Cleome (Cleome), or cleome, is a flowering plant belonging to the Cleomaceae family. In nature, it is found in any corner of the Earth, in those regions where there is a temperate and warm climate. This genus unites about 70 species. Cleoma inflorescences have a peculiar shape, so the Germans call it "spinenpflanze", which translates as "spider plant". The racemose inflorescences are not quite ordinary, they can be compared with a splash of champagne or an explosion. Some people may not like such flowers, but it is simply impossible to leave them unattended. Every year, such a flower culture increasingly attracts the attention of gardeners, because it has very spectacular inflorescences with an unusual smell, and its flowering is quite long, it is observed from June to September.

Features of cleoma

Cleoma has a very powerful root system. Branched strong shoots, on their surface there is pubescence, consisting of glandular short hairs. The height of the bush can be up to 150 cm. Greenish alternate leaf plates in some species have small thorns on the seamy surface. Leaves can be simple or complex: they consist of 5 or 7 entire, elongated linear leaves. The apical leaf plates are small and solid. The apical racemose inflorescences consist of flowers that have the correct shape and are purple, pink, white or yellow in color. The flowers have relatively long stamens that look like spider legs. The fruit is a pod-shaped unilocular polysperm, it can reach a length of about 30 mm. Most amateur gardeners do not like the flower smell of cleoma, but it is completely impossible to feel it on a garden plot on the street, but it can scare away pests. This unusual aroma is necessary for such a flower to attract small bats in the wild, which are its pollinators.

Flowers blooming beautifully for the garden. Cleoma from seed to bloom!

Growing cleoma from seeds

Sowing cleoma

For reproduction of cleoma seeds are used. They can be sown directly into open soil before winter (in November or December) or in spring. However, experienced gardeners recommend growing such a crop through seedlings.

When should you sow seeds for seedlings? Such a plant has a relatively long growing season. If in autumn you intend to collect fully ripe seeds, then sowing for seedlings must be done in the last days of February. To make the seedlings appear faster, before sowing, the seeds must be immersed in a solution of Epin or Zircon for half a day (12 hours) (2 drops of the agent are taken for 250 ml of lukewarm boiled water). For sowing, a not very deep container is used, which is filled with a substrate consisting of humus, garden mixture and sand, taken in a ratio of 2: 2: 1. The seeds are spread over the surface of the substrate, and on top they must be sprinkled with a layer of the same soil mixture, the thickness of which should be about 15 mm. The container must be covered with glass on top.

Seedling care

The first seedlings should appear after 15–20 days. When this happens, the container needs to be rearranged in a very well-lit place, and the seedlings will also need additional lighting in the evening. Watering should be fairly rare, but abundant. At the same time, remember that the substrate must have time to dry out between waterings. As a preventive measure against root diseases, seedlings should be watered once with a weak solution of manganese potassium.

After the first pair of true leaf plates begins to form in the plants, the seedlings will need to be cut out using peat-humus cups for this. When transplanting, the seedlings are buried in the substrate to the cotyledons. When half a month has passed after the pick, it is recommended to feed the plant; for this, a complex mineral fertilizer is used, which should be of a sufficiently weak concentration. After that, you need to feed the seedlings regularly 2 times a month. In order to prevent the development of a one-sided seedling, the container in which it grows must be systematically rotated relative to the light source.

Planting cleoma in open ground

What time to plant

After the threat of recurrent frosts has passed in the spring, you can start transplanting cleoma seedlings into open soil. As a rule, this time falls on the last days of May or the first days of June. For disembarkation, you need to choose a well-lit area, protected from strong drafts. The plant is undemanding to the soil, however, on a neutral nutrient soil with good moisture, this flower develops much better than on an area with dry poor soil. If the soil on the site is depleted, then before planting the glue, 2 large tablespoons of granular flower fertilizer must be added to it for digging, as well as 1 bucket of rotted compost per 1 m2.

Landing features

So that after planting the seedlings quickly and well take root in a new place, it should be treated with a solution of the stimulator epin-extra with micronutrient fertilizer cytovit (you must follow the instructions attached to the preparations). To plant seedlings in open soil, it is necessary without removing them from the pots, while a distance of 0.5 to 0.7 m must be kept between the bushes.This cleoma planting will avoid thickening of the plantings, the flowers will be more resistant to pests and diseases, while flowering will be very effective and magnificent. The planted plants should be watered at the root and a humate solution should be used for this.

Cleoma care

Growing glue in your garden is easy enough. Watering should be carried out only in hot weather, while it should not be carried out very often, but be plentiful. Top dressing is carried out 2 times a month under the root and for this, fertilizers such as Fertika-lux or Fertika-combi are used (a couple of large spoons of fertilizer are taken for 1 bucket of water). If the bush is weakened or affected by a disease, it must be fed foliarly, using a nutrient solution consisting of 3 liters of water and 1 small spoonful of fertilizer. To bring the moment of the beginning of flowering closer, before the formation of buds begins, the bushes must be treated with a solution of Zircon (1 milligram of the product per 1 liter of water).

If, after planting, the surface of the site was not covered with a layer of mulch, you will have to systematically loosen the surface of the soil, while removing weeds.

Diseases and pests

Since cleoma flowers have a scent that is not quite usual for flowers, pests try to bypass it. She can get sick with the wrong irrigation regime or when planting in an area with a high groundwater table. If you choose a planting site and care for the plant correctly, then it will not hurt at all.

