Finding new plants for your garden can take doing additional research. For example, do you want to try growing black-eyed Susan vines in your landscape but are looking for a perennial? Is this beautiful flowering vine an annual plant, or will it come back next year?
Luckily, we've done research into this question and have the answers below!
Although black-eyed Susan vines are usually grown as annuals, in USDA zones 10-11, you should be able to treat one as a perennial. Since those higher-growing zones stay warm throughout the year, you don't have to worry about your vine getting too cold and dying.
Specifically, you can consider a black-eyed Susan in higher USDA zones as a tender evergreen perennial.
As we start this article, we will cover all things black-eyed Susan vines and explain how to grow one as a perennial. Whether you're new to this flowering plant, have a vine in your garden, or need other tips and tricks, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!
Are Black-Eyed Susan Vines Annuals Or Perennials?
Unless you plant a black-eyed Susan in a warmer USDA growing zone, it will be annual. As we mentioned, black-eyed Susan vines can be perennial in zones ten and 11, so they prefer warm year-round climates.
The main factor that affects black-eyed Susan's growth patterns is the seasonal weather. So, if you have one in a cooler zone, like 4-8, your vine will likely die back in the winter.
Even if your spring, summer, and fall temperatures stay relatively high, the winter can make or break your black-eyed Susan and cause it to die.
It's also worth mentioning that black-eyed Susan vines are only considered tender evergreen perennials in warmer zones. That means they will stay green throughout the year but aren't hardy enough to withstand extreme winter weather.
If the temperature drops to freezing for a weekend in December, that could be the last time you see your black-eyed Susan. Think of this as black-eyed Susan can be perennial in frost-free growing zones.
Will My Black-Eyed Susan Vine Come Back Next Year?
Depending on the weather where you live, your black-eyed Susan may not be able to withstand the winter. As we said above, this vine can handle light winter weather but not frost or freezing.
Therefore, warmer growing zones will allow your vine to remain green and grow throughout the four seasons. You want to remember that in higher USDA zones (10-11), your black-eyed Susan will behave closer to a tender evergreen.
So it won't die in the winter, lose its foliage, and stop growing. Instead, your vine should be able to keep growing during a warm winter into spring.
A great example of this would be a black-eyed Susan vine in Southwest Florida. Unlike other areas in the country, SWFL has warm, moderate winters without frost or snow: perfect for black-eyed Susan.
The same applies to Southern California, Southern Arizona, Southern Nevada, and the states along the border. If it doesn't snow, you should be able to have your vine continue growing for years to come.
How Cold Can A Black-Eyed Susan Vine Get?
Since black-eyed Susan vines aren't cold hardy, you don't want yours in weather below 60 degrees. This species doesn't respond well to climates where frost and freezing temperatures are expected but rather warm tropical locations.
Your black-eyed Susan vine can't stay alive when the weather drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is difficult in winter.
Even warmer states have periods of cooler 40-50 degree conditions. That said, your black-eyed Susan won't necessarily die if there's a cold snap spell, but it can become damaged.
So, if you are in zones ten or 11 with your vine and want it to survive winter, you shouldn't worry about an unusually cold few days.
However, if the weather stays at 40-50 degrees consistently, that's when your vine may die. You can always move your vine indoors during colder spells if it's in a pot, so that's an idea to consider.
What Happens If My Black-Eyed Susan Vine Freezes?
If your black-eyed Susan vine encounters a frost, this could mean trouble. As we stated earlier, this vine species prefer year-round temperatures of 60+ degrees Fahrenheit.
Therefore, dropping to 30 or less can have adverse long-term health effects. Since frost typically happens around 32 degrees, that is roughly 28 degrees below your vines' climate threshold.
So, you can't expect it to respond well if this chilly temperature pattern continues. With that said, if your vine can bounce back from a frost, cover it the next time the forecast calls for frigid temperatures.
A thermal cover can save your black-eyed Susan, so it's worth investing in one. Some layer of protection is better than zero protection during a cold snap.
Tropical-leaning vines can be extremely sensitive, so treating them as such is better. The more prepared you are for winter weather, the better your chances of keeping your black-eyed Susan a perennial.
