Belonging to the Thunbergia genus, Black-eyed susan vine has a botanical name of Thunbergia alata. The botanical name epithet alata means ‘winged’.
A mixture of colors in shades of yellow, white, and orange, each bloom is centered with a black ‘eye’ and prominently displayed against emerald green ivy-like foliage. Perfect for trellises and hanging baskets, Black-Eyed Susan vine grows 8-10 feet in full to part sun and moist, well drained soil. It is a fast-growing, long-flowering, friendly creeper.
It is not fussy about soil, needs only moderate water, doesn’t go rampant, is mostly evergreen and covers ugly places beautifully. Thunbergia alata is a soft, perennial climber about 1-5 × 1 m with many twining stems. Flowers all summer but can continue all year in warmer areas.
Try planting Black-eyed susan vine if you’d like to attract butterflies, bees and birds to your garden.
Black-eyed Susan seeds germinate easily in moist humus-rich soil, mixed with river sand. Start seed indoors, about 6 to 8 weeks before your last frost date, or sow directly outdoors after all danger of frost is over. Soak the large, hard seeds in water for a day or two before planting. These vines don’t like having their roots disturbed and it helps if you start the seed in peat or paper pots. Plant them about 1cm deep and expect them to germinate within 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the temperature.
Due to how easy it is to grow in a variety of conditions, Black-eyed susan vine is great for beginner gardeners and those that like low maintainance gardens.