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Growing Cleome (Spider Flower)

Botanical Name:

Cleome hasslerana

Life Cycle:

annual

Planting Time:

spring

Height:

4' to 6'

Exposure:

full sun or light shade

Soil:

rich, well-drained soil, neutral pH

Hardiness:

n/a

Bloom Time:

early summer to mid fall

Flower:

white, rose and pinks

Foliage:

green

Propagation:

seeds, self-sowing

Suggested Use:

beds, borders, cut flowers

Growing Hints:

Start seeds indoors four weeks before the last frost or sow seeds directly in the ground after the danger of the last frost has passed. When planting, just press seeds lightly into the soil, as they need light to germinate. Seeds will germinate in approximately two weeks at temperatures of 70º. Pinching them back as they grow will help produce bushier plants.

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Interesting Facts:

The nickname "Spider Flower" comes from the spidery-like flowers with long, waving stamen, which are held on tall, strong leafy stems. Cleome can have a strong, unpleasant musky odor, so should be planted away from widows and doors. They are a favorite of hummingbirds.

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