I Love Thunbergia alata, aka Black-Eyed Susan Vine

Aug 19, 2022 | Love This!

Name: Thunbergia alata aka black-eyed Susan vine

Type of Plant:  Annual vines in colder areas (winter hardy in Zones 10-11) that grow quickly and either twine up trellises or other supports, or trail over edges of containers and hanging baskets.

Why I Love This Plant: I love this plant because it’s a vine that flowers early in the season and grows quickly. The flowers are round and cheerful, and you can find varieties with yellow, white, orange and bi-color flowers.

Since so many people have smaller trellises, obelisks, and other ornaments they want to have plants to climb, this is the perfect selection since it doesn’t overwhelm the support. It’s also lovely scrambling on shrubs, or hanging down over a wall or tall container.Some people also plant this to scramble over the soil surface as an annual groundcover.

A Word to the Wise: It’s fine to prune these back if they are getting too large for a container or are trailing on the ground. This can rejuvenate the plant in early to mid-August. Plant these in fertile soil and water regularly. In hot summers, these perform best in morning sun and afternoon shade.

Thunbergia alata is perfect for growing up small obelisks and other supports.

My friend, George Chapman, planted Thunbergia alata in pots that were hung on large trellises. The vine could drape down over the edges of the pots or twine up the trellis. This is one of the clear yellow flowering varieties.

Thunbergia alata is great in a mixed container, especially in tall pots with ornamental supports.

The plant has attractive flowers, calyxes and foliage.


  1. Gloria J Yearian

    So these are perennials in Zone 6?

    • CL Fornari

      No, these are annuals in a Zone 6. It’s a tropical plant so only hardy in Zone 10-11.


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