Cleoma after flowering

Seed collection

Since glue can only be grown from seeds, experienced gardeners recommend collecting them in autumn in order to sow in spring or before winter. You can understand mature seeds or not by their appearance, so they should be rounded, reach one and a half millimeters in diameter, the color, depending on the flower of the flower itself, can be brown or yellow. To avoid self-seeding and not to miss the moment when the seeds need to be collected, it is recommended to put on bags made of gauze over several pods.


In the middle latitudes, such a flower crop is grown as an annual plant. In this regard, when frosts come, the bushes should be pulled out and burned. In November or December, the seeds collected in the autumn are sown before winter. The seeds are buried into the soil by only 15 mm, and from above the site is covered with spruce branches. In spring, the shelter should be removed and friendly shoots should appear soon.

Types and varieties of cleoma

At the moment, gardeners cultivate only 2 types of cleoma, namely Cleome Hassleriana and Cleome Spinosa. Both of these species are tropical South American. They differ from each other only in the color of the flowers, in this regard, the growers call these species the same - prickly cleoma. Thanks to these species, several hybrids and varieties were born. The most popular varieties are:

  1. Hellen Campbell... The color of the flowers is white.
  2. Rozakenigin... The flowers are pale pink.
  3. Pink Queen and Rose Queen... The flowers are colored in various shades of pink.
  4. Golden Sparkler... On a dwarf bush, yellow flowers open.
  5. Giant Pink Qusen... The dark pink flowers are relatively large.
  6. Sparkler lavender... The color of the flowers is pale purple.
  7. Violet Queen... The flowers are purple-inked.

The most popular variety of cleoma prickly Cherry Queen. The bush reaches a height of 0.6 m. In diameter, the fragrant flowers are 20-30 mm, they have an unusual shape and are located on long pedicels. Also cultivated is the Spray Champagne variety, created using the Hassler type of cleome. The bush reaches a height of 1.2 m. The racemose inflorescence consists of pink or white flowers, reaching 30–40 mm in diameter. The diameter of the brush is approximately 20 centimeters. Flowering begins in July and ends with the onset of frost.

Glue is grown as a single plant or in groups with annual plants such as fragrant tobacco or lavatera. Since the cleoma is quite high, it is used to create a hedge or it is grown as the background of a flower garden.

Seeds that are sown in March or before winter. Seedlings appear in a few weeks. Seedlings dive into peat pots and are planted in open ground in May.

Cleoma is a spectacular plant that catches the eye. The plant looks good in a group or singly among low-growing flowers. Large inflorescences of cleoma look great against the background of garden crops.

The dense planting of cleoma is decorative, it creates a backdrop for salvia and other flowering plants. Cleoma flowers attract bees. Cleoma cut flowers last more than 10 days in water, so they are used for flower arrangements.

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LandingPlanting is carried out in June, after the warm weather has finally established.
The soilThese flowers are undemanding to the soil, but they can best grow on light and loose loamy soil.
Lighting levelPlants prefer sunny locations, so they should be planted in open beds.
Watering modeBushes need frequent hydration, especially on windy or sultry days.
Top dressingFor feeding, complex formulations for flowering species are used. They are applied at least twice a season.
BloomFlowering begins in early May and ends at the end of July.
ReproductionCuttings, seeds, division.
PestsTicks, beetles or slugs, sometimes the roots of the plant are affected by rodents.
DiseasesViral diseases, powdery mildew.

Types and varieties

Annual Iberis is represented in our gardens in two species:

Iberis bitter (Iberis amara)

An annual plant up to 30 cm high with pubescent stems branched from the root collar. The leaves of this species are obverse-lanceolate, dentate along the edge, obtuse, alternate. White or slightly lilac flowers with a diameter of 1.5-2 cm make up racemose inflorescences of a columnar shape. This species was introduced into culture in the 16th century. Varieties:

  • Tom Tumb - Iberis white, bush height 12-15 cm
  • Hyacintenblutige Riesen - lilac flowers on bushes up to 35 cm high
  • Weiss Riesen - bushes up to 30 cm tall with white flowers.

Iberis umbellata (Iberis umbellata)

Annual with smooth naked branched stems up to 40 cm high. Leaves are lanceolate, alternate. Fragrant flowers of different shades from white to purple, collected in corymbose inflorescences, bloom 2-2.5 months after sowing and bloom within two months. In culture since the 16th century. Varieties:

  • Fairy Mixtche - bush height 20-25 cm, a mixture of seeds of Iberis umbellifera of different shades
  • Red Rash - carmine-red flowers on bushes up to 30 cm high.

Cultural species of perennial Iberis:

Iberis evergreen (Iberis sempervirens)

It is a perennial semi-shrub with a height of 30 to 40 cm. The leaves of this species are oblong, entire, shiny, dark green, up to 7 cm long. Umbellate inflorescences up to 5 cm in diameter consist of white flowers up to 1.5 cm in diameter. Abundant bloom for three weeks, sometimes blooms again at the end of summer. In culture since the 17th century. Varieties:

  • Miniature flock - bush height 15 cm, often used in rocky gardens
  • Findall - bush height 20 cm, the variety forms clumps up to 80 cm in diameter
  • Dana - a lush-flowering variety up to 15 cm high.

Iberis gibraltar

Semi-evergreen species with a mass of small pink flowers. The height of the bush is 25 cm, diameter is 40 cm. The most popular variety is Gibraltar Candytaft, a bush with beautiful lilac flowers that turn white over time.

Iberis Crimean (Iberis simplex)

Perennial only 5-10 cm tall with gray-green pubescent spatulate leaves and flowers, purple in buds and white after opening.

Iberis rocky (Iberis saxatilis)

Evergreen shrub 10-15 cm high, forming dense round clumps. During flowering, this Iberis in a flower bed looks like it is powdered with snow.

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