It is time for orange flowers.

Since it rarely gets cold enough here to freeze the foliage and stems, clock vine, Thunbergia gregorii, provides very orange flowers throughout the year, and will bloom more profusely in summer. It is very similar to the more traditional black-eyed Susan vine, but the flowers lack the prominent black throats. Relative to most vines, orange clock vines is rather docile. The wiry vines are happy to climb to the height of first floor eaves, but do not go much farther. Without support, the vines grow as small scale ground cover.

New plants prefer full sun exposure, even if they later choose to spread into partial shade as they grow. Shade inhibits bloom. Once established, orange clock vine does not need much water, and can actually survive in abandoned landscapes. Overgrown or neglected vines can get weedy in spots, especially if not regularly watered. Fortunately, they are easily renovated by severe pruning at the end of winter. Even if pruned almost to the ground, vigorous vines regenerate very efficiently.


6 thoughts on “Orange Clock Vine

      1. I get to see them in different climates. In the chaparral climate of the Santa Clara Valley, they look great all year, except if they get tired through the warmth of summer, or, on rare occasion, frosted in winter. On the coast, they look great all summer, but by this time of year, they might get a bit tired of prolonged damp and cool weather. (They still look fine this year because the weather did not stay damp and cool for long.) Most of us who grow them let them grow wild, and cover up their own tired growth when they get around to it. I would prefer to prune them back, but there is not much advantage to that in casual landscapes.

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