How to Prune Thunbergia Erecta


Thunbergia erecta, commonly known as bush clockvine or king's mantle, is a flowering perennial vine with a shrub-like and spreading growth habit. It is a tender tropical plant that produces deep lavender-blue flowers throughout the year. Thunbergia erecta is hardy in USDA zones 10a through 11 and can be pruned into hedging and screening forms or trained on a trellis if desired.

Step 1

Deadhead fading flowers that do not fall away from the plant on their own to encourage fresh blooming. Inspect the plant during regular waterings to look for damaged, dying or diseased foliage and branching. Cut away any problems that you see throughout the year and discard the clippings

Step 2

Conduct maintenance pruning throughout the year to maintain a manicured shape to the shrub if desired. Use long bladed loppers to shear the planes of the shrub to the desired depth. Use secateurs to create more natural shapes by cutting back individual branches one at a time.

Step 3

Hard prune vines down to the crown of the plant every few years or as needed to rejuvenate the center of the shrub or alter its shape. Hard pruning can help the plant recover from damage or restore a symmetrical appearance. Hard pruning can also be done to dramatically alter the size of the shrub by cutting the ends of the vine back to the desired length. Always place your cuts a 1/4 to 1/2 inch above a leaf node in order to preserve branching and bloom capability. Never remove more than a third of the plants foliage in any one pruning session to reduce stress on the plant and prevent a shock reaction.

Things You'll Need

  • Secateurs
  • Long handled loppers or shears


  • USDA Plant Database Profile
  • Univeristy of Florida
Keywords: clockvine thunbergia, flowering perennila climbing vine, prune cut back shape

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.