The Cleome, or cleome, is a flowering plant belonging to the Cleomaceae family. It is an annual or biennial. In nature it is found everywhere in the world, in those regions where there is a temperate and warm climate. This genus includes about 70 species. Inflorescences in kleoma have a peculiar form, so the Germans call it "spinenpflanze", which translates as "spider plant".
The cyst-shaped inflorescences are not quite ordinary, they can be compared to a burst of champagne or an explosion. Such flowers may not be to some people's taste, but leaving them without attention is simply impossible. Every year this flowering plant attracts more and more gardeners' attention because it has very showy inflorescences with a peculiar odor and its blossoms are rather long, lasting from June to September.
Properties of Cleoma
Cleoma has a very strong root system. Branched strong shoots, they have a pubescence on their surface consisting of glandular short hairs.
The height of the bush can reach 150 cm. The greenish, alternately arranged leaf blades of some species have small spines on the underside. Leaves can be simple or complicated, consisting of 5 or 7 entire elongated linear leaflets. The apical leaflets are small and entire. The apical cotyledonous inflorescences consist of regularly shaped, purplish, pink, white or yellow flowers.
The flowers have relatively long stamens, which look like spider legs. The fruit is a one-nest multiseed with a pod shape and may be up to 30 mm long. Most amateur gardeners don't like the floral smell of the cleoma, but in the garden plot outside it is completely impossible to feel it, but it can scare off pests. This not-so-common scent is necessary for such a flower to attract small bats in the wild, which are its pollinators.
Flowers bloom beautifully for the garden.
Cleoma from seed to bloom!
Growing Cleoma from seed
Seeds are used to propagate Cleoma. They can be sown directly into the open soil under the winter (in November or December) or in the spring. However, experienced gardeners recommend that this crop be grown through seedlings.
When should I sow seeds for seedlings? Such a plant has a relatively long growing season. If you intend to harvest fully mature seeds in autumn, you should sow the seedlings in the last days of February.
To seedlings seemed faster, before sowing the seeds should be half a day (12 hours) immersed in a solution of Epin or Zircon (250 ml of warm boiled water takes 2 drops of agent). For sowing, use not very deep container, which is filled with substrate consisting of humus, garden mix and sand taken in a ratio of 2:2:1. The seeds are distributed on the surface of the substrate, and from above they should be covered with a layer of the same soil mixture, which should be about 15 mm thick. The container should be covered with glass on top.
The first seedlings should show after 15-20 days.
When this happens, the container should be placed in a very well-lit place and you will also need extra light in the evening. Watering should be quite rare, but plentiful. Remember that between waterings the substrate must have time to dry out. As a precaution against root diseases the seedlings should be watered once with a weak solution of manganese potassium.
After the plants begin to form the first pair of true leaf plates, the seedlings should be pricked, using peat-motley cups.
When transplanting, seedlings in the substrate deepen to seedling lobes. When half a month after picking, it is recommended to feed the plants, for this use a complex mineral fertilizer, which should be sufficiently weak concentration. After that, feed the seedlings regularly 2 times a month. To prevent the development of lopsided seedlings, the container in which it grows should be systematically rotated relative to the light source.
Planting cloam in the open ground
When to plant
After the threat of frost returns in the spring, you can transplant the cloam sprouts into the open ground.
This is usually in the last days of May or the first days of June. For planting you should choose a well-lit area, protected from strong draughts. The plant is undemanding to the soil, but on a neutral nutritious soil with good moisture this flower develops much better than on a site with dry poor soil. If the soil on the site is depleted, then before planting the cleoma under digging it should be made 2 large spoons of granulated flower fertilizer, as well as 1 bucket of decompost at the rate of 1 m2.
Perfections for planting
For the seedlings to take root quickly and well in their new location after planting, they should be treated with a solution of Epin-extra stimulator with Citovit microfertilizer (follow the instructions enclosed with the preparations).
Planting seedlings in the open soil, it is necessary not to take it out of the pots, and between bushes should be observed at a distance of 0.5 to 0.7 m. Such planting of cleoma will avoid overgrowth, the flowers will be more resistant to pests and diseases, and the flowering will be very effective and lush. The planted plants should be watered under the root using a humate solution.
Care for Cleoma
Growing Cleoma in your own garden is quite easy. It should only be watered during hot weather and not very often, but abundantly. Fertilizing is carried out 2 times a month at the root and for this use fertilizer such as Fertika-lux or Fertika-combi (1 bucket of water takes a couple of big spoonfuls of fertilizer). If the bush is weakened or affected by a disease, it is necessary to feed it foliar way, using a nutrient solution consisting of 3 liters of water and 1 small spoonful of fertilizer. To bring the moment of the beginning of flowering closer, before the formation of the buds begins, the bushes should be treated with a solution of Zircon (1 milligram of agent per 1 liter of water).
If the surface of the plot has not been covered with a layer of mulch after planting, you will have to systematically loosen the soil surface while removing weeds.
Diseases and pests
Since the cloema flowers have a not quite usual aroma for flowers, pests try to bypass it. It can also become ill if it is not watered properly or if it is planted in an area with a high groundwater table. But if planted in a proper place and cared for properly, the plant will not become ill at all.
Kleoma after flowering
Since you can only raise it from seed, experienced gardeners recommend harvesting it in the fall in order to sow it in spring or over winter.
To understand the mature or not seeds can be judged by their appearance, so they should be rounded, in diameter reach one and a half millimeters, the color depending on the flower itself flower can be brown or yellow. To avoid self-seeding and not to miss the moment when seeds need to be collected, it is recommended to put bags sewn from gauze over several pods.
In middle latitudes, such a flower crop is grown as an annual plant. So when the frosts come, the bushes should be pulled out and burned. In November or December you should sow seeds collected in autumn under the winter.
The seeds are put only 15 mm deep into the soil and the area is covered with lapniks. The cover should be removed in spring and the shoots should appear very soon.
Stypes and varieties of Cleoma
There are only two types of Cleoma currently cultivated by gardeners, namely Cleome Hassleriana and Cleome Spinosa. Both of these species are tropical South American. The only difference is the color of the flowers, which is why these two species are referred to collectively as Cleome Spiny.
Thanks to these species were born several hybrids and varieties. The most popular are the following varieties:
- Hellen Campbell. The color of the flowers is white.
- Rosakenigin. The flowers are colored soft pink.
- Pink Queen and Rose Queen. Flowers colored in various shades of pink.
- Golden Sparkler. The dwarf bush displays yellow flowers.
- Giant Pink Quesen.
The dark pink flowers are relatively large.
- Sparkler Lavender. The coloration of the flowers is pale purple.
- Violet Queen. The flowers are colored purple-black.
The most popular variety of prickly Cherry Queen cleoma. The bush reaches a height of 0.6 m. Its flowers are fragrant and 20-30 mm across and are shaped and hung on long stalks. There is also the cultivated variety Champagne Splash, created using the Hassler's Cleoma species.
The bush reaches a height of 1.2 m. The brush-like inflorescence consists of pink or white flowers, reaching 30-40 mm across. The diameter of the bunch is about 20 centimeters. Flowering begins in July and ends with the onset of frost.
Growing Cleoma as a solitary plant or in groups with annuals such as fragrant tobacco or lavatera. As it is rather tall, it is used as a hedge or as the backdrop of a flower bed.