Black-eyed Susan on the balcony: Tips & tricks
Summer is coming faster than you think; it's high time to start thinking about balcony planting for the warm season. Especially if you live on the ground floor or the balcony can be seen from all sides, it is advisable to use plants that grow densely and quickly and can therefore serve as a natural privacy screen. A classic among them: Black-eyed Susan. This climbing plant is particularly appreciated because planting and caring for it is relatively uncomplicated. It is also suitable for beginners who finally want to dare to plant their own balcony.
We'll show you everything you need to know about sowing and caring for black-eyed Susans. You will also find out which alternatives are suitable for you if you don't have time to take care of the plants on your balcony yourself.
All about black-eyed Susan
The black-eyed Susan, known in technical terms as Thunbergia alata, belongs to the genus of the acanthus family and originally comes from East Africa. The flowering period of the climbing plant is usually from June to October. During this period it flowers white, orange, yellow, or red, depending on the variety.
It owes its name to its characteristic black centre, which in connection with the bright flowers, is reminiscent of an eye. In the meantime, however, there are also species that do not have such an eye, but the name has remained the same.
In local areas, it is particularly valued for its versatility; it not only greens balconies, privacy screens, and garden fences without climbing aids. Its hanging shoots also make a good visual impression as a hanging basket plant.
There are many different varieties and hybrids of black-eyed Susan. Some of the most common varieties are:
Where does black-eyed Susan grow best?
Due to its African origin, the plant prefers warm and sunny locations. It needs at least 3 hours of sun per day for lush flower growth. A wind and rain-protected place on a south-facing balcony is ideal, since contact with such extreme weather events massively restricts the formation of flowers and black-eyed Susan will remain small and puny.
Black-eyed Susan on the balcony: Tips for planting
Black-eyed Susan is ideal for beginners as it is easy to seed and starts to grow quickly.
Ideally, you should start sowing between mid and late January. You use germ-free seed soil for this. Since black-eyed Susan belongs to the dark germinators, the flat seeds must be covered with about 1 cm of soil. At temperatures around 25 degrees, the climbing plant needs about 14 - 21 days until it starts to germinate. At best, a heatable mini greenhouse is used for the germination process. It is also of great importance to keep the soil moist.
After the first seedlings have appeared, the temperature should be around 18 degrees, and the seedlings should be placed as close to sunlight as possible. A spot under a skylight in an unheated room is perfect. In this phase, the soil should be checked daily, as it must not dry out under any circumstances.
Another two weeks later, when the first leaves appear, 3 to 5 young plants can be transplanted together into small pots. Fresh, commercially available, nutrient-rich potting soil can be used. While pricking out, the tips should already be trimmed with secateurs to encourage branching.
After the ice saints, the pots can then be placed on the balcony. You can look forward to the first flowers around 15 weeks after starting sowing.
Black-eyed Susan on the balcony: The right care
Proper care of black-eyed Susan on the balcony begins with the right planter. In order to enable it to grow quickly with beautiful flowers, the pot must be large enough and a suitable climbing aid must be installed right from the start.
Since black-eyed Susan needs an extensive supply of nutrients, it makes sense to add mature compost or horn shavings to the nutrient-rich, fresh potting soil.
Due to its rapid growth, the climbing plant is accordingly thirsty. The degree of moisture in the soil must be checked at regular intervals. Caution: Waterlogging is very damaging to the plant and must be avoided accordingly. In order to give the black-eyed Susan a further boost in terms of growth, it is recommended to enrich the irrigation water every two weeks with a nutrient-rich complete fertilizer or a special fertilizer for ornamental plants.
Can you overwinter black-eyed Susan?
Unfortunately, the black-eyed Susan is not winter-hardy on the balcony or in the garden, and it quickly loses its flowers in autumn with the first frost. Although the climber is actually an annual, if you bring it inside before temperatures drop below 10 degrees, there is a small chance that it will survive the winter months in a bright spot.
Since it is easy to sow and grows quickly, it is usually not worth overwintering. In addition, in its second summer, it no longer blooms as lavishly and extensively as it did directly after sowing.
Black-eyed Susan & more for your balcony: The Plant Box
Are you still at the very beginning of your balcony plant career, or do you simply lack the time to grow plants like black-eyed Susan on your balcony? Then leave the planting of your balcony box to the balcony flower specialists at The Plant Box! We create sustainable and visually appealing flower and plant arrangements and send them directly to your home without any delays. Let yourself be inspired by our countless variants in our shop. You can find black-eyed Susan in the Yellow Jungle Box!
Your advantages with The Plant Box:
- Seasonal and regionally cultivated flowers and plants, of course sustainable
- Cleverly put together arrangements for your balcony box
- Large variety of combinations
- Matching this: the balcony box from The Plant Box made from recyclable materials
A single flower box is not enough for you? Then come to our Plant Lovers Club! Members can choose different combinations from our range and will automatically receive a refill five times a year - there is definitely no chance of boredom.