Cleome “Spider Flower”

To add interest, height, and variety, plant the Cleome hassleriana, also commonly known as spider flower or spider plant. It’s a very attractive annual with a long flowering season.


To add interest, height, and variety, plant the Cleome hassleriana, also commonly known as spider flower or spider plant. It's a very attractive annual with a long flowering season. #garden

I discovered cleome, also known as “spider flower” while visiting the gardens at Temple Square and fell in love with it’s feathery, airy appeal. Because of its originality, I decided to show case this lovely plant in my own garden, which sparks a lot of discussion by passersby.

Native to Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and southeast Brazil, Cleome hassleriana is commonly known as the spider flower or spider plant because of its spidery-like flowers with long-stemmed stamens and wavy seed pods. The blossoms look more like a feathery, airy snowball with a 6 to 8-inch span on long, sturdy stems that do not need staking. Like sweet alyssum, the cleome will often reseed itself and will lie dormant until spring. Although the plant is not invasive, it can overtake other plants if it is allowed to go to seed.

As it grows taller, the plant can look leggy and leafless, so try planting it en masse or with other flowers placed in front of it.

Cleome is a very drought-tolerant, heat-tolerant plant, so it does well in my Utah environment; however it looks more attractive if it is watered regularly.

To deadhead cleome, use pruning shears to cut off the flower head down to where another bud appears as a small bump along the stem.

Genus: Cleome (klee-HO-me)

Family: Cleomaceae

Species: Cleome hassleriana

Category: Annual

Habit: Upright

Height: 24-48 inches (61-122 cm) some can get as tall as 5 feet!

Spacing: 20-24 inches (51-61 cm)

Bloom Color: Pink, Lavender, White

Bloom Time: June to October

Hardiness: USDA Zones 8-11. Hardy to 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 Celcius)

Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Foliage: Herbaceous, Smooth-textured

Soil: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Propagation Method: From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall after last frost

Seed Collecting: Allow seed heads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Watering: Average water; water regularly; do not over water

About Jen

Jen is owner, author, and creative mind behind Bakerette. Jen eats a vegan diet and recently converted Bakerette to a plant-based website that offers a smattering of healthful recipes! Jen is author of the cookbook Festive Feasts: Meals and Memories from Halloween to Christmas, which can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


  1. They are beautiful flowers! I used to grow these in Nebraska and they did very good there but it has been tricky to get them growing in Colorado. Maybe my seeds were just bad? Where did you buy your seeds or did you buy plants?
    Thanks for all the comments on my blogs. It would be fun to meet sometime when I make the trip to Utah, which I will be doing more since my daughters will be attending BYU.

  2. I’ve tried twice to grow Cleome from seed and have failed both times – maybe one more try? I do love it.

  3. I love Cleome, in fact I just picked some up yesterday. They get really tall and they look pretty blooming with roses.

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