Picturesque summer flower with a touch of scratchiness - the spider flower

Picturesque summer flower with a touch of scratchiness - the spider flower

Plant spider flower correctly

The rise in the thermometer to clearly and permanently above 14 degrees Celsius signals the start of the planting time for the spider plant. Before starting the preparation of the soil in the sunny, warm location, put the potted root ball in water. If the Cleome does not act as a solitaire, but rather sets decorative accents as a group, please create the appropriate number of plant pits at a distance of 30-40 cm. A third of the excavation is optimized with compost and horn shavings (€ 6.39 at Amazon *). Plant the now potted spider flower deep enough that the soil reaches up to the lower pair of leaves so that you can water it generously.

also read

  • Can you overwinter the spider flower?
  • Interesting facts about the seeds of the spider flower
  • Is the spider flower poisonous?

Care tips

Their floral opulence belies the modest demands. In truth, the spider plant is so modest that it makes gardening life easy even for beginners. How to properly maintain a Tarenaya hassleriana:

  • Water abundantly and regularly until the soil stops absorbing water
  • Do not water again until the substrate is dry
  • From July to October, apply liquid fertilizer weekly or a slow release fertilizer every 3 months
  • Regularly cut off the withered flowers on non-sterile varieties

If you leave some withered flowers in the bed in summer, the spider flower will take care of the reproduction by self-sowing. With the onset of the cold season, the plants die and are disposed of on the compost.

Which location is suitable?

In view of their South American origins, the only option is a fully sunny, warm and sheltered location. In front of the south wall of the house, along the garden fence or as a backdrop plant in the sunny perennial bed, the spider plant creates floral abundance where other plants would languish. The soil should be correspondingly warm, rich in nutrients, humic and well permeable to water.

The correct planting distance

In crowded confinement, the majestic appearance falls by the wayside. You should therefore give a spider plant sufficient space for unhindered development. With a planting distance of 30 cm for the medium-sized varieties and 40 cm for the big beauties, you are exactly right. Reduce these values ​​by 5-8 cm in a tub or balcony box.

What soil does the plant need?

The spider plant once again proves its undemanding frugality in terms of soil quality. The spirited summer flower thrives in any good garden soil that is humic, fresh and moist and rich in nutrients. The decision for the suitable potting substrate is therefore easy, because standard potting soil with a low peat content easily meets expectations. If in doubt, add some sand or perlite (€ 32.90 at Amazon *) for best permeability.

What is the best time to plant?

For the spider plant, the start of the planting time is not based on a calendar date. Instead, the thermometer determines when the outdoor season begins for a Cleome. Do not put the summer flower in the bed or on the balcony until the temperatures permanently exceed the 14-degree mark. Experience has shown that the weather leveled off at this warmth level at the end of May / beginning of June.

When is the flowering time?

Three to four weeks after planting, the spider plant unfolds its orchid-like flowers with the distinctive stamens. Where the light and temperature conditions are right, the colorful spectacle thus extends from July to October. Hobby gardeners with limited time will be pleased to note that the time-consuming cleaning of dead flowers is not necessary for the red and white Senorita Rosalita (Fesche Fanny) varieties. On all other varieties, please cut off faded heads regularly so that new flowers can flourish instead of the debilitating seed heads.

Cut the spider flower correctly

The pruning measures on a spider plant are limited to the continuous removal of withered flowers. Your effort will be rewarded with a tireless bloom from July to October. Otherwise, a Cleome will form the capsule fruits, which will come at the expense of new flowers. The only exceptions are the two sterile varieties Senorita Rosalita and Senorita Blanca. There is no need to cut here, as no seed heads develop here. Since the tightly upright summer beauties are ideally suited for the vase, cut freshly bloomed stems off a hand's width above the floor. As long as one or two leaves remain on the plant, it will sprout again from here.

Watering the spider flower

The spider plant evaporates moisture every day from its dense dress of leaves and flowers. Regular watering compensates for this loss of water so that there is no drought stress. Please pour the water directly onto the root disc until the soil no longer absorbs moisture. On potted flowers, the first drops in the saucer indicate that the current water requirement has been met. On hot summer days it can be the case that you water your Cleome twice a day in the bucket or balcony box - in the early morning and in the evening.

