Cup and saucer plant

Growing Cup And Saucer Vine – Information And Care Of Cup And Saucer Vine

Also known as cathedral bells because of its flower shape, cup and saucer vine plants are native to Mexico and Peru. Though it thrives in warm climates such as these, there is no need to discard this pretty climbing plant when the summer is done. Bring it indoors to your warm sunroom and enjoy it all year long. Keep reading for more information on cup and saucer vine plants.

Interesting Facts About Cup and Saucer Vines

The cup and saucer vine was first discovered by a Jesuit missionary priest named Father Cobo. The plant’s Latin name Cobea scandens was chosen in honor of Father Cobo. This interesting tropical beauty grows vertically rather than laterally and will eagerly cling to a trellis and create a lovely display in a very short amount of time.

Most vines reach a mature spread of 20 feet. The interesting cup or bell-shaped flowers are pale green and as they open in midsummer, they turn to white or purple and persist through early fall. Although the buds have a somewhat sour aroma, the actual flower is sweet like honey when it opens.

Growing Cup And Saucer Vines

Starting cup and saucer vine seeds is not difficult, but it’s best to scratch them a bit with a nail file or soak them overnight in water before you plant to encourage germination. Sow the seeds on their edge in seed trays filled with soil-based seed compost. Be sure to put just a sprinkle of soil on top of the seeds, as too much will cause the seed to rot.

The temperature should be around 65 F. (18 C.) for best results. Cover the seed tray with a piece of glass or plastic wrap and keep the soil moist but not saturated. Germination usually occurs a month after seeds are planted.

When the seedlings have grown enough to be transplanted, move them to a 3-inch garden pot that is filled with high-quality potting soil. Move the plant to an 8-inch pot as the plant gets larger.

Care of Cup and Saucer Vine

Be sure that it is warm enough for your cup and saucer vine plant before you place it outdoors. Craft a trellis for the plant to climb on by angling two bamboo stakes and stretching some wire between them. Begin training the vine to the trellis when it is small. When you pinch the tip of the vine, cup and saucer vine will grow lateral shoots.

During the growing season, provide plenty of water but allow the soil to dry out before you water. Water only sparingly over the winter months.

Feed your cup and saucer vine with a tomato-based fertilizer once every two weeks when the buds appear. You can also provide a light layer of compost halfway through the growing season. Stop feeding by mid fall or earlier, depending on your climate.

Cup and saucer vine are sometimes bothered by aphids. Spray with a light misting of insecticidal soap or neem oil if you notice them. This generally does a good job controlling these little pests. Bring your vine indoors when temperatures dip below 50 F. (10 C.) at night.

The Overflowing Cup and Saucer Vine

Native to Central and South America, Cobaea only is hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11, where it blooms from spring through autumn once established. Elsewhere, the obliging evergreen vine can climb 25 feet in its first growing season and flower by late summer, so those of us in cold climates may treat it as an annual. In the Victorian Language of Flowers, it stands for gossip, which probably travels at least as fast!

I grew Cobaeas way back in 2003 and 2004, Cobaea scandens in 2003 and the cultivar called ‘Key Lime’ in 2004, so long ago that the only photo I have is one scanned from a slide. Of the cultivar, I wrote–in a surprised sort of way in my notes–that it “did very well.” Judging from the photo, C. scandens did too.

Also known as cathedral or monastery bells, Cobaea is named after Bernabé Cobo, a 16th century Jesuit priest from Spain who spent much of his life as a missionary in Central and South America and wrote a history of the Incas. He reportedly also penned a lengthy botanical work which, unfortunately, has never been found.

The flowers which bear his name would have made an interesting entry in that work, as they often are pollinated by bats. They therefore emit a somewhat musky fragrance in the evening, but that scent reportedly turns sweeter as the blooms age.

Cobaea vines, which climb via tendrils, grow best in a sunny or partially shaded position in rich, well-drained soil. In very hot climates, plant them where they’ll be shaded during the afternoon. You can grow them in a sunny greenhouse or conservatory too, where they may bloom almost year-round.

The vines begin to flower about five months after they were sown, so time your planting accordingly. In other words, start them in February if you want them in bloom by July, but don’t move them outdoors until after your last spring frost.

An 1878 edition of Vick’s Illustrated Monthly Magazine calls Cobaea’s “funny” seeds “as flat as a shilling and about as large.” Soak them overnight or for at least a couple hours before you plant them, standing upright in sterile seed-starting mix with their tips just beneath its surface. According to my notes, my seeds sprouted in 8 days. However, they can take up to a month to do so, and the vertical position will help keep them from rotting during that time period.

