Cup-and-saucer vine, a magnificent climbing plant

Cup and saucer vine against a dark background

Cup-and-saucer vines are among the most beautiful flowers that decorate our gardens over the summer.

Core Cup-and-Saucer facts

Name – Cobaea scandens
Family – Polemoniaceae
Type – climbing perennial or annual vine

Height – 8 inches to 3 feet (0.2 to 1 m)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – rather rich and well drained

Flowering – April to October
Foliage – deciduous or evergreen, depending on the climate

Thanks to its rapid growth and the ease for which it is cared for, cup-and-saucer vine will enchant you with its incredible ornamental impact.

Sowing and planting cup-and-saucer vine

Sowing cup-and-saucer vine

Sowing is best at the end of winter in a sheltered place, most often from February to April.

Transplanting to the ground usually happens in spring, after the last frost spells.

  • Cup and saucer vine cannot withstand temperatures below freezing.
  • It likes very sunny spots.
  • It also requires well drained soil that is rich enough to support flowering.
  • Fertilize soil upon planting.

Cup-and-saucer vine purchased in pots

  • If you’ve purchased your cup-and-saucer vine in a pot, wait for spring to transplant it to a rather sunny spot.
  • Water regularly after planting.

Pruning and caring for cup-and-saucer vine

Cup-and-saucer vines don’t need much care, but these few good practices should help you produce many blooms over a long span of time.

  • This plant revels in the sun and prefers rather rich and well drained soil.
  • Regular watering is crucial, especially in times of drought.

Protecting a cup-and-saucer vine in winter

If it freezes in your are and you wish to protect your cup-and-saucer vine from one year to the next, this is what you need to do:

  • Grow cup-and-saucer vine in pots
  • Pruning quite short in fall
  • Bring the pot indoors before the first frost spells to a cool spot where it doesn’t freeze
  • Water from time to time, but only in small amounts

All there is to know about cup-and-saucer vine

Flowers of the cup-and-saucer vineNative to Mexico, cup-and-saucer vine only needs to be watered in case of dry and hot weather.

This plant presents abundant and plentiful blooming for the most part of the year.

Its rapid growth, up to 16 to 26 feet (5 to 8 meters) per year, make this plant a great choice to cover old walls, pergolas and other large surfaces.

  • Note that if you live in a tropical or subtropical region, cup-and-saucer vine will keep living on as a perennial.

This is an excellent plant to pair with wrought iron garden ornaments. The sparse leafage highlights the ornament while still fueling blooms!

Diseases and parasites that attack cup-and-saucer vine

Many common parasites attack cup-and-saucer vines, such as thrips, aphids and red spider mite or even scale insects.

Smart tip about cup-and-saucer vine

Be careful during dry spells, especially for pots. Lack of water might interrupt growth of your cup-and-saucer vine.

Cobea scandens, the cup-and-saucer vine

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Flower close-up by Sonja Kalee under Pixabay license
Young cup-and-saucer flowers by Светлана Гурьева under Pixabay license
Columns decorated with cup-and-saucer by chuck b. under © CC BY 2.0