Another Cleome Question about deadheading

lovetogrowflowers(8)April 22, 2010

Okay, I finally have cleome that I went and purchased. Now the only question I have is about deadheading. I read this from another site:

"Deadhead the plant regularly by removing spent flowers. This will lengthen the flowering period and prevent the plant from going to seed."

I want a long flowering period, but I also want the plant to reseed. So, with that in mind, what do I do? If removing spent flowers prevents the plant from going to seed I'm at a loss as to what to do. Rememeber, I'm a newbie to gardening altogether so explain it to me like you're talking to an idiot *LOL*

Thanks so very much for all your help.

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I deadhead the ones I want seed from until the 3rd week of August. Then I let them make seeds. You will get the long bloom time and seeds to reseed. You may be able to wait until later because you have a longer season. Stop deadheading a month before frost and you'll get enough seeds to have them reseed.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 6:13PM
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I've grown cleome for several years. The 1st couple of years I didn't deadhead. I had the 'Queen' series and they really got tall...over 5 ft. After that I did deadhead, to keep them shorter and I also noticed they branched out more. Usually by Sept. I stop deadheading and always have plenty of seedlings the next Spring.
Btw, what kind did you buy?


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 11:47PM
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Okay, I am so stupid. I just don't get it. I've read to pinch back when plants are young for best results. Some say not to pinch back cleome and others say do. I wish I knew what i was doing.

Are side shoots not branches, or are they considered stems, or are they both the same thing?

I DO NOT want this beautiful cleome to have one or two long stalks. I want more than that. I just hate myself for having to ask yet another question.

Here are the pictures (Cell phone pics so quality not good) Questions below pics.

On the pic above (showing the lavender blooms) If I just left this as is, wouldn't I have just two stalks with blooms? If so, I don't want that. I want more stalks. Say I left it alone, when would more stalks eventually come?

The pics are two different plants. Upon examining both have two main stalks as I call them. The third pic you just cant see it, as it is shorter than the other.

My wife and I are both new to gardening and just don't get it. Please, I have read and read and read and still confused. We know we want more branches. I definitely do not want just one/two stalks with blooms on top. Is it best to do this now so I can start out early at getting the effect we want?

Here is an example of what we would like:

Is this one plant or two or three set close together? If one, then what did this person do to achieve so many branches?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 5:05AM
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Oh and katusha I have no idea what kind they are. The only ones they had said mix colors.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 5:07AM
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One main stalk is all I've had on mine. But they branch out...get side branches. When I deadhead, they got more side branches. They will fill out (branch out) as they grow, whether you deadhead or not. I noticed I got more side branches when I did. You can start deadheading now if you want. I deadhead when I see the flowers stop and seed pods form. I don't do them all at once, so I always have some flowers blooming. I cut them off just below where the seed pods are. I let mine grow about 2 ft or so before I start deadheading. In one of the pics it looks like you're asking about cutting off a side branch, I can't tell for sure, but I wouldn't cut those off...just from the top below where the flowers would grow. That will cause it to get more side branches. Deadhead the side branches when their flowers fade/die. That last pic I can't tell if it's one or 2.
Yours look so good. Nice and healthy. I haven't even bought any plants yet. : ( Our high today was 50. Hopefully in 2 more weeks I'll be able to buy them.
Good luck and don't worry about asking questions. We all did and still do, that's how we learn. If you're confused about what I said, or what anyone else says, that's ok, just let us know. We all started out being newbies. : )


    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 3:08AM
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Katusha, Thanks so much. I think I am beginning to understand what you're saying. I have two blooms on mine now. They are still to pretty for me to deadhead *LOL*, so, when it starts to fade or I know it's spent, from what you're saying cut maybe a 1/2 inch to an inch below the spent flower?

I don't want it to make seeds early. I want a longer blooming period. Do I snip below the seedpod or not? I had planned on a longer blooming time, and let the last flush of flowers set seed.

Just confused as to whether when I deadhead, should I snip below the seedpod as well. I don't want the plant to think its mission is accomplished by setting seed and then lose my long bloom time.

I hope you or someone will chime in and let me know. Thanks. :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 4:25AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Hi Lovetogrowflowers,

I pinch many annuals to make them bushier, including Cleome, Cosmos, Snaps, and others. When the terminal bud on the main stem is pinched or pruned, the plant is encouraged to grow side stems. I usually pinch just above the 1st or 2nd side bud below the top bud - or about 1/2 - 2 inches of the tip.

With Cleome, I pinch them when they're about 1 foot high +/-. This causes them to send out side shoots, and it encourages the main stem that remains to thicken and be stronger. The plant doesn't grow as tall either so it is less likely to flop and you get more flowers. However, the flowers may be smaller overall.

To deadhead Cleome, you would cut off those long thin pointy pods that start to form after the flower withers. The seeds develop in these pods. If you want mature seeds, just let the pods fully develop until they start to dry out and split open - then the seed is ready to collect or you can let it fall on the ground to sprout the next Spring. Cleome usually reseeds vigorously in the spots where it grows (esp on bare ground).

Do you see those long pointy green pods forming below the flowers? Those are the seed pods. Cut those off to deadhead Cleome.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 6:49PM
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For me, cutting the seed pods off themselves, takes too much time. I just cut the flowerhead off below the last of the seed pods. I do have a few flowers left on the flowerhead that way, but there will be new blooms. I never do all the flowerheads at once, so there's always something blooming.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 11:41PM
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lisa2004(NY Z5/6)

Granted you have a longer garden season than I do but it seems to me you are worrying way to much about what to do with these plants. They are VERY easy to grow. I've had lots of varieties. I buy them, stick them in the ground and water. When the flowers look shabby I cut them off. By the end of the summer I'm usually tired the whole thing and stop cutting them. They drop seeds... and I have seedlings (almost) to the point of considering them invasive the next spring. They flower the entire summer and get big and bushy. The only thing I've ever had trouble with is moving them. Good luck and enjoy. They are beautiful.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 12:26PM
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I don't understand why you would even need to remove any of the blooms as the ones I have just keep blooming all season long without any kind of care from me. I never noticed any of the blooms looking bad as the one stock just keeps growing up and blooming and blooming and blooming... etc. The seed pods grow under the blooms and then smaller leaflets grow out from the main stem under the blooms. I think they look quite nice when just left alone and they seed themselves quite vigorously.. almost to the point of being invasive! But DH mows the area they grow so they never get out of hand.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 10:05PM
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