Growing Cleome Doesn't Have to Be Hard
Cleome is one of those annuals that you can either grow or fail
miserably at - and sometimes there doesn't seem to be much rhyme nor
reason to this.
Here's the way to work at success if it has eluded you to date.
How to Start Cleome Seeds Indoors
It helps to toss the seeds in the frig for 5-7 days before you start
germinating them. Do NOT freeze them, the crisper is fine for chilling.
Cleome seed is a touch particular (and different) in that it loves hot
day time temperatures of 85F soil temperatures and night time
temperatures of 65F.
If you keep it at a constant soil temperature of 72F (as we try to do
with most annual seeds) you'll have miserable luck getting it to
Sow and barely cover the seed.
Water with warm water in the morning to kick up the soil temperatures.
Even at the best of times, cleome is an erratic germinator so take each
seedling as it develops 4 true leaves and transplant it into its own
pot. Leave the seed starting pot to continue germinating.
You should see seedlings in 10 days if they're coming and should be
ready to transplant in approximately 4 weeks from putting into the seed
Cleome 'Sparkler Rose'
How to Start Seeds Outdoors
This plant prefers to be planted outdoors and if you're having trouble
with it, try this method.
In a small "nursery" area, sow the seed the first week of May.
Use a nursery area so you can keep them watered (barely cover the seed
when planting) and can transplant them from this area to their growing
area. You'll likely find the outdoor temperature fluctuations kick them
into growth better than indoor growing.
You'll be able to move them to their own growing spot in about 3-4
weeks and they'll bloom in late July.
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Once you have this plant started, it loves full sun and good soils.
The dwarf varieties will tolerate some light shade but the taller
(old-fashioned) plants will flop in the shade.
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Cleome 'Pink' variety unknown
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