Black-Eyed Susan Vine in the Flower Garden

Looking for a fast-growing vine to hide a fence or adorn a trellis? Try Black-Eyed Susan Vine and enjoy the bright blooms until the first frost.

When you have a small yard, you take advantage of every bit of growing space. This past spring, I added a wood lattice trellis along my neighbor’s board fence so I could have some pretty blooms to look at instead of a blank wall of wood. On the recommendation of a friend, I decided to try growing Black-Eyed Susan vine on the trellis. I started it from seed and was pleased with both how easy it was to get going, and how very fast it took off!

Black Eyed Susan Vine

Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata) isn’t closely related to the other familiar Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia), but they share a similar coloration. Black-Eyed Susan Vine is native to Africa, but has become a garden favorite around the world. It isn’t particularly cold hardy, so anyone north of zone 9 has to grow it as an annual. Fortunately, it’s easy to start from seed, and even northern gardeners can grow a beautiful pot of trailing Black-Eyed Susan Vine by mid-summer. For greater success with your seeds, soak them overnight before planting.

Black Eyed Susan Vvine

You’ll find Black-Eyed Susan Vine in yellow and white flowered varieties. There’s also a version called ‘Blushing Susie’ which looks to me like the colors of a sunset sky. I’m planning to get my hands on some of these seeds to start soon, since I’ve had such luck with the yellow and white ones.

Looking for more vine options? Check out Birds & Blooms’ list of Fast Growing Vines and Climbing Flowers.

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.