Updated: April 27, 2022

Cleome plants, also known as spider flowers, are beautiful annuals that add a touch of whimsy to any garden or landscape. With their tall spires of delicate, colorful blooms and fern-like foliage, these plants are easy to grow and care for. However, sometimes, despite our best efforts, our cleome plants can start to wilt and die. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of cleome plant death and what you can do to prevent it from happening.

Lack of Water

One of the most common reasons why cleome plants start to wilt and die is due to a lack of water. These plants prefer consistently moist soil, so if your area has been experiencing a drought or you haven’t been watering your cleome plant frequently enough, it may be suffering. Symptoms of dehydration include yellowing leaves, drooping stems, and brittle foliage.

To remedy this issue, make sure you’re watering your cleome plant deeply and regularly. Aim for about an inch of water per week, either through rainfall or manual watering. Consider using a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to ensure that the water is getting down to the roots where it’s needed most.

Poor Soil Quality

Another common cause of cleome plant death is poor soil quality. These plants prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. If your soil is too dense or lacks nutrients, your cleome plant may struggle to grow and thrive.

To improve your soil quality, consider adding compost or aged manure to your garden bed before planting your cleome seeds or seedlings. This will help improve drainage and provide your plants with the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.

Pests and Diseases

Unfortunately, cleome plants are susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases that can cause them to die prematurely. Some common pests that can damage cleome plants include aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars. These pests can cause yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and distorted foliage.

In addition to pests, cleome plants can also be affected by diseases such as powdery mildew and gray mold. These fungal infections can cause wilting, yellowing leaves, and black spots on the foliage.

To prevent pest and disease issues, make sure you’re monitoring your plants regularly for any signs of damage or distress. Consider using organic pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap to deter pests. If you notice signs of disease, remove any infected foliage and treat your plants with a fungicide to prevent the spread of the infection.


Can I grow cleome plants indoors?

While cleome plants are typically grown outdoors in garden beds or containers, they can be grown indoors in a sunny window. However, they may not thrive as well indoors as they would outdoors due to differences in light and humidity levels.

How often should I fertilize my cleome plant?

Cleome plants don’t require heavy fertilization, but you can feed them with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season to help promote healthy growth and flowering.

Are cleome plants toxic to pets?

Cleome plants are not toxic to pets, but they may attract bees and other pollinators to your garden, which could pose a risk to pets with allergies or sensitivities to insect stings.

In conclusion, cleome plants are beautiful and easy-to-grow annuals that add a touch of whimsy to any garden or landscape. However, they do require consistent care and attention to thrive. By ensuring that your plants are getting enough water, have good soil quality, and are protected from pests and diseases, you can help prevent your cleome plants from dying prematurely and enjoy their vibrant blooms all season long.