Thunbergia Species, Black-Eyed Susan Vine

Thunbergia alata

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Thunbergia (thun-BER-jee-uh) (Info)
Species: alata (a-LAY-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Endomelas alata
View this plant in a garden



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:




Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are showy

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gaylesville, Alabama

Jones, Alabama

Chuichu, Arizona

Glendale, Arizona

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Goodyear, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Bellflower, California

Castro Valley, California

Citrus Heights, California

Clovis, California

Costa Mesa, California

Davis, California

El Sobrante, California

Elk Grove, California

Fontana, California

Fountain Valley, California

Garden Grove, California(2 reports)

Lancaster, California

Lompoc, California

Los Angeles, California

Menifee, California

Menlo Park, California

Sacramento, California

San Diego, California

Van Nuys, California(4 reports)

Whittier, California

Littleton, Colorado

Bartow, Florida

Bradley, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Davenport, Florida

Deland, Florida(2 reports)

Hollywood, Florida

Homestead, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Largo, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Miami, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Braselton, Georgia

Carrollton, Georgia

Covington, Georgia

Douglasville, Georgia

Guyton, Georgia

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Mcdonough, Georgia

Norcross, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Evansville, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Logansport, Indiana

Keokuk, Iowa

Newton, Kansas

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Frankfort, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Hammond, Louisiana

Homer, Louisiana

Metairie, Louisiana

Cumberland, Maryland

Elkridge, Maryland

Quincy, Massachusetts

Rockland, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts

Brown City, Michigan

Garden City, Michigan

Grosse Pointe, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Collins, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Omaha, Nebraska

Manchester, New Hampshire

Trenton, New Jersey

Alden, New York

Brevard, North Carolina

Mooresville, North Carolina

Poplar Branch, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Akron, Ohio

Dundee, Ohio

Hilliard, Ohio

Newark, Ohio

Council Hill, Oklahoma

Enid, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Kingston, Ontario

Medford, Oregon

Catasauqua, Pennsylvania

Clearfield, Pennsylvania

Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania

Reading, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

West Warwick, Rhode Island

Prosperity, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Hendersonville, Tennessee

Morristown, Tennessee

Allen, Texas

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Beaumont, Texas

Boerne, Texas

Brazoria, Texas

Broaddus, Texas

Crockett, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas(2 reports)

Galveston, Texas

Groves, Texas

Harlingen, Texas

Hunt, Texas

Kerrville, Texas

La Grange, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Pasadena, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

Santa Fe, Texas(2 reports)

Sour Lake, Texas

Spicewood, Texas

Spring, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Stephenville, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Chantilly, Virginia

Dumfries, Virginia

Herndon, Virginia

Newport News, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

Federal Way, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Charleston, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 5, 2020, AngArd from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

Hi All! Just picked up this beautiful plant that was in a hanging basket. I would like to grow this inside all year long. Does anyone have any experience in doing this? I have had a lot of luck growing other annuals inside during the winter, and I wondered about this beauty.

Thank you!


On May 12, 2019, Marysland from East New Market, MD wrote:

I love this plant at my NC cottage zone 7b-8a . It is such a beauty. I believe i have Blushing Susie. It bloomed in NC thru Christmas. I have it in a slightly sheltered area with sun half day. It was mulched naturally with pine straw and by golly it is returning this year. I am tickled. It climbed the deck and also spread around the ground like a groundcover and seeing it's happy blooms at Christmas just amazed me! I'm looking for more colors.


On Jan 7, 2019, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Here in Jalisco (USDA Z11, Sunset Z24), this is a garden thug, self-sowing aggressively. Once it's allowed in the garden, it's impossible to get rid of it. And it won't stay where you want it.

A terrible weed here.


On Jan 14, 2018, cheyotto from Rockland, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Love this plant but whatever you do, DO NOT OVER FERTILIZE. In fact, this year I am not going to fertilize it at all. I had hardly any flowers and instead a tower full of lush leaves.You don't even need to let the seeds dry on the plant as they can be hard to catch. When they dry, the pop open and shoot out the seeds. I just cut off the green pods and let them dry in a bowl in front of a sunny window. The few flowers I did get self-seeded. I dug them up and brought them in the house in the winter. It's growing slow but it is three less plants to buy this year. Hope this helps!


