Cleome is very easy to grow once established, and may work best from direct-sown seeds. Any ordinary garden soil will work, including dry areas once plants are established. Cleome self-sows with gusto, so if you want to avoid this, remove flower heads before seeds ripen. Excellent for xeriscaping. Annual flowers native to South America.

Latin
Cleome hassleriana
Family: Cleomaceae

Difficulty
Easy

Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun or very light shade
Zone: 8-10

Timing
Start indoors from mid-February to late March for transplanting (or direct sow) 3-4 weeks after last frost – around late-April. Continue direct sowing outdoors into May. Seeds will sprout in 10-14 days.

Starting
Sow on the surface of the soil. If starting indoors, seeds benefit from vernalization: Place seeds on the surface of moistened, sterilized seed starting mix in pots, and place pots in zip-top plastic bags inside the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Then move pots to bottom heat and maintain soil temperature at 21-25°C (70-75°F) until germination. Provide bright light.

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