How to Care for a Black Eyed Susan Vine


Native to Africa, black-eyed Susan vines (Thunbergia sp.) are annual flowering climbers that produce showy, bright orange blossoms with dark brown centers. Black-eyed Susan vines bloom throughout summer and into the fall, growing vigorously to a height of 8 feet or more. These annual vines are easy to care for and will provide continuously blooming often up until the first frost. Although black-eyed Susan vines are fast growers, they aren't aggressive or invasive in landscapes.

Step 1

Provide a climbing support for your black-eyed Susan vine. You can grow your vine to climb on an arbor or trellis, on a fence or even up a tree.

Step 2

Water your black-eyed Susan vine deeply to soak the soil down to and around the roots once each week in the absence of rainfall. Provide water directly to the soil at the base of the vine to avoid wetting the leaves and flowers.

Step 3

Feed your black-eyed Susan vine once every six to eight weeks with a liquid 5-10-5 NPK fertilizer, according to the dosage instructions on the label.

Step 4

Spread a 3- to 4-inch-thick layer of organic mulch on the ground around your black-eyed Susan vine to control weeds and preserve soil moisture. You can mulch with bark, wood chips, leaves or other organic materials.

Step 5

Deadhead the black-eyed Susan vine throughout the summer and early autumn by removing the faded flowers. Picking off the spent blossoms will encourage re-blooming throughout the season.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't over-water your black-eyed Susan vine. The vine enjoys moist but not soggy or waterlogged soil. Also, avoid planting your black-eyed Susan vine near a blacktop driveway or brick wall that will radiate intense heat during summer.

Things You'll Need

  • Climbing support
  • Garden hose or watering can
  • Liquid 5-10-5 NPK fertilizer
  • Organic mulch


  • Cornell University: Growing Guide -- Thunbergia
  • Cornell University: Caring for Annuals
  • National Gardening Association: Amazing Annual Vines

Who Can Help

  • Black-Eyed Susan, Clock Vine, Thunbergia
Keywords: black eyed Susan, Thunbergia care, grow Thunbergia vine

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.