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Black-Eyed Susan Vine

long-flowering annual, uncomplicated, and therefore very common twining vine for house entrances, facades, low walls, or balconies. Suitable as a hanging plant and also for interior gardening. The very common varieties "red orange" and "new orange" grow up to approx. 4 metres in height and can be used to hide downpipes, lightning conductors, etc..

(also known as "Brown-Eyed Susan" - Thunbergia alata)

Black-Eyed Susan vine "Red Orange" (Thunbergia alata) - right after rainfall
Black-Eyed Susan vine "Red Orange" (Thunbergia alata) - right after rainfall


For sunny, or even better, half-shady locations that are protected from heavy winds. Moist but water-permeable soil, best enriched with deciduous compost. A nutrient-rich humus soil, as well as regular fertilising and watering, will promote growth and flowers. 'Susans' can be easily cultivated in pots and 'hibernate' (be overwintered in a proper place) as a potted plant at approx. 6 degrees celsius. Available mostly as seed mixtures or potted plants from spring onwards.

Characteristics and Pruning

Mandevillas originally come from South Africa and Madagascar. They are annuals in Europe and have to be pre-cultivated before they can be sold and planted outside at the end of May. Individual plants must be planted 30 - 40 cm apart, 1 metre for pots with several specimens. Growth height depends on the variety -- usually only about 2 metres, but some strong varieties in a large pot or planted in the earth can grow up to 4 metres (see photos). The leaves are heart-/ arrow-shaped (pointed). This is a slightly winding twiner (shoots twine a little), somewhat overhanging. The flowers are decorative, the colours in a range of: white, yellow-orange, or brown-red-- all with a brown-black ('chocolate-purple') centre. The varieties "red orange" and "new orange" sold by FassadenGrün belong to the "Sunny Susy"® series and are impressive for their strong growth and early flowering. In general, all varieties of the black-eyed or brown-eyed Susans are extremely richly flowering, even in cooler summers. The flowering time is from June to October. A single flower lasts about 5 days. Sometimes small seed capsules also form. 

Climbing Aids on Facades

Thin stakes, nets, or ropes can be used. Binding material might be necessary. You can choose below among the suitable designs for a cable system. Choose an easy or light cable design.

Cable systems?

Click on the image to see which designs are suitable as climbing aids for Black-eyed Susans.

Brown-eyed Susan greening a balcony
Street greening with Black-eyed Susan
Brown-eyed Susan on a cable system 5040
Greening of a rain gutter with Black-eyed Susan vine
Thunbergia alata on a building
Green privacy screen with Thunbergia

Suitable Cable Systems for Black-Eyed Susan Vine

Please click on the graphics to see a detailed view of each cable system!

 = suitable        = sometimes suitable   = not suitable