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Thunbergia, the beautifully-blooming black-eyed Susan

Thunbergia, black-eyed susan

Meet the Black-eyed Susan vine, also known as Thunbergia.

Key Black-eyed Susan facts:

Name: Thunbergia alata
Family: Acanthaceae
Type: climber

Height: 6.5 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters)
Exposure: sunny, but not scorching

Soil: well-draining  –  Foliage: evergreen  –  Blooming: May through October

This stunning climber boasts truly unique flowers. From planting to pruning, care is particularly easy for such a prolific bloomer.

Planting Thunbergia

Plant your black-eyed Susan preferably in spring, especially in areas with cold and/or damp winters.

While this vine is perennial, it’s often grown as an annual due to its sensitivity to frost.

  • Hardiness of Black-eyed Susan? She can’t take frost.
  • She loves well-draining potting soil – think flower or geranium mix.
  • Pick a spot shielded from dominant winds.
  • Need more planting advice? Check out our shrub planting guide.

Pruning and training black-eyed Susan

Caring for Black-eyed SusanIn August, when your Thunbergia starts spreading around its base, give it a light trim. It’ll come back with more vigor!

  • Snip off wilted stems as they appear.
  • If you want your vine to climb right, train it as it grows.

Want to shape or thin out the branches? Best prune in fall or late winter.

Learn more about Thunbergia

Growing in potThunbergia, also lovingly referred to as the “Black-eyed Susan vine,” and by some as “Susan’s Eye” or “Zanzibar’s Smile,” blooms beautifully from spring to fall.

Perfect for lighting up your day! What’s so striking about these flowers? They keep on coming and dazzle with their trademark yellow hue.

  • Maintenance is a breeze; just water when it’s hot out.

Smart Tip about black-eyed Susan

A good way to ensure proper drainage is to set your arbor up on a raised garden bed.

Images: Pixabay: Wolfgang Eckert, M W, Hans Braxmeier
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