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Beginner Flowers: Cleome

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Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

August 6, 2013
8:24 PM

Post #9623634

I grew Cleome for the first time this year, it did great. The blooms were beautiful and it has bloomed a long time. Now the seed pods are getting ripe, the hundreds and hundreds of seed pods with lots of seeds in each of those pods. So what I want to know is, does Cleome tend to be an invasive plant, or is the germination rate so poor they need to develop all those seeds. I took my pruners and cut all the seed pods I could off, but every time I bumped the plant I know I caused hundreds of seeds to fall to the ground. I was surprised to see that even a lot of the very green seed pods burst open and dropped seeds. Does anyone have problems in zone 8B with invasive Cleome, or am I just freaking out for no reason? Should I have been snipping off the seed pods as soon as they developed? Is there a method for controlling them?
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

August 8, 2013
1:24 PM

Post #9625161

OK, with ALL plants that you dont want to collect any seeds from, you have to dead head the flowers as they begin to show signs of decaying, this dead heading also helps the plants to flower over an even longer period, developing seeds uses up energy from the plants and IF you want the plant to last for several year (only IF the plants are perennials) then the energy saved from forming seeds goes into making nice roots and helps the plant grow larger / stronger the following year.

I have no Idea IF the plant known as Cleome is classed as invasive ir not BUT, if it happens that little seedlings germinate and in your climate they might, then just Hoe or hand fork these seedlings out so they wont grow further.

Because hundreds of seed heads form and they scatter their seeds is really not a guide to how many seedlings will germinate but in the right conditions then there is every likelyhood that you could have lot's of baby plants forming, if not required, get rid as I mentioned, OR give some little plants to friends, sell at scout, fetes, garage sales ect, all charity shops will be glad to have these lovely plants especially IF you can hand in a picture of a Cleome as here in UK they are much loved as we can only grow them inside and I'm sure other folks would love them for theor gardens.
Maybe someone in your area will help you more than I can but the info re dead heading is the same for ALL plants.
Good luck and Kindest Regards. WeeNel.

rteets

rteets
Stroudsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

August 11, 2013
1:02 PM

Post #9627625

I have cleome and do not have a problem with it being invasive. It self seeds just enough that I always have a small patch of it it that's all. I live in zone 6a however. That's all I can tell you.

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Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

August 11, 2013
2:12 PM

Post #9627698

Here is a picture of some of the seeds I collected from my three Cleome plants!

Thumbnail by Seedfork
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PAgirl60
Tobyhanna, PA
(Zone 5a)

August 11, 2013
4:11 PM

Post #9627797



Wow! That's a lot of seeds, Seedfork. I have only 5 rather small plants this summer. I've deadheaded them often to try and keep them flowering longer. I will let them set seed from now on. I'm hoping babies will pop up in the spring. I've read that they sometimes don't don't come back the following year in cold climates.
happgarden
Kansas City (Joyce), MO
(Zone 5a)

August 17, 2013
5:39 AM

Post #9633152

I have had them for years and yes and they do reseed but germination rate must not be great because they haven't taken over. If I get more than I want I just pull them the following spring when they germinate.

rteets

rteets
Stroudsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

August 19, 2013
3:31 AM

Post #9634845

Happgarden, I have the same experience. After several years I have maybe 8 plants and I have only pulled them out by accident. They have not taken over by any means and I have them in nearly ideal growing conditions.

Thumbnail by rteets   Thumbnail by rteets         
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MaryK_38

(Zone 7a)

August 24, 2013
3:53 PM

Post #9640285

Yes, they can become invasive. I planted 2 or 3 several years ago. Not knowing anything about them except they were beautiful. The next year they were everywhere, and I am still having to pull them up by the handfuls. I was thankful I had only put them in a back corner of the yard. Maybe it is only in the warmer areas that it is said they self seed to a fault. They do in here, I live on the Tn.- Al. state line, in zone 7. Hope this helps you and others.
MaryK_38

(Zone 7a)

August 24, 2013
3:58 PM

Post #9640290

By the way mine are much larger than rteets, and they are pink & white they get 5' or 6' tall in full sun.
happgarden
Kansas City (Joyce), MO
(Zone 5a)

August 25, 2013
6:39 AM

Post #9640735

There is a hybrid that is pretty small, but I don't know if they come back from seed if they remain small or if like cone flowers they come back as the old fashioned variety.

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