The Q&A Archives: Planting Cleomes

Question: A friend gave me cleome seeds. I know they can take sun and also can self-seed. My questions: (1) do I need to start them inside and (2) would it be OK to use them on a bank/slope?

Answer: You can start cleomes indoors so you'll have an earlier bloom, but this plant seems to do better if direct sown once the ground has warmed up. You might try starting a few indoors, and the rest outdoors, and see what works for you.<br><br>Plant the transplants, or thin your seedlings, to about 3 feet apart. They like full sun and rich, moist, well-drained soil. The plant reaches a height of 3-4 feet, with delicate, spidery flowers. They look beautiful in a mass planting, though not so far away that you can't appreciate their delicacy. If your slope fits the bill, then go ahead! (They also make beautiful, long-lasting cut flowers.)

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