How to Care for a Vining Black-Eyed Susan Plant


Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata) is known as a long-flowering, fast-growing creeper. The perennial vine has many stems, dotted with heart-shaped leaves. The flowers are trumpet shaped and are usually a dark yellow color with black centers. Black-eyed Susan will bloom all year long if the night temperatures stay above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and they get sun during the winter. If not, the vine blooms in the summer. Black-eyed Susans are great for use in hanging baskets and for climbing on trellises.

Step 1

Plant black-eyed Susans in the full sun. It's OK if the planting bed is in the shade in the afternoon, but it should have full sun in the morning for optimal growth. If you notice the plant is droopy and not flourishing, try changing its location to a sunnier spot.

Step 2

Water black-eyed Susan vines regularly to keep the soil moist. The plant doesn't cope well with drought. Add water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Step 3

Fertilize twice a month with a balanced fertilizer. It should have an equal ratio of nitrogen-phosphorus and potassium, such as 20-20-20. Dilute the fertilizer to half the strength the manufacturer recommends because the flower prefers moderate to light fertilization.

Step 4

Trim black-eyed Susan vines occasionally to keep the plant from looking stringy. The vines can grow up to 5 or 6 feet long if pruned regularly. It will also encourage more blooms to grow.

Step 5

Cut off unproductive stems at their bases where they meet the soil. Trim other stems back to promote blooms by cutting on an angle, just outside a bud.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Gloves
  • Pruning shears


  • South African National Biodiversity Institute's
  • Plant of the Week

Who Can Help

  • N.C. State University
  • Guide to Fertilizer
Keywords: black-eyed Susan, black-eyed Susan vines, water black-eyed Susan vines

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.