How to Stratify Cleome Seeds


Cleome, also known as the "spider flower," is a showy annual that is fragrant, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Before sowing cleome seeds in the spring, they need to go through "stratification." Stratification is a method of immitating winter for a seed and then waking it from its dormancy in order for it to germinate. Cleome seeds take the change in temperatures as a signal to wake up. Stratification may sound difficult, but it is a simple process you do right in your kitchen.

Step 1

Soak cleome seeds for 24 hours. To do this, leave them on the counter in a bowl of water.

Step 2

Take your freezer container and layer the bottom with 1/2 inch of wet sand. You want the sand to be wet, but not slushy, and the container type that works best is a rectangular shape that is only two inches tall. Any shape, however, can work, and the size will depend upon how many cleome seeds you have.

Step 3

Put your cleome seeds on top of the layer of sand, and then cover them with another 1/2-inch layer of sand.

Step 4

Place the container in the freezer for four weeks and then move the container to the refrigerator until you are ready to sow.

Tips and Warnings

  • If any seeds germinate while going through stratification, they need to be removed from stratification and planted immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl of water
  • Cleome seeds
  • Coarse sand
  • Shallow, rectangular freezer container


  • Wild Ones: Germination Instructions for Seeds
  • Garden Zone: What Is Stratification?
  • University of Kentucky: Seed Dormancy in Commercial Vegetable and Flower Species

Who Can Help

  • Cornell University: Cleome Growing Guide
Keywords: preparing to plant cleome seeds, stratify cleome seeds, cleome seed stratification

About this Author

A freelance writer for more than 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.