cup plant : Complete Guide and Care Tips

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The Cup Plant: The Complete Guide and Care Tips

Are you looking for a beautiful addition to your garden that also attracts pollinators? If yes, then the cup plant should be on your radar. This native American perennial not only looks stunning but is also easy to care for. In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide on cup plant care and tips on how to grow them in your garden.

What is a Cup Plant?

Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) is a tall, herbaceous perennial that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It grows up to 8 feet tall and has large leaves that clasp around the stem forming cups or reservoirs. As its name implies, it holds water in these cups which attracts birds and insects.


Where Does Cup Plant Grow Best?

Cup plants are native to North America and thrive in moist environments such as prairies, meadows, wetlands, and along riversides. They prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade as well.

Soil Requirements

  • Cup plants prefer well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter added.
  • The ideal pH range for growing cup plants is between 5.5-7.0.
  • If your soil doesn’t drain well or has heavy clay content consider adding compost or sand before planting.



  • Cup plants require regular watering during their growth period especially during hot weather conditions when they quickly lose moisture through transpiration from their leaves.
  • Aim at providing at least an inch of water weekly either by rainfall or irrigation system if there is not enough rainfall.

How to Propagate Cup Plant?

Cup plants can be propagated by seeds or division.


Propagation by Seeds

  • To grow cup plant from seeds, start them indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date in your area and transplant to their permanent spot after all danger of frost has passed.
  • You can also sow the seeds directly into the ground where you want them to grow but this method is less reliable than starting indoors first.

Propagation by Division

  • Cup plant can also be propagated by dividing an established clump in spring or fall. It is recommended that you divide every three years to rejuvenate the plant and prevent overcrowding.

Care Tips for Cup Plant


The cup plant requires minimal care and maintenance once established. Here are some care tips for growing healthy cup plants:


  • Avoid over-fertilizing as this may lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers,
  • Add a slow-release fertilizer during planting, then top dress with compost every year before new shoots appear in spring.

Pruning/Harvesting/h4 >

Remove dead flower stalks after they have finished blooming, as this will encourage more buds to form. Harvest fresh leaves and stems before flowering for medicinal purposes such as treating colds and fever. / p >Pests And Diseases/h4 >

Cup plants are generally pest-resistant but may suffer from powdery mildew if humidity levels are high or airflow around plants is poor.


In conclusion, the cup plant is a beautiful addition to any garden that provides visual interest and attracts pollinators. They are easy to care for and require minimal maintenance once established. Remember to provide adequate water, well-drained soil, and fertilization during planting and top-dressing with compost every year before new shoots appear in spring. By following these tips on how to care for your cup plants, you can enjoy their beauty and benefits for years to come.

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