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The spider flower is a popular plant that immediately catches the eye with its filigree stamens. In the German-speaking countries, the Cleomaceae are mostly kept as annual plants. They are sown again the following year in order to present their flowers throughout the summer. Because of this, many gardeners wonder whether the spider flower is hardy at all and if not, what measures are necessary for overwintering.
Is the spider flower hardy?
Whether the species of the Cleome genus are hardy can be seen clearly with a no respond. The ornamental plant is even extremely sensitive to temperatures that are too low, as it only has a very poor tolerance to cold has. The reason for this is the original distribution area of the spider plant, because it comes from the following countries in South America:
While it's also found in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean, plants here also enjoy consistent, warm temperatures. The Cleome spinosa is not used to winter at all and for this reason has to be overwintered. In itself, the species is a perennial, perennial plant that will easily delight several seasons with its flowering. The following list provides an overview of each temperature section that is important to keep in mind when keeping a spider flower:
- from 20°C: ideal
- 15°C to 20°C: weaker growth
- 10°C to 15°C: Growth stops
- below 10°C: plant dies
Summer temperatures between 15°C and 25°C are typical for Germany and can vary greatly depending on the region and weather conditions. For example, if you live in wine-growing areas, you don't have to worry as much about summer temperature swings, which could affect spider flowers.
Since the winters in Germany are well below freezing, you cannot keep the plants outdoors. Even the months of March to mid-May are not recommended here. The lack of winter hardiness of the cleomen ensures that they die even in spring. For this reason, you have to wait for the ice saints in mid-May until the ornamental plant can move into the garden. Since the popular ornamental plant only lasts one summer, many people are wondering whether overwintering is even possible.
notice: When you search for commercially available spider flowers, don't be surprised if you see others besides the botanical name C. spinosa. Due to the long history of research, spider plants also have the variant names C. hassleriana, C. pungens, C. gigantea and Tarenaya hassleriana, although these are the same plant.
It is not possibleDon't overwinter spider flowers because not only are the plants not hardy, they won't survive overwintering indoors either. The temperature and light differences over the winter in Central Europe are too great for the tropical plant. For this reason, you have to do without the pretty plant during the cold season. Even in the greenhouse this is not possible. In cold regions with a pronounced winter, the spider flower can never build up enough strength to maintain its vitality for several years.
Alternative: Overwinter seeds
Compared to the plant itself, the seeds do not suffer from the cold and can easily be used to grow new specimens. All you have to do is harvest the mature seed pods in autumn and keep them until March. These are then placed in potting soil on the windowsill as usual and planted in the garden after the ice saints. If you repeat this process every year, you won't have to get new spider flowers.
notice: Be sure to pay attention to the spider flower's toxicity. Because while the entire plant is toxic, the seeds contain the highest concentration of mustard oil glycosides. For this reason, it is essential to wear gloves when tending, harvesting and sowing again in the spring, so that you do not end up suffering from symptoms of poisoning.