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Common Cleome Plant Diseases:
How to Identify and Treat

Updated: December 25, 2022

Cleome plants are attractive flowering plants that are commonly grown in gardens and landscapes. However, like all plants, cleomes are susceptible to diseases that can cause damage to the plant and reduce its overall health and beauty. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common cleome plant diseases, how to identify them, and how to treat them.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that appears as a white or grayish powder on the leaves, stems, and flowers of the cleome plant. This disease can cause stunted growth and reduced flowering in affected plants. Powdery mildew thrives in warm, humid environments, making it a common problem in late summer.


To treat powdery mildew, remove any affected leaves and flowers from the plant. Spray the plant with a fungicide that contains sulfur or potassium bicarbonate. Repeat the treatment every 7-10 days until the disease is gone.

Gray Mold

Gray mold is a fungal disease that causes brown spots on the leaves and flowers of cleome plants. The spots eventually turn gray and fuzzy, giving the plant a moldy appearance. Gray mold thrives in cool, damp conditions.


To treat gray mold, remove any affected leaves and flowers from the plant. Avoid overhead watering and make sure the plant has good air circulation. If necessary, spray the plant with a fungicide containing copper or chlorothalonil.

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot is a bacterial disease that causes dark brown or black spots on the leaves of cleome plants. These spots may have a yellow halo around them, and they can cause leaves to drop prematurely.


To treat leaf spot, remove any affected leaves from the plant. Avoid overhead watering and make sure the plant has good air circulation. If necessary, spray the plant with a bactericide containing copper.

Root Rot

Root rot is a fungal disease that causes the roots of cleome plants to rot, leading to stunted growth and wilting. This disease thrives in wet soil and can be caused by overwatering or poor drainage.


To treat root rot, stop watering the plant until the soil is dry to the touch. If the plant is severely affected, remove it from the soil and try to salvage any healthy roots. Replant the cleome in fresh, well-draining soil.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I prevent cleome plant diseases?

To prevent cleome plant diseases, make sure your plants are grown in well-draining soil and receive adequate water and sunlight. Avoid overcrowding your plants, as this can lead to poor air circulation and increased disease susceptibility.

Can I use organic methods to control cleome plant diseases?

Yes, there are many organic methods that can be used to control cleome plant diseases. These include using compost tea or other organic fertilizers to improve soil health, planting disease-resistant varieties of cleome, and using natural fungicides like neem oil or garlic spray.

What should I do if my cleome plants are severely affected by disease?

If your cleome plants are severely affected by disease, it may be best to remove them from your garden or landscape to prevent the spread of disease to other plants. You can try salvaging healthy leaves or roots for propagation purposes, but be sure to sterilize any cutting tools before use.

In conclusion, cleome plant diseases can be a frustrating problem for gardeners and landscapers alike. However, with proper identification and treatment, these diseases can be controlled and prevented. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can help ensure that your cleome plants remain healthy and beautiful.