Content Detail

Cup-and-saucer vine is an easy-to-grow annual that supplies a quantity of unique flowers from mid-summer until frost. The flowers look like little tea cups sitting in saucers.

  • Family (English) Phlox
  • Family (botanic) Polemoniaceae
  • Tree or plant type Vine
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 9, Zone 10, Zone 11
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Season of interest midsummer, late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Purple, White
  • Shape or form Vining
  • Growth rate Fast

Size and Method of Climbing:

Despite being an annual, this vine can grow up to 10 feet in a season. Cup-and-saucer vine climbs by tendrils that twist around a support such as a trellis, arbor, wires, or a chain-link fence.

Native geographic location and habitat:

Native to Mexico.

Bark color and texture:

The bark is gray and fairly smooth when young, maturing to shallowly furrowed.

Leaf description:

Pinnately compound foliage that doesn’t change color in the fall.

Flower description:

The lightly fragrant flowers look like small tea cups sitting in saucers. Flowers start out greenish in color and turn to purple as they age. Occasionally plants will produce variegated flowers.

Fruit description:

The fruit is a dry capsule that sits in the ‘saucer’. It is not ornamentally important.

Plant care: 

Plant cup-and-saucer vine in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. It is easy to grow from seed although seeds need to soak in warm water overnight. Plant them indoors about 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost and transplant outside after the danger of frost has passed.

List of pests, diseases and tolerances:

No serious diseases or problems.

White cup-and-saucer vine (Cobaea scandens ‘Alba’):

Produces white flowers.


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