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.
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
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.