Senorita Rosalita Cleome
Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
One of the plants I remember from my youth is cleome with their spidery flowers today on Southern Gardening.
As a kid I loved the tall cleome in our garden. It was many years later when I rediscovered cleome growing in my neighbor’s yard. I reached out to hold a stem to get a closer look at the flowers and was suddenly reminded of one aspect of these plants. I had forgotten about the thorns and had impaled my thumb.
Several years ago a new and exciting cleome was introduced. Senorita Rosalita cleome is a great garden and landscape. Flowers are produced freely all summer long. In 2009 Senorita Rosalita was selected as a Mississippi Medallion winner and has not looked back. And the plant does not have thorns!! Older cleome varieties easily attained perennial status due to the prolific seed production. Senorita Rosalita does not produce viable seeds so there is no reseeding. The growth habit is much more compact being 24 inches tall and 20 inches wide. Senorita Rosalita has dense growth without “bare knees”.
Cleome is strictly a warm weather flowering annual to be transplanted once the soil temperatures begin warming. Select the planting site having full sun at least part of the day. Plant in amended landscape soil that is well-drained with a layer of mulch. The heavy flower heads can cause arching, but resist the urge to stake. Gentle breezes can cause the arching branches to sway adding movement to landscape. Senorita Rosalita cleome offer interesting textures to the garden for you and your neighbors to enjoy. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.