially during dry spells. Plan on fertilizing them every six to eight weeks or work in a slow release fertilizer or plenty of compost when planting. There is no need to pinch Sparklers back as they won't get as tall and leggy as standard-size Cleomes. They are no more (or less) susceptible to pests than other annuals.
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Hi Pam, here is what I found so far. A break through in breeding, our dwarf Sparkler series will produce uniform, fully upright, bushy plants growing to 3 1/2 to 4 inches tall. More refined than common varieties, Sparklers should be direct-sown directly into the garden after the last frost date but may also be started as transplants 6 to 8 weeks earlier. They are easily grown, carefree plants that are both heat and drought tolerant.(quote)(/quote)
and here is the page I found it on: http://www.kitchengardenseeds.com/cgi-bin/catview.cgi?_fn=Productand_category=94
I hope this helps you. I will try to check back and see, if not, i will ask a friend of mine over that way if she knows. (02/05/2006)
Cleomes are tender annuals that can not handle frost. Either sow in the garden after all danger of frost has passed or start them indoors a few weeks in advance. They self seed well so once you grow them, you'll have new plants each year. If they come up outside of the area you want them in, you can transplant them easily while they are still small. They do best in a sunny, well drained spot.
By Doris in VA
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