Cleome Fast Facts

Cleome Fast Facts image by Maya's Garden Journal:
Cleome Fast Facts image by Maya's Garden Journal:


Cleome, popularly called spiderflower, is an exotic, dramatic annual that provides a colorful addition to the flowerbed or border. Cleome is a vigorous, hardy, pest-free plant that has earned its reputation as a reliable cottage-garden staple.


Cleomes produce upright stems bearing clusters of white, pink or lavender flowers from midsummer until frost. Plant heights range from 3 to 6 feet, with a spread of 2 to 3 feet. They are best placed at the back of a border.

Planting Needs

Spiderflowers are fast growers that thrive in a sunny location, protected from wind. An undemanding annual, cleome should be planted in well-draining soil, as damp, heavy soil may contribute to root rot.


Cleome is a sturdy annual, rarely bothered by insects or disease. They appreciate a good watering during prolonged dry weather. Fertilize periodically.


Cleomes are prolific self-seeders. There is no need to deadhead fading flowers, but do thin seedlings on a regular basis.


Cleomes get their nickname from their long, airy stamens. Their graceful, showy flowers make them attractive cutting flowers.


Cleome stems are spiny and somewhat sticky, so be careful when handling. Additionally, the flowers have a distinct fragrance, which some people find unpleasant.


  • AHS Garden Plants and Flowers; Ian Spence; 2004
  • Sunset Western Garden Book; Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Editor; 2007
Keywords: cleome, annual flowers, spiderflower

About this Author

Deborah Hall is a freelance writer from Portland, Oregon. She has written for numerous publications on a variety of topics, including educational trends and sustainable gardening practices. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in English.

Photo by: Maya's Garden Journal: