Container Grown Thunbergia: Growing A Black Eyed Susan Vine In A Pot

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Blackeyed susan vine (Thunbergia) is perennial in USDA plant hardinesszones 9 and above, but it grows happily as an annual in cooler climates. Althoughit isn’t related to the familiar black-eyedsusan (Rudbeckia), the vibrant orange or bright yellow blooms ofblack eyed susan vine are somewhat similar. This fast-growing vine is alsoavailable in white, red, apricot, and several bi-colors.

Are you interested in container-grown Thunbergia? Growingblack eyed susan vine in a pot couldn’t be easier. Read on to learn how.

How to Grow Black Eyes Susan Vine in in a Pot

Plant black eyed susan vine in a large, sturdy container, asthe vine develops a hefty root system. Fill the container with any good qualitycommercial potting mix.

Container-grown Thunbergia thrives in full sun. Althoughpotted black eyes susan vines are heat tolerant, a little afternoon shade is agood idea in hot, dry climates.

Water black eyed susan vine in containers regularly butavoid overwatering. In general, water container grown Thunbergia when the topof the soil feels slightly dry. Keep in mind that potted black eyes susan vinesdry out sooner than vines planted in the ground.

Feed potted black eyed susan vine every two or three weeksduring the growing season using a dilute solution of a water-solublefertilizer.

Watch for spidermites and whiteflies,especially when the weather is hot and dry. Spray the pests with insecticidalsoap spray.

If you live north of USDA zone 9, bring potted black eyedsusan vines indoors for the winter. Keep it in a warm, sunny room. If the vineis extra-long, you may want to trim it to a more manageable size before youmove it indoors.

You can also start a new black eyed susan vine by takingcuttings from established vines. Plant the cuttings in a pot filled withcommercial potting mix.

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Black-Eyed Susan Vine

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Take your garden to new heights with black-eyed Susan vines (Thunbergia alata). This pretty climber earns its name because the flowers boast coloring similar to the classic black-eyed Susan, with golden petals surrounding a dark eye. But that’s where the resemblance ends, because black-eyed Susan vine flowers have five petals and an almost starry shape.

Black-eyed Susan vine is an easy-to-grow annual that yields months of color from inexpensive seeds. It’s a natural choice for clambering up a trellis or rambling down a slope as a ground-cover. Stems trail 8 to 10 feet in a single growing season, stopped in their footsteps only by frost. In frost-free areas, like Zones 10 and 11, vines can stretch to 20 feet.

Native to Africa, Madagascar and Southern Asia, black-eyed Susan vine is known as a fast-growing vine that flowers nonstop. The same holds true in temperate zones, where the vine grows as an annual. Fast-growing black-eyed Susan vines twine around anything they can, including stems of other plants. Tuck black-eyed Susan vine where it won’t scale and smother cherished plants, like roses, butterfly bush or other perennials.

Leaves of black-eyed Susan vine have a distinct triangular shape that’s eye-catching. Flowers not only open in the celebrated gold petal and dark center combination, but also in other hues. White, canary yellow and orange are common blossom colors. A newer introduction offers blooms in mixed shades of rose, ivory, salmon and apricot—all with a dark eye. The shading is spectacular on a vine in full flower. Despite the name, some black-eyed Susan vine varieties open blooms that lack the contrasting dark center.

In the landscape, count on black-eyed Susan vines to blanket a trellis or tuteur with ease. The stems twine and wrap around supports and can wend their way along nearly any structure. Black-eyed Susan vine flowers look especially pretty in a container garden on a pot-size obelisk. Or use them in hanging baskets to create cascades of eye-catching blooms.

Give black-eyed Susan vines a spot in full sun to part shade. Afternoon shade is essential in hottest zones. Soil rich in organic matter that drains well causes black-eyed Susan vine to grow fastest. Provide adequate moisture—regular watering on a weekly basis for in-ground plants. With pots, water daily once summer heats up. High heat slows down blooming, so plants usually flower strongest from late summer into fall.

Black-eyed Susan vine is easy to start from seed. Soil must be warm for seed to germinate. Wait until all danger of frost is past before sowing seed outdoors, or start it earlier inside. Some gardeners recommend soaking seeds overnight before sowing to soften the seed coat. Black-eyed Susan vine seeds are slow to germinate. You won’t see any sprouts for two to three weeks. Protect young seedlings from slugs.

3 Great Trailing Plants For Baskets & Containers

#1 Trailing Verbena

Verbena is perfect for providing loads of overflowing color for containers, window boxes and hanging baskets.

The long trailing clusters of flowers add big interest as they spill down and over the side. The blooms are extremely bright, and actually are a great way to attract more hummingbirds to your landscape.