On Feb 16, 2016, beachwoman from South Kingstown, RI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I was lucky to receive a large potted yellow Thunbergia balata last May. After placing it in a sunny spot on the front deck of my South Kingstown, RI home, I was rewarded with gorgeous yellow flowers all summer and well into fall. A few times during the summer I cut pieces, dipped them in rooting medium, and spread them around the yard. Some I put in with other plants where they enjoyed winding around the tall stems. Now I'm overwintering two inside and making new plants for spring. Easy and fun, and I can "pay it forward" by gifting new plants to others.


On Jun 21, 2015, elainewhite74 from Herndon, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've been growing this vine from two balconies on the front of my house for the past two years. Very fast grower, by the end of the season last year, they covered the entire rail and hung down at least eight feet! Showy little yellow flowers bloom through out the season and provide a riot of color, my neighbors are always commenting.


On Sep 20, 2014, Daggiewood1 from Morristown, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant was given to us as a housewarming gift. I planted it in a hanging basket where it gets morning sun. It has grown very well and flowered all summer. I took a cutting, used rooting hormone, and planted it in seed starting mix. The cutting is in a south-facing window and is doing well, and will be my hanging basket plant for next spring. This is one plant that will always be in my garden


On Sep 15, 2014, cnoteboom from Battle Creek, MI wrote:

I bought them from a catalog and they have grown like crazy on my covered porch here in Michigan. They are probably 5 foot tall and now I am wondering if i can cut them back to move into pots and move them in for the winter. I have a good south facing window so I am hoping they will do OK any suggestions?


On Jul 23, 2014, jillimou from Ayia Napa,
Cyprus wrote:

Since moving to Cyprus I have found quite a few very unusual plants growing. There are several beautiful examples of this particular blue flowering vine growing over fences and in flower all year round. Unfortunately the plant was very hard to find in local nurseries, so I ordered seeds from the UK. I didn't expect to be successful, but have just managed to germinate 3 seeds in 2 weeks. Can anyone advise the best way to take cuttings from a mature plant?


On Oct 27, 2013, silversurfer01 from nottingham,
United Kingdom wrote:

I have two plants, one yellow & one orange. They are absolutely fabulous. They are on a flat trellis on my wall and are a mass of lovely flowers. The plants are now over 6ft high and must be at least 7-8ft wide and dont seem to want to stop growing, which is amazing. They were bought for me by my guest from Australia very cheaply at my local garden center. My friend, now back home, has found some in his local garden center so now has them growing wonderfully in his Brisbane garden.


On Nov 20, 2012, dementad from Seattle, WA wrote:

I live in Seattle and purchased two plants by mail from a nursery in Michigan at the beginning of September. As soon as I transplanted them to a container and placed them in the garden room, they started putting out new shoots and are now putting out buds (late November). The new vines are perhaps two feet long. They live an outdoor "garden room" where there's lots of light, but the temperature has stayed mostly in the 50's this month. I have a heater in the room that comes on automatically if the temp drops below 40 degrees, but it looks like this plant doesn't mind cool nights.


On Mar 19, 2012, amelliso from Lubbock, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

Planted a 3" pot in spring 2010. It died to the ground each winter and returned both spring 2011 and now spring 2012. Even had a couple of blooms in February, this year. I'm in zone 7b - it's planted in a bed between the driveway and the north wall of the house; so a bit of a micro-zone. It does prefer to ramble along the ground and needs attention to keep it in bounds. But anything that thrived through last summer, with record-breaking heat and drought here in West Texas, is a winner in my book!


On Jan 31, 2011, Sonnenblume from Aurora, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

I bought a potted "annual" plant with the label Thunbergia Alata late this summer at the local supermarket . It looked like a pretty hanging vine. A lady told me she put a fertilizer spike in there and it bloomed so pretty for her. I hung it in front of the house and it grew nicely until frost when I had to bring it inside. I decided to try to overwinter it in the house. After blooming a short while longer it started to dry out and drop most of its leaves so I thought, oh boy, maybe this is not going to work. I moved it into the warmest sunniest room in the house and watered it regularly but did not notice it much for a while, until new fresh green leaves started growing perhaps in December. Now we are at the end of January and it has lots of new fresh growth but no flowers at this point. ... read more


