Do cleomes become invasive in our Florida gardens?
Any issues with this plant?
Here is a link that might be useful: Cleome
I do not believe they're considered invasive at all here in Florida. When you first purchase them, they may appear docile and cute, but given time and a balanced diet, they can reach 3 or 4 feet in height, branch out considerably, and grow furry thorn-like abrasives on their stems.
I haven't noticed them spreading via runner or clumping, so that shouldn't be an issue. It is possible they could be decent reseeders, but not much different from periwinkle, impatiens, or other assorted flowers.
I picked up 4 last fall, and I grabbed another 4 just yesterday. They were all white, and surprisingly (to me) the bees were ALL over them at the nursery where I grabbed them.
Recommended, especially for a cottage look or a wildflower bed.
I grew a bunch from seed last year - a mix of white and pink and fuschia - and they were so easy to grow. Really pretty flowers, and mine stayed short - like two feet. They might have grown taller and then they might have gone to seed, and I would've collected them, but for some reason they just went from gorgeous to dead.
Maybe I had them too close to the orange grove fence and they got a wind drift of Round-Up.
I think I'll try them again at our new house.
Are you gonna grow from seed - do I even need to ask?
For those of you (including me) who have grown cleome in the past and dislked it because of the skunky smell, or its stickiness, or the thorns, or its enthusiasm in reseeding, be aware there's a new one in town - Senorita Rosalita. Senorita Rosalita allegedly does not have the negatives we associate with the old fashioned cleome but brings with it some new positives.
She hasn't graced my garden YET, but I saw her growing in a neighbors yard last year and was smitten. By then, however, she wasn't to be found in a local garden center. This thread reminded me that the Senorita should be strutting her stuff in the local nurseries soon and I need to be on the lookout.
Maybe she's not all she's racked up to be (gosh..has that ever happened before...DUH!) but I want to see for myself.
Here is a link that might be useful: Senorita Rosalita
Thanks Foreverlad, If you bought 4 more yesterday, than I would have to say it's a keeper for me this season.
Susie, You know me pretty well. :-) Yes these are from seed. I have two types. One batch of seeds is from Sparkle from Home Depot. It was the end of the season; pods were opening and seeds falling on the floor from their remaining plants, so I just gathered some. Naturally since they are F1 hybrids they should not reproduce true.
The other group of seeds I got from a trade this fall.
HD seeds germinated about 50%; trade seeds, 98%.
But I read that farther north in Maryland they are invasive. Perhaps we don't supply the winter cold that the seeds need, which they get in the North. I refigerated mine.
Juneroses, I studied Senorita Rosalita last year, in detail, including origin, etc. I forgot everything I read. :-) But still consider it an option for a test.
Thanks for the replies.
Well, I'm not gonna waste my time with Queen Cleome. June, your link has given me quite an education that I never knew about cleome . . . I just grew them 'cuz they're purty. But in my limited space, I've got to be more picky.
It's The Senorita ~ or nothin' !
Happy St. Patty's Day!
I grew them from established plants a couple of years ago - like Susie, mine went from pretty to dead. They didn't re-seed nor come back from the roots, so a short-lived annual for me.
That is very interesting about the "pretty to dead" that you and Susie mentioned. That could be my luck also. I have plenty of plant diseases in this area.
Think I will focus on the smallest seedlings I have, selected from the 2nd generation Sparkler seeds. Just to experiment with something that has gene variations from the standard series. All the Queen seedlings have come up very consistant.
I will narrow it down to maybe 4-6 plants.
Thanks for your reply,
I think they smell wonderful, that's why I love this plant.
When I had these in OH, there would be a literal solid carpet of seedlings. It looked like ground cover in the whole bed where the plants were. The seeds pods employ explosive dehiscence, so are very efficient at spreading themselves. Sounds like a good thing that lack of chill affects sprouting...
Finally found some seeds here last year but nothing grew. Have more to try this year...
Regarding the solid carpet of seedlings, how close did you allow the plants to ultimately grow? Did you thin them out?
I grow a plant that does very well in the north, but down here the heat got to it (ironic because everyone automatically thinks to grow it in the sun) . But then I planted it in shadier conditions and it excelled.
I will try some of these cleomes in a more shaded area.
Maybe this thing is more a "northern" plant than the reports of it's origin indicates, suggested by the "northern" self seeding and evasive issues and the southern "sudden death" problem. That of course could be because of diseases down here but could be due to heat/humidity sensitivity. ..just trying to figure out this plant since it is new to my garden.
This pic is from Sept. 2001, 2-3 plants.
Same spot, June '02. Holy cow, was just reading my notes and I said I had already removed MOST of the smallest, weakest sprouts before taking that pic.
This post was edited by purpleinopp on Thu, Mar 21, 13 at 10:57
Great shots, purpleinopp. Thanks.
The 2002 seedlings are close together. How did that work out?
I am trying to determine what is the closest I can plant them and still they perform well.
I would love to answer that, but moved about a month later. Ironically enough, I've tried several times since to grow Cleome from seeds and failed. Never gave it much thought, seeds often don't work, I do them on impulse in weird places at weird times, but now I'm wondering if I should put the new packs of seeds in the 'frige for a couple weeks before attempting to grow these again this year.
