Cleome serrulata (Rocky Mountain Bee Plant) is a colorful long blooming native annual with large showy flowers in shades of pink and rose pink, it is invaluable as a nectar source for bees and butterflies. It's traditionally used by native peoples as a source for dyes, edible leaves and medicinal preparations. Grow as an annual. Reseeds easily year to year.
Studies have shown this plant to be more effective than DEET as a tick repellent in fields.
How to grow:
Cleome seeds are easy to start and low maintenance. They are an annual that is planted in the early spring to mid-summer. Cleomes, or Spider Plants, will bloom until the first frost. In a windy area, they may require staking; they are disease and insect free. Butterflies and hummingbirds love to feast on cleomes.
Cleome seeds may be started indoors or outdoors. They grow best in full sun; seeds will germinate in 8 to 12 days if temperatures are 70 to 80F.
Seeds should be planted 1/8th inch deep and left uncovered. Space 3 inches between seeds, and space 18 inches between rows. Thin to 18 to 24 inches apart when plants are 3 inches tall.
Cleome plants started indoors can be transplanted at 21 to 25 days.