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Sometimes called cathedral bells, Cobaea scandens is a vigorous and irrepressible vine native to tropical America, where it grows as a strong woody perennial. It may be grown in large pots for standing outdoors in summer, and will behave as a perennial if kept indoors in winter at about 7C. In a very mild winter plants may survive and remain virtually evergreen, but they are usually grown as annuals on a wall, fence or pergola. Plants have a tropical appearance, with lush foliage and 8cm flowers with prominent stamens. Once fully open, they are sweetly fragrant. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Grow Cobaea scandens in moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Deadhead spent blooms to prolong flowering.
Plant type: Evergreen climber
Flower colour: Mixed
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Moist
Hardiness: Half hardy
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant seeds: March to May
Flowering period: July to October
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