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A picture of a Mexican Ivy

Mexican Ivy

Cobaea scandens

Also known as

Cup-and-saucer vine, Monastery bells

Cobaea scandens 05 by Michael Wolf (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Mexican Ivy

A close up of some developing white green Cobaea scandens flowers on a plant
Some purple Cobaea scandens flowers on a plant
A close up of a purple Cobaea scandens flower and some green leaves
A photo of Mexican Ivy
A photo of Mexican Ivy

Mexican Ivy Overview

Cobaea scandens is a perennial species in the phlox family, Polemoniaceae. Originating from Mexico, common names include Mexican Ivy, Cup-and-Saucer Vine, Cathedral Bells, or Monastery Bells. This species is often grown as an annual due to its tenderness, it doesn't cope well with temperatures below 5 degrees Celcius. It has a strong, climbing habit and produces pinnately divided foliage, leaflets measure around 10cm in length and end in small hooks for climbing. Flowers are big, fragrant and bell-shaped, around 5cm long and develop from white-green to a lovely purple shade. The blooms are popular with pollinating insects and this species has earnt a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.

Common problems with Mexican Ivy

How to propagate Mexican Ivy



Softwood cuttings.

Special features of Mexican Ivy

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Other uses of Mexican Ivy

Climbing, ornamental, containers, flowers


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