Cleome - garden revival

Just seen a stunning looking flower on the garden revival programme called a cleome. After a quick look they seem to be very tall 3-4 ft. So does anyone know of shorter varieties. What are opinions, are they worth growing???



  • I've grown them for two years running and they were around 3ft high, great long lasting flowers but mind the spikes! 

  • Bex2012Bex2012 Posts: 45

    I grew cleomes last year.... The plants were huge, 5ft maybe? They smelt a bit minty too... they also look a lot like cannabis plants, which worried us at first. I wouldn't grow them again, the cabbage whites loved them, and stripped all the plants of leaves, the caterpillars then moved on to other plants in the garden. They were a nice experiment, but not for me!

  • Spikes, cabbage whites, oooh I'm not sure now then!!!


    nice light Sussex anniemarshy, my farther loves his!!

  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,104

    They are on my list to try this year - i will watch out for the spikesimage

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • LynLyn Posts: 8,062

    They are beautiful, i grew them last year, dont sow the seeds too early, i found April was the best time, unless you have a heated propagator, even then, they cant be planted out until its warm out. They do come originally from warmer climes, very rewarding though. I could not have cut them for a vase like Rachel did!

    I have saved the seeds from them for this year and they are twice the size of the ones i bought. They yeild thousands of seeds.Hoping for an even better show this year 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • Are they all tall??? Any shorter types!?

  • Thanks the hens were on borrowed time, but they started laying Christmas Day so they are safe!


  • Dads have done the same, moult then tonic and just started again, they are 4 now so many people would have given up!!!! 

  • I saw the Garden Revival last night. Loved to grow cleomes this year. Put off now with the comment that cabbage whites loved them!! I had a problem with the caterpillars eating the leaves of my roases last year!!!

  • Ditto fluffy. Love butterflies etc but my garden needs to stay pest free not attract them. Anyone out there know pest free varieties???

  • Lyn's advice is spot on. Sow them in a cold greenhouse in April. I seem to remember I potted mine in small plastic pots and planted them out in early May.

    They are fantastic,. Don't be put off by Bex's bad experience- if I had cabbage white on them  I did not notice and I always have lots of butterflies

  • What varieties have people had. I only have space for a few and I'm looking for nothing higher than 3 ft. Thanks

  • Bex2012Bex2012 Posts: 45


    These were mine at the beginning of August. 2wks later those leaves looked like lace! 

  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,104

    They look fantastic Bex !  Can you remember what type they were and where you got the seeds?  

    I have started to do some research and found references to the "sparkler" and "queen"  series, but not sure which is best to try for a first timer.  Also whether i need to put in an online order with a specialist seed company, or whether i will find them in garden centres ?

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • Lol they really so look like cannabis or hemp leaves lol..... Chicky check out ebay tons of varieties.....

  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,290

    I grew these last year for the first time and found them really easy to grow, they germinate into strong seedlings. I think mine were just the normal mixed white/purple/pink type, I think from Wilko's.

    I didn't really notice the catepillars mind you they were busy eating the sweet rockets! I collected some seeds so will give them another go this year.


  • Bex2012Bex2012 Posts: 45

    Mine were from Wilkos too! I must have grown 7-8 plants (tiny garden). They didnt really do a lot, planted them out in the garden and they literally grew 2ft over the weekend! The flowers are odd, the buds continue to grow upwards before opening up. It's hard to explain - 


    I wasn't expecting them to be so tall, I'd planted sweet peas behind them! Good job they were really, my sweet peas were awful!

  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,104

    Thanks Bex - will definitely give them a try image

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • Bex2012Bex2012 Posts: 45

    If you have canes, it's probably worth staking them when you plant them out, mine were top heavy & flopped, and ended up being tied to the fence.

  • I planted a free packet of cleome this year and thought it came with GW magazine when I was a subscriber.  Plants now about 3' tall with large pink flowerheads and very impressive.  Also looks like there are more flowers to appear lower down. Haven't staked them as they are surrounded by other plants so hope they stand up to the storm which may hit south east england tonight.  In any event, we have had very strong winds almost every day.  Question is - are they likely to self seed or if I cut them down when they finish flowering will they grow again next year?  Most perennials in my garden came and went very quickly because of the drought but these really are star performers. 

Sign In or Register to comment.