How to Prune Cleome

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The appearance of cleome plants is improved with regular pruning.

Cleome, also called spider flower, is an annual with delicate foliage and dainty upright blooms in shades of pink, lavender and white. The plants grow from 1 1/2 to 5 feet tall, depending upon the variety. Regular pruning keeps cleome plants looking their best, promotes lush foliage and extends the bloom cycle. Use care when pruning, as the stems of some varieties are lined with sharp thorns.


Step 1

Trim cleome plants back by half at the time of planting if they appear lanky or foliage is scarce.

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Step 2

Snip off dead leaves and those that have been damaged by insects or disease anytime throughout the season.


Step 3

Shear cleome plants back during middle summer if growth becomes lanky or flowering slows. Avoid cutting past the lowest leaf bud because you will be left with stems and no new growth.

Step 4

Pinch the ends of newly formed foliage to encourage bushier growth.

Step 5

Remove each flower as it fades to improve appearance and encourage repeat blooms.


Leave some blooms in place to promote self-seeding.

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