Fertilize the spider flower properly

The nutrient stocks that a spider plant received during planting are used up within 4 weeks. Now it comes down to a regular dose of fertilizer so that the magnificent summer flower does not run out of energy. From July until the end of the flowering period, please give a weekly liquid fertilizer for flowering plants with a dosage of 2 grams per liter of irrigation water. Alternatively, a Cleome receives a slow release fertilizer such as Osmocote in July and September. Furthermore, a mulch layer made of leaves or grass clippings provides a permanent supply of nutrients that are processed by busy soil organisms for the roots.


In view of its pronounced sensitivity to cold, there is no prospect of a healthy winter for the spider plant. The minimum temperature of 14 degrees Celsius nips ambitious plans in this regard in the bud. Instead, simply collect the capsule fruits to use the seeds for propagation.

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Propagate spider flower

If you leave some withered flowers in the bed, the spider plant will produce capsule fruits and sow itself independently. In order to direct the reproduction in the desired path, you can collect these seed heads, dry them and keep them cool until the next spring. In March, sow the seeds in small pots or bowls. Sieve the light germs a maximum of 5 mm high with sand or vermiculite and moisten with a fine shower. In the partially shaded window seat, germination takes 3 weeks at temperatures of 18-20 degrees Celsius. Please note that at temperatures below 14 degrees there will be no germination. Before you plant the young Cleome out at the end of May / beginning of June, we recommend hardening them for 8 days on the balcony to gradually accustom them to the sun and fresh air.

Spider flower in the pot

With its extravagant flowers and proud posture, the spider plant attracts everyone's attention on the balcony and terrace. How good that the South American summer beauty turns out to be just as undemanding in pots as in beds. We have summarized all the important criteria for you here:

  • Pottery shards or chippings above the floor opening act as protection against waterlogging
  • Enrich peat-poor potting soil with perlite, lava granulate (€ 10.95 at Amazon *) or pumice for good permeability
  • Water regularly when the substrate has dried on the surface
  • From July to October, liquid fertilize or apply a depot fertilizer weekly

If dead flowers are cleaned out every few days, the Cleome does not invest its energy in growing seed heads, but tirelessly produces new flowers.

Is Spider Flower Poisonous?

Their botanical assignment to the cruciferous vegetables draws our attention, because these plants are usually poisonous. Unfortunately, the spider plant is no exception. The poisonous alkaloids and glycosides are concentrated in the seeds, but are also contained in the leaves and shoots. The sterile varieties Senorita Rosalita and Senorita Blanca are therefore preferred for cultivation in the family garden, since the questionable capsule fruits do not develop here. Nevertheless, wear gloves for all planting and maintenance work, as the sap can cause allergic reactions on skin contact.

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Spider flower does not bloom

If a spider plant refuses to flower, one or more factors arouse its resentment. You should therefore put the framework conditions to the test in order to take possible improvement measures. We have compiled the most common causes for you with tips on how to rectify them:

  • Lack of light: place the flower in full sun
  • Waterlogging: do not water until the surface has dried; Transplant potted flowers into dry substrate
  • Nutrient deficiency: add liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water every week from July to October

By far the most common cause of failure to flower is cold. As long as summer denies us warm temperatures of more than 14 degrees Celsius, look in vain for the magical flowers on a Cleome. In this case, continue the maintenance program as planned. As soon as the column of mercury rises, the spider flower puts on its flower dress.

Nice varieties

  • Helen Campbell: Majestic spider plant with white, fragrant flowers; the ideal backdrop plant; 120 cm
  • Cherry Queen: Elegant variety that surprises with cherry-red flower clusters; very nice as a cut flower; 100-120 cm
  • Spider: Splendid mix for a colorful flower bed, in front of fences and in a pot in white, pink and pink; 80-90 cm
  • Senorita Rosalita: Award-winning Cleome with pink-violet, orchid-like flowers for beds and balconies; 50-60 cm
  • Senorita Blanca: The white flowering counterpart to Rosalita, which both harmonize excellently; 50-60 cm