|not sure if annual or perennial in my zone (cape coral, fla 33914), planted within last month & died. Please advise should they be used in our|
|Florida State University awarded cleome "Best of Trials" in their demonstration garden so I know it grows well in your gardening region. These are annual plants, and they are usually planted as young transplants in warm spring soil. They bloom, set seeds and die (as do most annuals). You can prolong their lives by deadheading the spent flowers before they set seed. For best performance select a site that is well drained and receives plenty of sunlight. Morning sun and afternoon shade also work well.
If the bed is poorly drained, add 2 to 3 inches of organic matter and apply a good layer of mulch after planting. Mulch helps prevent moisture loss to evaporation and deters weeds, which compete for water and nutrients. Cleomes are drought tolerant once established. In midsummer, give them a little fertilizer, such as a 5-10-5, to help push them into the fall season.
Hope this information helps you get the most out of your cleomes!