Vines and Other Climbing Plants


Black Eyed Susan –Thunbergia Alata

“Black Eyed Susan’s,” used to only come in one colour, which had orange/yellow flowers with a black central eye that gave rise to their common name. Nowadays though, they also come in reds, whites and yellows.

A native of Africa, the Thunbergia Alata, or “Black Eyed Susan,” as it is more often known, is only an annual in the U.K. because it is not fully frost hardy. Thunbergia Alata will stand some up to some cold though, so in a very sheltered place, or in frost-free conditions it will over Winter as a perennial. 

Because it is easy to germinate Thunbergias and the fact that they are quick growing as well as being very colourful, they are frequently sold for and used in bedding displays in the U.K. In particular they are usually used in hanging baskets, as they are more of a trailer than a climber. With encouragement, however, they also make excellent climbers up small, temporary support frameworks, to add height to borders.

Black Eyed Susan’s are not very fussy about soil types or conditions and will grow almost anywhere, but they shouldn’t be allowed to get too dry and must be watered in hot, or dry weather. 

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