Cobaea Scandens AGM
Cup and Saucer Vine
Type/Hardiness Annual, Half hardy
Flowering period August-October
Height 25-30ft/8-10m
Light preference Sun
Soil preference Any, fertile, free-draining
Sowing time/depth Nov, Feb-Apr, On edge, barely cover
This climber, which must usually be treated as an annual in the UK when situated outside, but can be successfully grown as a perennial indoors if warmth and some humidity are provided, is the perfect choice for a sunny, sheltered wall, trellis or pergola. Once the young plants have acclimatised, attractive foliage scrambles eagerly upwards with the aid of tendrils, followed in late summer to early autumn by unusual, showy purple-blue flowers about 40mm across and 60mm long, looking for all the world like fairies' cups and saucers. Plants, when offered, are ready for planting in their final positions.
Sowing and/or growing instructions
Seeds should be sown early to increase the chances of a good display of flowers before the first frosts. If possible, sow in late winter; otherwise in February or early March at 16-21C (60-70F). Sowings can be made as late as April, but will need much attention if they are to fully develop within the growing season. Sow shallowly, singly and on their edge to help prevent rotting, in modules containing good quality compost, having first soaked the seeds for a couple of hours in lukewarm water. Place in a propagator or sealed plastic bag and keep the soil damp but not waterlogged. Germination may take 21-30 days. Grow on, transplanting into larger pots as the plants develop and plant out after hardening off in a warm, sunny and sheltered spot, offering support for the plants to climb, when there is no more risk of frost.
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