How to Grow Thunbergia Plants

Guide to Growing Clockvine, Black Eyed Susan Vine, Brick and Butter Vine, Dolls Shoes, and Thunbergias

Thunbergia plants are half hardy climbing plants.

They bloom from summer to autumn, and usually carry flat or trumpet like flowers.

Thunbergia alata
Thunbergia alata - Black-eyed Susan Vine by Blumenbiene; Creative Commons.

Thunbergia flowers may be white, yellow or orange, and often have a black centre.

Thunbergia Mysorensis
Thunbergia Mysorensis - Clock Vine by Sree314.

There are many different species of Thunbergia grown in the garden. Some of the common names of plants belonging to this genus include Black eyed Susan Vine, Orange clock vine, Dolls Shoes, Clock vine, and Sky vine.

Commonly Grown Thunbergia Species Photographs and Plant Identification

Thunbergia alata

Thunbergia alata
Thunbergia alata (Black-eyed Susan Vine), photograph by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.

Thunbergia grandiflora

Thunbergia grandiflora
Thunbergia grandiflora (Bengal Clockvine / Blue Skyflower / Skyvine), photograph by Bach Arul Ziegen; CC.

Thunbergia erecta

Thunbergia erecta
Thunbergia erecta (Bush Clockvine), photograph by Mauro halpern; CC.

Thunbergia laurifolia

Thunbergia laurifolia
Thunbergia laurifolia (Laurel Clockvine / Blue Trumpet Vine), picture by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.

Thunbergia Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Clockvine, Black Eyed Susan Vine, Thunbergias, Brick and Butter Vine, Dolls Shoes, Blue Trumpet Vine, Laurel Clock Vine.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual. Half hardy perennial.
Height: 80 to 320 inches (200 to 800 cm).
Native: Southern and Eastern Africa, South Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 10.

Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: Blue, violet, orange, red, yellow. Dark brown/chocolate/purple/black/yellow coloured centres. Flat; five petals. Trumpets. Pendant.
Foliage: Cordate.

Sow Outside: Cover seed. Start of spring or towards the end of summer. Spacing 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 cm).
Sow Inside: Start indoors in cooler areas. Use peat pots. Germination time: one to three weeks. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost; temperature should not drop below 50°F (10°C).

Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Rich soil. Moist soil. Organic soil. Provide support. Provide trellis. Regular watering. Prune. Bring indoors for the winter in cool areas. Propagate: cuttings in the spring.

Family: Acanthaceae.
Miscellaneous: The genus is named after the Swedish Naturalist Carl Peter Thunberg. In addition to Thunbergia many other genera have plants are known as Black-eyed Susan, these include: Rudbeckia; Hibiscus and Tetratheca.

How to Grow Black Eyed Susan Vine, Thunbergia

It is best to start growing Black Eyed Susan Vine and other Thunbergia plants indoors when growing from seeds. The process should be started about 7 or 8 weeks before the expected middle of spring.

The seeds should be sown into peat pots and lightly covered. It should take about two or three weeks for Thunbergia seeds to germinate at a temperature of 18 to 25 degrees centigrade (64 to 77°F).

Once ready, transplant the Thunbergia vine outdoors in mid spring (when it always remains above 10 degrees centigrade(50°F)). Ideally, use a spacing of 30 to 50 cm (12 to 20 inches).

Ideally the vines should grow in a sunny or a partially shaded area of the garden. This should have a moist, organic soil.

Caring for Thunbergia Plants

These vines like to have a moist soil, so keep well watered during the growing season.

If you require more black-eyed Susan vine, Clockvine, or other Thunbergia, then you can take cuttings in the spring.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Thunbergia plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Acanthus hungaricus; Wild Petunia, and Ruellia plants.