On Jan 22, 2011, cece71 from Richmond, CA wrote:

Our beautiful Blackeyed Susan Vine is suddenly dead.
We have lived in our house for 2 1/2 years and have enjoyed the back "wall", a 10 foot fence/lattice, covered with the Blackeyed Susan vines. It has been one of the most beautiful aspects of our yard. I never dreamed this plant could be "killed off" as it has been in bloom and green the whole time we have lived here. During our mild winters it has had blooms on it all winter. With purple Morning Glories overlaying it this wall has been a riot of golden color in the summer months. The past month we have had 2 or 3 nights of fairly heavy frost. Must I replant seeds? Will it regenerate? These vines were growing over 12 feet high. Do I need to look for a special variety? Do I need to tear our the old vines that look dead or ca... read more


On Sep 13, 2010, bilottashii from Santa Fe, TX wrote:

I planted seeds this past spring to replace the vines I lost during the freeze last winter. They shot up right away and filled the trellis but has never bloomed. I can't figure out what I've done wrong since last years vines bloomed profusly.
Anyone have any advice?


On Jul 13, 2010, DisHammerhand from Fontana, CA wrote:

When I first saw this plant I fell in love with it. The flowers are so cheery. Because I get frost in the winter here I planted this where the rootzone is sheltered by my porch eaves. I've had the plant longer than a year now and it's done wonderfully. it really took off this year and now my porch is sheltered in a blanket of fuzzy leaves and happy orange flowers. It seems to keep the house cooler in hot weather. It's not a common vine around here.


On Oct 22, 2009, uncletim1958 from Clearfield, PA wrote:

our black eyed suan grew so nice this yr our first time we had one now that the frost got it will it come back next year any one know if it will. let us know thank you tim and janet


On Oct 13, 2009, Maggs06 from Garden Grove, CA wrote:

My backyard backs right up against the front of an elementry school. The only bummer is that the only thing seperating the two is a 75 foot chain link fence. I planted 3 black eyed susan vines and with in 3 months the vines had climed to the top of the fence and were starting to spread. That was back in April when I moved in. Now its mid October and I cant see a thing, its has created lots of privacy. The vines are thick and the flowers are there all year round it seems to be so far. They require little water compared to some other plants. I couldn't be happier with this plant.


On Mar 12, 2009, gilbert2 from Van Nuys, CA wrote:

Fast grower, and great wall covering, the only negative is the invasiveness. One must be constantly vigilant in the pruning back of new shoots, or it will take over. But with moderate care, it beautifies even a horrid cinder block wall. Attach some bolts and wire mesh first.


On Oct 29, 2008, dimar7a from Quincy, MA wrote:

we tried this plant from seed this year for first time,had great luck.we put about 9 seedlings in a 2 gallon was slow to start, but buy mid july it really started to show alot of flowers,it,s the end of oct. now and its covered with flowers. after reading the other com.s i, m going to try to keep it over winter in a south ,south east facing window.


On Jul 9, 2008, mercedez1965 from Keokuk, IA wrote:

I literally am known as the "family plant killer" I can not grown weeds let alone flowers. Last year I purchased a huge hanging basket before mother's day of this plant. It was so beautiful and was still blooming after Halloween. This year I decided it would be more cost effective to purchase 3 small ones about 6" long, and it is about 7ft long, bloombing like crazy. I get alot of comments on this plant, and love how it blooms all summer. may try to bring in, if not I'm going to purchase seed to plant my own from seeds next year, nursery had them planted in one of the green bags that hang on a porch, I have purchased 2 emptys to try next spring for each side of the porch. It loves the east sun, gets plenty in the cool part of the day and by the time it's hot out it's in the shade of ... read more


On Jun 17, 2008, LiliMerci from North of Atlanta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Blooms again and again. Very easy to grow. Leaves are soft and hairy.


On May 3, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I like this species- it flowers really well compare to other annual vines - even Mourning Glory are fickle in our climate.


On Apr 30, 2008, CheekyTikiGirl from Van Nuys, CA wrote:

Once established, this vine will pretty much overtake any other vine. We planted several varieties of vines to cover a fence. The black-eyed susans over powered the honeysuckle, potato vine, mandevilla vines and even the morning glories!


