THUNBERGIA Black-eyed Susan

Half-hardy Annual It needs a sunny and sheltered spot and is only really reliable in the south and west. Its twining stems grow quickly, requiring trellis-work, netting or canes for support – alternatively you can grow it in a hanging basket and let the stems trail downwards.

VARIETIES: A packet of T.alata seeds produces plants with heart-shaped leaves and funnel-shaped flowers which are about 2 in. across. The petals are cream, yellow, pale brown or orange and the throat is dark purple, giving a black eye effect. It is a vigorous climber growing up to 10 ft. but the variety usually on offer is ‘Susie’. This grows about 4-6 ft and some of the flowers have the black eyes missing.

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do – full sun is essential.

PLANT DETAILS: Height 4-10 ft.

Spacing: 2 ft.

Flowering period: July-October.

PROPAGATION: Follow the Half Hardy Annual technique . Plant out when the danger of frost is past.

Tropaeolum majus ‘Whirlybird Gold’

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