That's a 6-foot fence in the pics. They need less than a square foot at the bottom, but as they get taller, the flowers lean way out. Here's another angle. The fence is on the north of the bed, the gazebo thing is east of the Cleome. So it would have been in the sun from about 11:30 until sundown.
Just realized I mentioned OH earlier but didn't make it explicit that the pics are from OH, just to not be misunderstood. Of course sun rays a lot less intense, much less heat than FL (or a few miles north of its' border, where I am now.) This just doesn't seem like a plant that would be bothered by too much sun/heat/humidity, but neither do a lot of plants that just can't live through such.
I will take my most dwarf seedlings and see if they will grow smaller. Will do it from the f1 Sparkle seedlings. The Queen series will probably always produce the same big plants. I am fighting for space and big, beautiful cleome like yours would overtake the space I have allocated.
Another thought about getting them to germinate. Besides putting them in the frig, fresh seeds may also have helped me, maybe. You might want to see if anyone has any from their yard to trade.
Thanks for sharing.
Sounds like a plan. Best of luck!
So where do you stand on the scent of Cleome? This is one of those polarizing plants, scent-wise, like Lantana, that people either love or hate.
Forgot to say before, if this plant is from a very hot but dry climate, then I can see where SE US humidity would be unbearable for it. From what I can find, this seems to be why I can't keep a Fuchsia alive. The last hope I'm clinging to is bringing it inside. We don't run the A/C much, from about dinner time until morning on about 80, sooo many testimonials say Fuchsia prefers to be inside for summer in the south, just not in the path of the A/C air.
I've been meaning to come back to this thread, but kept forgetting to touch base.
First off, Purple, those Cleomes are astounding. I had no idea they could reach that height.
Bugs, as my Cleomes are only maybe 7 months old, they've spent more time in cold weather than in ideal conditions, so I'm not surprised I haven't experienced any sort of invasion of seeds... yet. Apologies if I misrepresented them in my initial response.
Purple (again), I love the smell of my Cleomes. There's something very natural about them. As I don't grow veggies, i can't be certain, but I think they remind me of the scent I associate with Tomato plants. It's been years since I've been around any though, so I could be waaaay off base.
The Rosalita Cleomes were 5 out of 5 stars for my garden last year. They were awesome! I purchased two and they were put in a spot that is morning shade, afternoon sun. This photo was taken shortly after they were planted. They got three times taller and lasted beautifully all summer, never looking ragged. I'm waiting to see if they will come back after our winter freezes.
The cleomes are the light-purple/pink flowers in the center of the photo. They look washed out in the photo - they are brighter in real life.
Carol in Jacksonville
Sadly, the two beloved cleomes from last year did not return. They were dead all the way down to their toenails. I would like to replace them with the self-sowing variety. (The Rosalita is a sterile hybrid.) I don't like to buy plants that don't make it through the winter or self-seed. They become annuals and I try to stay away from anything that is just that. Can anyone recommend a good mail order place online to purchase some Cleome seeds?
Carol in Jax
I bought Cleome seeds on eBay and will toss into the garden just before the next rain.
Please post an update on how this goes. I tried some seed last spring but it didn't take, may have been too old. When I go to the Green Thumb festival down here the butterfly tent is always loaded with Cleomes so I know it is a butterfly magnet, so I'm definitely interested.
Tom, my two Senorita Rosalita cleomes (pictured above) that I purchased at Ace for 99 cents each during their spring sale last year did absolutely GREAT. They were a no-brainer, tolerated full sun and bloomed non-stop. But neither of them made it through the winter. Normally I don't replace plants that don't make it through the winter but the cleomes were so good and so easy that I wanted them again this year. The Rosalita are sterile so they don't reseed so I purchased seeds on eBay. The local Ace wanted $4.99 per plant (!) this year so I'm sticking with the seeds. No way to tell if mine are fresh or not - just hoping that a few will take because then they are supposed to reseed easily. Expecting rain maybe next Monday or Tuesday. I'll post an update.
...But neither of them made it through the winter....
Well, down here they won't freeze so the real question is how long will they live? Did they attract butterflies for you?
I wish I knew the answer to how long they will live, too. Yes, they sure did attract butterflies! Of course, my garden is similar to yours - we have lots of the same plants - and so it is hard to know what initially attracts bees, butterflies and hummers. I have salvias, porterweed, plumbago, pentas, gardenia, jasmine, cestrum, justicia and probably other things I'm forgetting. I would say that Rosalita is a good choice to at least try. For me, no pests, no watering, no special care, no nothing and it bloomed nonstop until January when it was all over but the crying.
PS. Tom, I still have Everglades tomatoes. Zero effort. They just show up. Like party crashers. :)
PS. Tom, I still have Everglades tomatoes....
Not surprised, you know the old saying, "Friends don't let friends grow Everglades". Once you have them, you have them forever ;-)
I'm sure you don't remember this but I still have the email from 2012 where you wanted some JM plumeria sticks, they are in bloom now but when I cut them back I will send you some sticks, sun is low in the west now so this picture shot to the east is the best I can do tonight ;-)
Wow, Tom, now that is a true gardening friend that keeps old emails around like that... I do LOVE that plumeria.... I have lots to send back in your direction and will... let's talk in the fall... or maybe do it at the Fall Swap?