Cleome – Identification
Q: Is this plant a weed or a flower? We have a yard full of them and my wife wants to plant more but they seem to come up everywhere by themselves.
A: You have cleome – and in my landscape it can be both weed and flower. Its weedy nature comes from its ability to scatter seed throughout my flower beds. I pull out many seedlings every spring but I allow a few to grow and display their beautiful blooms.
Since the plant gets pretty tall, pinch out the growing tip of the plant when it is two feet tall. This causes it to re-branch and make more flowers. When it starts to look ratty in August you can cut the plants down to the ground. Never fear, it will reappear in your garden next year!