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Cleome -- what did I do wrong?

Posted by jankay 7b (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 22, 11 at 20:43

Started these inside in March and they did really well -- 100% germination. They have lived and bloomed in the garden, but are no more than 8" tall. I pulled off seed pods on some of them, hoping to encourage more growth and flowering. Can't think what I have done wrong.

Same problem with Columbine Alec Guiness. They are healthy, but have stopped growing and haven't flowered.

Any ideas?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cleome -- what did I do wrong?

there are to may variables to determine specifically what went "wrong"
my sugestion would be to LIGHTLY fertilize plants this should give them a kick in the pants & reamber "flowering signles a temporary stopage of growth"


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RE: Cleome -- what did I do wrong?

Columbines flower their second year, so you shouldn't expect any flowers this year. Their season is basically over; just let the foliage stay on and die out naturally, which they will do without any intervention or fault from you. They are done here in Zone 5, and we flower later than you.

For us, cleomes flower naturally in August. Since you started them inside, you've sped up their flowering cycle. They may or may not re-flower. The summer is longer for you, so once you've dead-headed, give it some time to grow again. But, they are annuals, which mean don't be surprised if they don't. I hope you saved the seeds to spread in the garden for next year's crops. They self seed so readily that it's easier than starting indoors. Alternatively, start them later, like late April.


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RE: Cleome -- what did I do wrong?

8" tall seems odd for Cleome. Mine , also started indoors, are closer to 18" and most of them are blooming now. When they got about 6", I pinched them back to force side branching. It worked and they were over 8" when I planted them outside. Maybe you had them in to small a container inside and it stunted them? The first time I tried them I used those little peat pellets, and never up potted them. They stayed small when planted outside.


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RE: Cleome -- what did I do wrong?

Yes, mandolls, the peat pellets are exactly what I used and I never potted them up since they could go directly into the garden relatively early. Never pinched off either. Most of my indoor growing has been with zinnias and cosmos (which don't even need it!), so I'm not on the ball here.

So would your advice on the cleomes be just to let them go to seed and let them come up on their own next year? I still have some seed left from the originals, so I should just spread them out in the fall?

And the columbines will survive and be stronger and bloom appropriately next year?

Thanks for the help :D


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RE: Cleome -- what did I do wrong?

Yes, on the Columbine. My experience is they dont ever look like more than seedlings the first year, but will be bigger and healthy and full of blooms next year. However, many columbine only live for 2-3 years, I'd recommend starting a few more seedlings every year to keep them coming. They self seed for many people, but not me.

My Cleome did not self-seed either, but I am in zone 4, and just dont get a lot of self seeding happening in my garden.


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