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How to Grow Cobaea Scadens Flowers

Annual, Cobaea Scadens

Cobaea Scadens is a great flower to grow in your home flower garden. The bell-shaped flowers, looking like a cup or saucer, are an attractive conversation piece, growing from a trellis, fence or other support.  This is a very decorative plant, with lush, green foliage.

Native to Mexico and Peru, it was discovered in the 17th century, by Father Cobo, a Jesuit missionary. Some varieties of Cobaea Scadens can grow up to 33 feet tall, if over-wintered in warm areas where the temperatures do not go below 40 degrees. These easy to grow plants are most often grown as annuals, and usually grow 4-6 feet or more in a season. These climbers need something to climb on. Provide them with a trellis, fence or post, and watch them grow! Or, try growing them down off of a balcony or deck.

Cobaea Scadens flowers attract hummingbirds.

Other Names: They are called Cup and Saucer Vine (due to the flower shape), Cup and Saucer Flower, Mexican Ivy, and Cathedral Bells.


Plant Propagation:

Cobaea Scadens plants are grown from seeds. While the plant is easy to grow, getting the seeds to germinate can be a bit of a challenge. They take 3-4 weeks to germinate. We  strongly recommend an indoor start. In areas with a long growing season, the Cup and Saucer Vine can be directly seeded into your flower garden. If you start them outdoors, make sure to mark where they are planted, and keep well weeded, so you can spot them when they emerge.

Cobaea Scadens can also be propagated from cuttings.

Transplant seedling plants into your garden, after the last frost date for your area. Space plants 8-10" apart. Provide something for them to grow on for maximum growth potential. The plants tolerate a little crowding. If growing in hanging planters, space them a little closer.


How to Grow Cobaea Scadens Plants:

Grow Cobaea Scadens plants in full sun. The plants tolerate a variety of soils, but rich soils, with ample amounts of organic matter, help to promote maximum growth. The soil should be well draining. For optimal growth, use a general purpose fertilizer every 2-3 weeks. A month before the blooming period, switch to a fertilizer high in phosphorous to promote blooms.

 Keep the soil moist. Watering during during dry periods is important to sustain fast growth and big, bright blooms.

Plants bloom from late summer to fall.

Cobaea Scadens plants are annuals. They succumb to frost and freezes.


Insect and Disease:

Cathedral Bells seldom have problems with insects and disease. Red spider mites are an occasional pest. If insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.


More Information:

Recipes- May we suggest Cathedral Cookies

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