On Jun 5, 2006, Tokoro from Sacramento, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A very faster grower that I used to mask an air conditioner on an emergency basis (family coming to visit!). The flowers are delightful and numerous, but it attracts white flies like crazy. I planted three here in the Sacramento Delta with mixed results. One, in the most protected location, survived the winter nicely, losing most of its leaves and all of the whiteflies, but growing vigorously again in early spring. One is just beginning to re-emerge in late May, and the third appears to be dead and gone. The various jasmines I planted are a better solution. They are green all winter here, although they also attract whiteflies.


On Apr 24, 2006, SudieGoodman from Broaddus, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Zone 8b, Broaddus, TX southeast
My Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata) is potted in an 8" hanging basket on my 8' arbor in an area with good morning sun and part shade in afternoon. Many orange flowers and a healthy vine about 8 ft. long.

Try it, you'll like it!
Happy, successful gardening


On Feb 27, 2006, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

My T. alata (yellow flowered version) grows on a fence in fairly heavy shade, but still blooms for me, though not profusely. It has spread to nearby shrubs and plants. I have noticed that it actually seems to prefer to be a creeper rather than a climber. The vine sections grow thicker and look healthier when scampering across the grass instead of twisting up the fence.



On Feb 26, 2006, BlindPo from Garden Grove, CA wrote:

I have these in large pots on my patio with trellises and they go crazy, so crazy in fact they were twining around the balcony railing. I'm not a very organized gardener so I just started hacking away at the strays and ended up cutting some vital vines and the middle of my plants started to die out and it was ugly - that was probably at the end of summer/beginning of fall.

So all through winter, which this plant normally grows and blooms through, the plants continued to deteriorate. I finally cut them back completely. That was about a month ago and they're sprout-tastic now! I figure they'll be blooming again in another two months.

Very hearty plants in my area and good to know they can be cut back if necessary.

I've never been able to get t... read more


On Jan 30, 2006, TexasBlueBonnet from Sour Lake, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Here it is January 30th in Southeast Texas and my vine is blooming. It has put on new growth and new shoots in the last 3 to 4 weeks. I'm not going to tell it is winter time.


On Dec 11, 2005, CastIronPlant22 from Lompoc, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is a great vine/groundcover. Here they go crazy and just trail all over the place. Mine grew up into my tree and just started to hang down from it, its an amazing sight. I love this vine and would never get rid of it!


On Nov 22, 2005, cheryldawn from Lakeland, FL wrote:

I planted my pumpkin orange black eyed Susan vine about 12 years ago and it blooms almost all year round here in Florida. I love it but have yet to see seeds on it. This past Spring I planted Sunrise Surprise and Blushing Susan, new varities which has shades of apricot and rose.
Can anyone tell me how to take cuttings from them? When is a good time of year to do it, and what part of the vine do I cut? Soft or hardwood? Do, I stick the cutting straight in soil? Also, if I can do it sucessfully, I would like to trade some cuttings of my blushing Susan and Sunrise surprise for someone's orange wonder Susan vine. The Susie vine that is bright orange.


On Nov 15, 2005, trois from Santa Fe, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

We transplanted this plant from a pot in the spring, and now it has all but covered one side of my A-frame. The info says 6 to 8 feet, but this one ran out of things to climb at over 16 feet. It has had a mass of yellow flowers, very bright yellow that look plastic, since day one. No slack off during August. The Sulphur Butterflies love it and it is usually covered with flowers and butterflies.
The area this plant is covering is 16 x 16 feet.


On Sep 4, 2005, flowercrazy39 from Manchester, NH wrote:

I'm growing this vine with Grandpa Ott Morning Glorys and the contrast between the purple and yellow looks beautiful!


On Jun 11, 2005, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have been inundated with seedlings of this plant for 2 years now. I grew it in a hanging basket one year and now it is everywhere!! I would strongly advise against growing this near flower beds of any kind as it will smother anything- even morning glory!


On Dec 7, 2004, ncgardenaddict from Kannapolis, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Very easy to start from seed. Too easy in fact. I used to love this plant - now it loves my yard. I cannot get rid of it despite pulling up every seedling I can get my hands on. This one is rivaling the wild morning glories in tenacity.


