Cathedral Bells by Renee's Garden

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Heirloom Flowering Vines: Cathedral Bells

(Cobaea scandens)
This beautiful climber is also called “Cup and Saucer Vine” because the blossoms look for all the world like slender teacups sitting on dainty saucer-like green calyxes. The spectacular 2-inch bells with softly curving rims turn from creamy pale green to a striking rose-violet. Beginning midsummer, this vigorous flowering vine blooms for weeks when most other vines are on the wane. The beautiful blossoms are beacons for hummingbirds. This old-fashioned favorite was cherished by Victorian gardeners.
Seed Count: 20 - 25 / Weight: 1.25 gms


Summer/fall bloom
Usually grown as annual


Sow seed indoors in a warm place 6 to 8 weeks before night temperatures are reliably in the 50°F (10°C) range. Plant 2 seeds per individual 4 inch pot of seed starting mix. Maintain at 70-80°F (21-27°C). Keep moist but not soggy. Germination takes 10 to 21 days. Thin to strongest seedling per pot. Provide a strong light source until ready to go outside. When weather has warmed evenly, acclimate to outdoor conditions and carefully transplant 1 foot apart and 3 inches from supports.


Seed can be sown outdoors once nights are reliably above 50° but only in areas with a long warm season. Plant in full sun 4 to 6 inches apart, ½ inch deep and 3 inches from supports. Firm soil well over seeds. When seedlings are well established, thin to stand 1 foot apart, so these vigorous vines have ample room to grow.


Cathedral Bells need full sun and moist, well-drained soil. They bloom mid to late summer. Provide climbing vines with well-anchored supports at least 10 feet tall; use a sturdy trellis or arbor, or a wood or wire fence. Stems cling by branched tendrils that grow on the end of each leaf stalk.