Verbena’s clustered flowers add a lot of color as they trail over baskets and pots. They are extremely hardy, and handle drought and full sun well.

The trialing plant is available in a wide variety of colors, ranging from white, to purple, reds, violet and more. Verbena is highly tolerable of hot and dry conditions, making it the perfect companion for many annuals when planted in baskets and containers.

Verbena prefers full sun, and handles the heat of porches and patios that receive full sun. Seed Link : Verbena Quartz Waterfall Seeds

#2 Sweet Potato Vines

If you are looking for a trailing plant with big foliage power, then the sweet potato vine is for you!

Sweet potato vines add loads of interest and color as they cascade down over baskets and containers. Making them even more attractive, they are fast growers, and can fill open spaces quickly.

Sweet potato vines fill large areas quickly with fast growth.

Sweet potato vines are available in colors ranging from light and dark green, to purple, dark black and even bronze.

They can handle full sun, but their foliage performs best when grown in areas that receive some shade.

#3 Black Eyed Susan Vine

Although this vine is technically a perennial, it is grown as an annual for containers and hanging baskets.

What makes the Black Eyed Susan vine so wonderful is it requires very little maintenance or nutrients to survive. They don’t even require deadheading to keep on blooming.

Black eyed susan vines can be used all by themselves, but are great when used as an accent plant with other annuals.

Mature vines can grow up to six feet or more in lenght. Their soft, star-like colorful petals bloom best in full sun. Black Eyed Susan vines work well as an accent plants with petunias and wave petunias. Seed Link : Black Eyes Susan Vine Seeds

For more on hanging basket planting, care and maintenance, be sure to see our entire category dedicated to these wonderful hanging planters! See : Hanging Baskets Care

This Is My Garden is a garden website created by gardeners, publishing two articles every week, 52 weeks a year. This article may contain affiliate links.

How to Grow Black Eyed Susan Vine, Thunbergia

It is best to start growing Black Eyed Susan Vine and other Thunbergia plants indoors when growing from seeds. The process should be started about 7 or 8 weeks before mid spring.

The seeds should be sown into peat pots and lightly covered. It should take about two or three weeks for Thunbergia seeds to germinate at a temperature of 18 to 25 degrees centigrade.

Once ready transplant the vine outdoors in mid spring (when it always remains above 10 degrees centigrade) with a spacing of 30 to 50 cm.

Ideally the vines should grow in a sunny or a partially shaded area of the garden that has a moist, organic soil.

Transplanting full grown Black Eyed Susans

This self seeding perennial/biennial is so diverse and easy that typically I don’t transplant but you can if you do it in early Spring.

If you must dig it up a black eyed susan when it is later in the Summer you can put the plant into a pot and keep it well watered and in the shade until it has recovered from the shock of being dug up.

I absolutely love my doubles. Sometimes a plant will have both double flowers and single flowers on it.

Click here for some seed from Amazon Gloriosa Daisy and Burpee has seeds for the double flowered variety here Gloriosa Double Gold.

As I let mine all grow together the seeds cross pollinate and I get even more variations.

It is fun to see what will come up next.

They easily grow in the hard packed earth of the roadside or clay soil and flourish.

Bees and Butterflies flock to them and in the Fall and Winter the seed heads serve as food for many birds.

They blend so nicely with all the other flowers and make my cottage garden a bright spot in the neighborhood.
They can get powdery mildew but though that can look a bit untidy it does not seem to affect the blooms at all so I just ignore it. There are some varieties that seem to be more resistant than others.

I confess to being a lazy gardener as I shared in this series…Lazy Gal’s Garden, I love flowers that volunteer to grow (aka:reseed themselves and grow like weeds) therefore I love Black Eyed Susans!
Most of these are volunteers in my garden.

Very few did I specifically plant.

You can’t ask much more from a flower than they take care of themselves and give such a stellar performance.

If you would like to read a bit of history about the Black Eyed Susan just click HERE
I found it quite interesting.
I have a couple varieties on my wish list, one is Sahara and the other is Denver Daisy.

Update, I have my Denver Daisy

Happy Gardening everyone and have a GREAT day!

  • Grow in Sun (they can tolerate some shade but will become tall and reach for the sunshine, you would need to stake them)
  • Direct seed in Spring or Fall (just toss on the soil and cover in a scant 8th inch of soil, though I just toss them down on top of the soil), Winter Sow in Containers or start indoors
  • Water until established then they are drought tolerant
  • Some are prone to powdery mildew but it doesn’t seem to hurt the blooms
  • Great for poor or clay soils
  • Pollinator magnet
  • Seed heads make great wild bird food
  • Great for a cutting garden
  • Deer Resistant

Watch the video: Update Grow Morning Glory Vines- Black Eyed Susan Vine Seedlings March 2011

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