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How to Grow Black Eyed Susan Vines Indoors


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The black-eyed Susan vine, Thunbergia, is a native of the tropics of Africa, Malaysia and Madagascar. Fast-growing and covered with bright, cheery flowers, the plant is used as an ornamental landscape annual in temperate climates. In its home territory, however, Thunbergia keeps growing year-round, reaching heights of 20 feet or more and flowering in the tree canopy. With enough light, humidity and space, you can grow a black-eyed Susan vine indoors.

Difficulty:
Moderate

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Potting soil
  • Compost
  • Kelp meal
  • Liquid fish emulsion fertilizer
  • Large planting container (20 gallons or more) with saucer
  • Window with full sun, or florescent grow lights and timer
  • Rainwater
  • Trellis or bamboo poles
  • Pruners
  • Twine
  • Potted black-eyed Susan vine
  • Plant mister
    1. Mix 4 parts potting soil to 1 part aged compost and add 1 tbsp. powdered kelp per gallon of mix. Add rainwater until mixture is a damp, crumbly texture.
    2. Fill large container with potting soil mixture. Level off the top but do not compact the soil. Allow the soil to settle overnight.
    3. Scoop a space out of the center of the planting container large enough for the root mass of the potted black-eyed Susan vine. Remove the vine from its pot and place it in the potting mix. Add soil mix to bring soil in container up to the top of the vine’s roots. Water lightly with rainwater.
    4. Place the pot in a sunny location, or under florescent grow lights placed 6 inches over the top of the plant and left on 20 hours per day. Insert trellis or bamboo poles into the planted container.
    5. Spray the plant daily with rainwater in plant mister, and water every third day. Increase watering and misting in dry climates or seasons. Include a dilute solution of fish emulsion fertilizer in the watering once a month.
    6. Use twine to fasten the black-eyed Susan vine to the trellis or bamboo as it grows. Gently bend the tallest growth back down and fasten it to the lower levels of the trellis or bamboo, allowing it to grow back upward again. Prune off dead or woody stems as they develop.

Tips & Warnings

  • Thunbergia thrives in a hot, humid tropical environment, so keep the humidity up and do not allow the temperature to drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

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