MIXC Winter Cold Weather Shrub Jacket
This protective cover protects plants against frost and snow, has a drawstring closure, is perfect for plants around 47.2 x 70.8 inches, allows 40%-60% light transmittance, and protects down to 3°-8°F of freeze-proofing.
Should You Cut Back Black-Eyed Susan Vines In The Fall?
If you want to prepare for winter, cutting back black-eyed Susan in the fall is fine. Typically, gardeners wait to do this until early winter, although if your plant is perennial: the fall is perfectly okay.
As we mentioned, this vine species is usually an annual grower. Therefore, it isn't always necessary to prune before winter, as this is when most black-eyed Susans die.
So, if you are in a USDA growing zone below ten, we don't think pruning is necessary. In contrast, for people in higher zones, this is when you need to create a trimming schedule.
Your black-eyed Susan vine should bloom throughout the summer into the fall. Moreover, some black-eyed Susan vines bloom until winter, depending on how warm the conditions stay.
Unlike many flowering plants, your black-eyed Susan vine waits to bloom until summer. You don't want to do heavy pruning before that timeline, as it can prevent flowers from forming.
With that in mind, wait until the last flower falls from your vine to prune it.
Do I Have To Overwinter My Black-Eyed Susan Vine?
Yes. If your black-eyed Susan vine is growing in a zone where the winter is too cold/harsh, you want to overwinter it. Most times, this includes relocating your plant indoors.
Like most potted species, it shouldn't be hard to overwinter black-eyed Susan. We recommend giving your vine a light pruning before relocating it inside, which should help keep your home debris-free.
In addition, if your black-eyed Susan is growing as a perennial, you need to make sure it doesn't sit in weather below 60 degrees for long.
Remember, the threshold for this vine isn't that big, meaning it can't handle frigid conditions. However, if you are growing your vine as an annual, this is when no action or overwintering is required.
Instead, you can cut your plant down to its base in the winter or spring and remove it from the soil entirely. Since it likely died during the cold temperatures, you'll need to plant a new black-eyed Susan once you remove the old one.
Furthermore, purchasing a thermal plant cover for your vine might be a good idea if the temperatures drop below 60 degrees at night.
Where Is The Best Place To Grow Black-Eyed Susan Vines?
When it comes to the best place for growing black-eyed Susan vines, try and find a spot where the sun is shining, the soil is moist, and the weather is mild.
One factor that becomes essential for black-eyed Susan is the sun. Ideally, you want to position your vine somewhere with afternoon sun exposure, followed by dappled shade in the morning.
Black-eyed Susan vines are fairly easy to manage and grow as long as they get enough daily sunlight. Especially in cooler parts of USDA zone ten, your plant will rely on the sun's warmth during winter.
Therefore, you want to avoid planting it in full shade or somewhere dark in the afternoon. According to experts, you will need to bring your vine indoors in zones below ten, so plan on doing that.
The best policy for black-eyed Susans is moderation. They don't need triple-digit weather, and they also don't need climates below 60 or so degrees. Keep your plant somewhere in the middle!
How Long Does A Perennial Black-Eyed Susan Live?
If your black-eyed Susan vine grows as a perennial, expect it to live for 2-3 years on average. Many experts claim that this flowering vine has a short-lived life expectancy, often only surviving a few growing cycles.
However, in ideal circumstances, some gardeners have noticed their black-eyed Susans survive upwards of a decade. Of course, that's considering the plant is in a warm USDA zone where the winter can't threaten it.
The sun is also crucial for your plant's survival, so try to choose a good long-term position.
To Finish Up
Whether you have a black-eyed Susan vine or wish to grow one, it's always good to know if this species can be grown as a perennial. Luckily, we found this is possible in warmer USDA zones (10-11).
Most times, black-eyed Susan vines will survive for years on end if they don't experience harsh winters. Specifically, if your plant freezes or reaches weather below its 60-degree threshold, that can become a problem.
Therefore, we recommend bringing your vine indoors if the weather drops below 60 degrees and investing in a thermal cover for in-ground black-eyed Susans.
And while we have you, check out these helpful related garden articles!