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.

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

There are many different species of Thunbergia grown in the garden and some of the common varieties include Black eyed Susan Vine, Orange clock vine, Dolls Shoes, Clock vine, and Sky vine.

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

Thunbergia Mysorensis
Thunbergia Mysorensis - Clock Vine by Sree314.

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 mid 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.

Once ready transplant the vine outdoors in mid spring (when it always remains above 10 degrees centigrade) with a spacing of 30 to 50 cm.

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

Caring for Thunbergia

These vines like to have 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 and Ruellia plants.