Thunbergia alata (Black-eyed Susan vine) is a flowering, soft, perennial climber, and can grow to a height of 6–8 ft with many twining stems. The leaves are heart-shaped or arrow-shaped, softly hairy and sometimes toothed. They begin blooming in the early summer and continue to produce a profusion of brightly colored (yellow, pale orange or creamy white with dark throats), bell-shaped flowers with maroon or deep purple centers, well into the fall. The fruit is like a bird’s head with a spherical base and a long beak. It is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and in hanging baskets.
Scientific Name: Thunbergia alata.
Common Name: Black-eyed Susan vine.
How to grow and maintain Thunbergia alata:
Thunbergia alata plant does best in full sun in the mornings and partial shade at mid-day.
Black-eyed Susan vine plant does best in a moist but well-drained soil. It does not suffer drought well. If you prefer to grow your Susans in planters or hanging baskets, utilize a high-quality potting soil.
Black-Eyed Susans are tropical plants and are not drought-tolerant. A layer of mulch will greatly help the soil retain its moisture. The soil in baskets or holders must not be allowed to dry out completely. Water regularly and thoroughly.
Feed every 2-3 weeks while in bloom, using a half-strength solution of a soluble, bloom type fertilizer (3:1:5).
Black-Eyed Susans vine can be trimmed and shaped (lightly) during the growing season, but any heavier pruning should be done in the early spring before the new growth starts.
Propagating Black-Eyed Susans and Growing them from Seed. Also, it can propagate by softwood cuttings taken in late spring or early summer.
Pests and Diseases:
No serious pest and disease problem. watch for whiteflies or spider mites, but these can generally be treated with an insecticidal soap rather than chemical pesticides.