Be warned that this vine can reach at least 40 feet where it’s hardy. You won’t mind, however, as the shapes and colors of the flowers are endlessly fascinating. Their deepening purple brings to mind the lengthening shadows of late summer and the bells that call the faithful to evensong.

Photos: The thumbnail photo is by Annie Hayes, from the Dave’s Garden PlantFiles. The purple-flowered cobaea photo is my own and the white-flowered cobaea photo by Chuck B., courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons and this license. The antique image is by S. T. Edwards from an 1805 edition of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, courtesy of

6 Best Teacup Flower Pots of 2020

Gifts & Decor Butterfly Print Teacup Flower Pot

Features of this product:

  • Delightful planter in the shape of a teacup and saucer
  • Accented with a bright butterfly print
  • Crafted from dolomite with a hole in the bottom
  • Lovely decor item for any room with a plant added
  • Excellent gift idea for housewarmings

Invite some cheerful butterflies to visit your flowers with the lovely Gifts & Decor Butterfly Print Teacup Flower Pot. Crafted out of dolomite, the teacup pot and drainage saucer features a colorful print with orange, blue and brown butterflies and a mix of flowers and leaves. A hole in the bottom is pre-drilled for drainage.

Original Cucina Italiana Ceramic Teacup Flower Pot

Features of this product:

  • 5″ Inch planting depth
  • Oversized teacup is a unique and playful planter ..
  • Come with highly glazed finish ..
  • Pot Measures 7.5 x 7.5 x 5.5 Inches, Saucer: Circumference 9.5 inches
  • Self-watering to help plants thrive

Bring some of the beauty of the Italian countryside to your decor with the Original Cucina Italiana Ceramic Teacup Flower Pot. This lovely oversized teacup is made for plants, not for beverages with a self-watering design to help herbs and flowers thrive. A Tuscan flower motif is painted on the side of the cup.

‘Petite Flowers’ Tea Cup Flower Pot

Features of this product:

  • Petite Flowers Tea Cup Flower Pot
  • Made of Fine Glass China
  • Vegan & Environmentally Friendly
  • Hand-wrapped in Niagara Falls, NY
  • Ships in custom box and tissue paper

The ‘Petite Flowers’ Tea Cup Flower Pot is a charming way to plant herbs and other small plants and show them off in your home. Crafted out of glass china, the teacup is patterned after antique teaware with its all-over pastel floral motif and elegant metallic gold trim.

‘Wildflower’ Tea Cup Flower Pot

Features of this product:

  • Wildflower Tea Cup Flower Pot
  • Made of Fine Glass China
  • Vegan & Environmentally Friendly
  • Hand-wrapped in Niagara Falls, NY
  • Ships in custom box and tissue paper

There’s no daintier way to plant herbs and small plants than in the ‘Wildflower’ Tea Cup Flower Pot. Sweet and chic, this planter is cleverly disguised as a teacup and saucer and features a beautiful pink wildflower motif. Gold trim runs along the rim of the cup and the edge of the saucer.

Large Garden Butterfly Teacup Planter

Features of this product:

  • Drain hole at bottom of teacup
  • 2 separate pieces
  • Teacup: 12½” x 9¾” x 6¼” high
  • Saucer: 11¼” diameter x 1¼” high
  • Material: Dolomite
  • Plant not included

The Large Garden Butterfly Teacup Planter is sure to earn you compliments, as it’s one clever, pretty way to pot a plant! A two-piece set, the planter includes a sunny yellow teacup pot with a shabby chic graphic and a coordinating saucer drainage tray. Both pieces are fashioned out of luxurious dolomite.

Gifts & Decor China Rose Teacup Flower Pot

Features of this product:

  • Delightful mini tea cup and saucer shaped planter
  • Lovely pink and yellow floral motifs
  • Brings whimsical cheer to any garden decor
  • Enhances the appeal of your favorite plants
  • Lovely gift item for any nature or gardening enthusiast

A beautiful plant becomes even prettier in the Gifts & Decor China Rose Teacup Flower Pot! This dainty pot is designed to look just like a feminine teacup with a pink, purple and green floral print on yellow. The drainage tray has a matching print and fits beneath the cup like a saucer.

Pink Carnation Teacup Garden Planter

Features of this product:

  • Drain hole in bottom
  • Weight 3.1 pound.
  • Plant not included.
  • Carnation Theme


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *