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How to Care for Thunbergia

Updated February 21, 2017

Thunbergia is a flowering vine that quickly covers a fence or trellis. There are several species, but the most common is orange and black black-eyed Susan vine, and the sky dancer vine that produces showy blue or white flowers amid cascading heart-shaped foliage. Grown in containers or on a wall, thunbergia trails beautifully, covering a wide area. These easy-to-care-for vines are ideal for creating a privacy screen or simply providing a lush green backdrop for other flowers.

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  1. Select a sunny location that receives direct sunlight for six or more hours a day. Afternoon shade is fine as long as the area receives adequate morning light.

  2. Plant in soil that is high in organic material, as thunbergia thrives in rich soil that retains water well. Amend existing soil with generous amounts of compost or well-rotted manure to improve texture and assist in retaining moisture.

  3. Keep the soil moist. Allowing soil to dry slightly between waterings is fine, but soil that dries out completely will cause wilting and leaf burn. Monitor thunbergia closely for any signs of lack of water.

  4. Deadhead spent blooms regularly to encourage the plant to produce new blooms. If allowed to go to seed, it will cease blooming, but if deadheaded regularly, the plant will bloom for prolonged periods.

  5. Fertilise with ½ strength water-soluble fertiliser every two weeks during blooming to maintain the blooms' size and colour.

  6. Trim or prune lightly to maintain shape, or to train the vine to grow in the direction you choose.

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Things You'll Need

  • Organic soil amendments
  • Water-soluble fertiliser
  • Pruning shears

About the Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.

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