How to Care for Black Eyed Susan Vines


A native of the tropical regions of Madagascar, Africa and Asia, the black-eyed Susan vine, or thunbergia alata, can climb to a height of 20 feet at full maturity. Featuring five orange or yellow petals circling a black or deep-purple center, these plants are popular for cottage-style houses and flower boxes. The vine will grow evergreen if planted properly, keeping your garden or the exterior of your home bright with life and color for most of the year and returning each spring through self-pollination. If the temperature remains above 60 degrees, the flower will bloom all year without interruption.

Moderately Easy


things you’ll need:
  • Indoor planting pot
  • Shovel
  • Soil
  • Support structure (trellis, building, etc.)
  • Water
    1. Plant the black-eyed Susan vine seeds in an indoor planting pot six to eight weeks before the final frost of the year. The seeds should be planted no more than 1/8 inch deep in the soil. Use a loamy soil or one that is mixed with organics, such as moss or sand, to allow for proper drainage.
    2. Keep the plants in moist, warm soil. The soil temperature must be at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
    3. Choose an outdoor area to plant your seeds near a support structure, such as a trellis or the side of a building. and where the soil drains well and the vines will receive full sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
    4. Transplant the vines outside after the nightly temperature regularly exceeds 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant the seeds at least 6 inches apart and 3 inches from the support structure.
    5. Water the black-eyed Susan vines with 1 inch of water at least once per week. Black-eyed Susan vines are susceptible to drought because they are native to a moist, humid area of the world.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you live in an area where the soil temperature does not drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you can plant outside at any time.

  • Black-eyed Susan vines grow best in Hardiness Zone 10 and higher, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. These zones have an average annual minimum temperature of 40 Fahrenheit and higher.

  • Do not water the plants after a heavy rainfall.

  • If you are growing black-eyed Susan vines indoors, they can be susceptible to spider mite and whitefly infestations, as well as scale infections. Check for these problems each time you water the plants, and consult with an expert at a garden center or nursery if these problems arise.

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