On Dec 4, 2004, stitch_peddler from Lancaster, CA wrote:

this thing goes crazy here in the desert. I wish I could find out how to harvest the seeds.


On May 14, 2004, Spiderman30 from Casa Grande, AZ wrote:

I planted seeds (4 years ago) in a large pot, added a 4 foot metal trellis and it has come back every year. It blooms from spring until winter. I have it sitting outside under a covered patio. The 100 plus heat and wind is hard on it - but the vine hangs in there. Not much can take our relentless heat, but I think if it was planted in a shady area and kept moist it would do fine. I have really been rewarded with lots flowers and will continue going it here in Arizona.


On May 9, 2004, baileysmom from Lawrenceville, GA wrote:

I had great success in my zone 7 area (Lawrenceville, GA)last year in the shade. I collected seed and those planted this year have not sprouted. Any suggestions?


On Oct 28, 2003, pancha from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7b) wrote:

Thunbergia alata is grown as an annual in Oklahoma. The leaves and stems are the same as Thunbergia battiscombei.


On Aug 30, 2003, DavidPat5 from Chicago, IL wrote:

Once these plants start seeding, they're almost done flowering. I doubt if anyone has enough light in their house to keep them going anyway. You're better off collecting a few seeds and replanting them directly in the pot they were in next spring. I've found them extremely easy to start from seed. I put two in each pot and the amount of flowers are amazing. Good luck :)


On Aug 20, 2003, susan041334 wrote:

I bought this as a hanging plant - hung it from a chain on the front porch and very shortly it had climbed up the entire length of the chain to the porch ceiling. The blooms have all disappeared but the greenery remains. I wonder if I can cut it back when time to come in for the winter... (I live in southern Indiana, so have to bring a lot of my things inside.)


On Aug 19, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Black-Eyed Susan Vine has become naturalized in Florida, Hawaii, Texas and Puerto Rico. This vine was purchased as an (expensive) hanging basket in late spring, but I removed the hanger and placed the pot in a tall wicker plant stand in front of an oak tree where it received morning sun and dappled sun the rest of the time. The tendrils did not attach to the rough oak tree bark so I attached 8 sturdy green yarn strands to the plant stand and stuck the ends of them in a fan pattern in the bark with stick pins. The vine quickly grew up the strands and then arched over where the strands ended. It flourished until the days became hotter with daily waterings being necessary.

I removed the strands and the pot the first part of August and repotted the vine in a large pot with a... read more


On Jun 27, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This climber grows fast, but hardly gets dangerous to other species (could cover shrubs and short trees like other climbers, but it doesnt). It doesnt necessarily require a rich soil, growing well on sandy ones. Near the litoral, its pretty common in abandoned areas, where it grows spontaneously


On Jun 14, 2003, limo from Helsinki,
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

I am so surprised by its beautiful flowers that give joy while waiting for other flowers to bloom here up north :).

I am letting it grow up both sides of my kitchen window - and what a grower it is indeed ;)


On Aug 30, 2002, debi_z from Springfield, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I had one sorry seedling that survived my over-watering. when I planted it in a container outside I figured it would die. Well, I was wrong, and it turned into a beautiful plant that drapes over the container. I gave it Miracle Grow every 2 weeks or so, when I was doing the veggie beds. A success despite its terrible beginnings.


On Jun 9, 2002, AustinBarbie from Harker Heights, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

My Black Eyed Susan Vine is gorgeous! First I just had it in pot with some potting mix, but it wasn't doing much. Then I wrapped some plastic trellis around a tree and planted it at the base of the tree with some slow-release fertilizer. I helped it when I planted it by threading the vines through the trellis. I watered it regularly, and watch out! It grew like wildfire, and now it is completely filled in, with no blank spots (unlike the photo I uploaded). The best part it that it won't grow past the trellis, I guess the tree bark isn't enough for it to "grab onto", even though it is a rough bark. So it never gets out of control. I planted it about 4 months before I took this picture.


On Feb 23, 2002, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

Black-eyed Susan vine is an perennial climber native to South Africa. Grown in tropical zones it will climb to 8 feet but stays much smaller when grown as an annual or when it is contained in a pot. Orange or yellow flowers have chocolate-purple centers and are produced in mid-summer until autumn.