Growing Thunbergia / Black Eyed Susan Vine
Thunbergia Alata, Half Hardy Annual
While Thunbergia is also called Black Eyed Susan Vine, it is not even in
the same family as the Black Eyed Susan that we know of as a bush plant,
which is Rudbeckia Hirta.
Native to Eastern Africa, this climber has become naturalized all over the
world. It produces attractive, profusion of daisy-like flowers in colors
of orange, pale yellow and white.
Thunbergia will look great on a fence, a trellis, mail box posts, lampposts,
or in a hanging container. You can also grow it in a container and let it
hang down from your balcony or deck.
Some flower gardeners allow Black Eyed Susan vines to sprawl and grow directly
on the ground as a ground cover.
Other Names: Clock Vine
Plant Height: As an annual, vines can grow up to 8 feet. In frost
free areas, it can be grown as a perennial and reach up to 20'.
Propagating Thunbergia / Black Eyed Susan Plants:
Black Eyed Susan plants are grown from seed. Black Eyed Susan seeds can be
directly seeded into your flower garden, after the last frost in your area.
Or, start them indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date.
For indoor starts, we recommend using peat pots, as the plants do not like
to have their roots disturbed.
Seeds take a long time to germinate. When planting seeds directly into your
garden, mark the area where you plant them.
Thunbergia can be
cuttings. Take a 6 to 8 inch stem from a tender, growing tip, and root
it in water.
You can also propagate Black Eyed Susan vines by "layering". Take a low growing
vine, and bend it carefully to the ground. At about 8 inches from the end
of the vine, cover the vine with soil. Stake the vine down, so the wind will
not pull it up. Keep the area that is in contact with the soil well watered.
A few weeks later, it will have formed roots. Cut the vine just before the
root, and replant your new Thunbergia plant.
Days to Germinate: 10 - 25
Garden Tip: Soak seeds in water overnight
How to Grow Black Eyed Susan Vine:
Black Eyed Susan Vines are very easy to grow.
Grow the plants in full sun to light shade. In hotter regions, plant where
they will receive afternoon shade.
Grow Thunbergia in rich soils to help fuel growth. Prior to planting, mix
in ample amounts of compost. Add a general purpose fertilizer every 4-6 weeks.
Thunbergia plants do not tolerate droughts very well. Keep soil well watered,
especially when young, and during hot and dry weather. If grown in containers,
be vigilant that they do not dry out.
Keep young plants well weeded, until they get established and begin to climb.
Thunbergia plants can be trimmed, as needed.
Plants need support of a fence, trellis or post. Train young plants to reach
Flowers Bloom: Summer through Fall
Insect and Disease:
Thunbergia seldom have problems with insects and disease. White flies and
spider mites can infest the plants. Treat with insecticidal soap, if needed.
More Gardening Information:
Black Eyed Susan Plant - Rudbeckia Hirta, the bush