Desert Bee plant is colorful and a fun wildflower is native to California and Eastern Washington. Long spiked blooms provide colors ranging from shades of pink to purple. Seeds should be planted in late fall and exposed to cold weather to break dormancy. Great for xeriscaping and conservation gardens. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 30 days before direct sowing. Keep the soil evenly moist until germination, which should occur within 30-35 days; the germination rate may be naturally low.

Seed pack contents: .5G Sows about 15’

Botanical name: Cleome serrulata

Planting by Zones

Zones 9-10

  • Bee Plant needs cold stratification to break the dormancy of the seed. Plant in the fall in an area of the garden that receives cold temperatures. Alternatively, you can break seed dormancy by planting them in moist sand and keeping in the fridge for 4-6 weeks. Note that germination is naturally low.

Zones 2-8

  • Grown as annual. Seeds germinate better when they are exposed to cold temperatures.

Planting Bee Plant Seeds

  • This beautiful native plant attracts tons of bees and beneficial insects to your garden. Germination is naturally low on this seed. Exposing the seed to several weeks of cold temperatures can drastically increase germination. This process is called cold stratification.
  • A gardener can choose to start plants in starter pots and emulate cold stratification. Plant seeds in moist sand and keep in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.
  • Seed can be direct sown in an area of the garden that will receive cold exposure. Plant as soon as the danger of frost has passed and soil can be worked.

Growing Bee Plant

  • This plant is a perfect addition to native and xeriscaping gardens. Bee plant is not fussy and can be left to grow happily in the garden. Bee Plant can grow in poor soils.

Growing Bee Plant in Containers

  • If you are planting Bee Plant in containers, make sure your container is at least 10” deep. We do not recommend planting more than one plant per container as they can get large. Overcrowding will cause the plant to be unhappy and provide fewer blooms. The larger the container, the more blooms you will get. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture.

Harvesting Bee Plant Flowers

  • flowers are beautiful but are best left on the plant so that honey bees and wild bees can enjoy the nectar.

Southern California Pro-tips

  • In areas of Zones 9 and 10 with mild winters, you can plant Bee Plant in the fall to grow through the winter and bloom in the spring.
  • DO NOT overhead water as this promotes disease.

Companion Flowers/Crops

Additional Learning Resources