Black-Eyed Susan Vine Care

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The Black-Eyed Susan Vine is not the same plant as the Black-Eyed Susan. Whereas the black-eyed Susan is a native wildflower from the eastern part of the United States the black-eyed Susan vine is actually a native of the tropical parts of Madagascar, Africa and Asia. The names are similar because both varieties of flowering plants have a dark center and a radius of bright yellow or orange petals. However, the similarities generally end there.

Basic Information

The black-eyed Susan vine, also referred to as the Lemon Star or Thunbergia alata, is a perennial climber. This means it self propagates each year when grown as a perennial and that it has a climbing vine structure. This plant remains evergreen if planted in hardiness zones 10 and warmer, however, it can also be planted as an annual climbing vine in cooler hardiness zones. When planted in cooler hardiness zones it grows to be about 8 feet tall/long during each season, however if it is planted in an evergreen region it can grow as tall/long as 20 feet.

TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Kathy Bosin adds, "Spider mites can pose problems for your Black-Eyed Susan Vine. Maintain a high humidity level to protect against the mites. If you see evidence of spider mites, isolate your plant and treat it with a horticultural oil such as Neem, or insecticidal soap."


The black-eyed Susan vine prefers soil conditions that replicate the tropics or near tropics. This means they like soil that is well-drained, that is warm, and that is moist. If these conditions are not native to your area then you can replicate them using soil additives, strict watering schedules or greenhouse growing environments.

Sun and Shade

Since the black-eyed Susan vine is a tropical plant, it needs full sun during most of the day. However, you need to make sure that it is planted in an area of your flower garden or yard that gets partial shade in the afternoon. This combination of sun and shade is ideal.


You have two options when it comes to propagating the black-eyed Susan vine. The first option is to sow its seeds. If you live in an evergreen region you can sow the seeds directly in your flower bed, however, if you live in a cooler region of the country you need to start the seeds inside, about 6 to 8 weeks before you anticipate the last frost of the season. When the soil temperature is above 60 degrees, transplant your seedlings into your flower garden. If you don't want to buy new black-eyed Susan vine seeds next year, simply collect the dried seeds pods from this year's vine and store them in a plastic bag.

The second option that you have is to use herbaceous stem cuttings to propagate your vine. For this option, take a stem cutting and place it in water until roots begin to grow. Then you can transplant the stem cutting into your garden.

Vine Support

Since this is a climbing vine plant, it needs vine support. There are several things that you can use as vine support including trellising, sides of buildings and fences. Plant your black-eyed Susan vines near existing structures or fences so you don’t have to add anything to your landscaping or garden.0