Gardens Illustrated

Sow Cleome hassleriana 'Violet Queen'

UK subscribers to Gardens Illustrated will have received a packet of Cleome hassleriana 'Violet Queen' seeds with the March issue. Now is the perfect time to plant them.

A tall, elegant, half-hardy annual with rich violet-purple flowers, produced from summer into autumn, that rise delicately above aromatic palmate foliage. Looks stunning in cut flower displays. The seedheads can be dried and added to arrangements too.

March seeds
Illustration by Hannah McVicar

Advice for sowing

Sow thinly in trays of seed compost and cover with a fine layer of soil. Firm gently and keep moist. Cover tray with glass, polythene or propagator and leave to germinate at 15-20°C.

Remove cover when seedlings appear and pot on when large enough to handle. Stand outside for a few days in May to harden off (avoiding frosts). Plant out in flowering position 60cm apart. Prefers moist but well drained soil in a sunny, sheltered position. May need staking as it grows to a height of 1.2m.

Flowers July to October.


Seed packet illustration by Hannah McVicar


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