Sunday , June 25 2017
blue cobaea image

Cobaea

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It is grown for its sweetly scented flowers. The cups are usually lavender, blue or white trumpets, surround by a saucer or collar of green. The flowers appear form mid summer to mid autumn. This plant has a tropical appearance because of its lush foliage and flowers with prominent stamens.

Propagate this vine by sowing seeds. Even if it will flower in the same year after sowing, it takes a while to start blooming, so it helps to start them early, in late winter or early spring. Sow seeds individually in small pots in seed compost, each seed set on its edge and thinly covered with more compost or perlite, at 18-24 Celsius degrees (65-75F). Keep soil damp but not wet, sealing in a polythene bag to retain moisture and put in a windowsill propagator. Germination takes from 21 days to a month.

When seedlings are large enough to handle they should be moved to larger pots. Give each of them a stake, so that the young stems have something around which to twine. Grow them on in cooler conditions, keeping them well watered. Harden them off for 10-15 days and plant them out in the garden when all danger of frost is past. Place them against a sturdy trellis or close to a south-facing wall or fence. For summer flowering indoors, transplant them into 20-23 cm pots, and keep the atmosphere fairly humid.

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When we say climbers we think of plants that are covering walls and trellises and grow upright, climbing any support they find. But some climbers, especially those with aerial roots or those with a scandent, trailing or scrambling habit, may be grown without support, this way they will produce swathes of ground cover. They are particularly effective when they are allowed to grow and spread over a sloping bank or when trailing over a wall where they will often root into the soil beneath.

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