Blue Thunbergia

peatpod(Z5b Ontario)May 4, 2009

I recently purchased a blue thunbergia and this is a new plant to me ... but oh my god beautiful!!! I have no clue what it likes and does not like. Also II noticed that the buds develope a sticky substance...almost like honeydew from aphids .. but it is only on the buds. Have inspected the entire plant and have not found any time of bug life =) Can someone please tell me what this is? Does the plant require ants or other pests to bloom thus creating the sticky substance?

Thanks so much


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Here's something to get you started on likes / dislikes:

Seems like a rather interesting plant. Had never heard of it until your post, I was only familiar with the 'Black-eyed Susan' Thunbergia and some of it's similar cultivars.

As far as the stickiness, if the plant appears healthy, then it may be the plant's way of inviting ants onto itself as a defense against other herbivorous insects. Other plants use similar techniques.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 11:47PM
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There are several 'Blue 'Thunbergias. I have three, and without knowing exactly which one you have, it's difficult to guess what is going on with your plant. Here's a picture of my Thunbergia battiscombei, maybe it's the one?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 8:58AM
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Bossjim that is beautiful. Where did you find it? I've never seen the blue before and would love to get some.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 1:13PM
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Alexis, I purchased it at a local nursery. It is a zone 9 plant.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 1:42PM
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peatpod(Z5b Ontario)

Bossjim ... the Thunbergia I purchased is the grandiflora .. does this help at all?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 11:16PM
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peatpod, I don't recall my Thunbergia grandiflora having a sticky substance on the buds. Of course, it's not in bloom right now, so can't check. Your description certainly resembles an infestation.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 8:55AM
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Hi Jim,

The thunbergia has several blooms!
Do you have yours in shade? or part shade/sun? Mine is in a big pot right now. I don't have much shade but I can move it around.

Also the bleeding heart you sent me is also blooming; just lovely.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 4:11PM
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Great Betsy, glad you're getting blooms! My sky vine bloomed nearly all winter, but is taking a break right now. It gets full afternoon sun.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 6:38PM
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I've never noticed a sticky substance on my Thunbergia grandiflora either so I just went out to check a bud and there's nothing. Are you sure there's no insects on the buds that are producing the "honeydew"? Aphid infestations are pretty common with this plant. Have you seen any ants crawling on the vine?

I keep mine moderately moist and protect it from late afternoon sun. I'm in zone 7 so mine is container grown. I have several other thunbergia varieties and all get the same care. My other blue varieties are more like small bushes and then there's the Black Eyed Susan and African Sunset (Thunbergia alata) that are vines but I don't think they are nearly as pretty as the grandiflora.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 6:43PM
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greenpassion(z4-z5 VT)

Hello out there! I am curious about gathering seeds from my blue sky thunbergia vine. I have collected the seeds from my blushing susie, and the orange ones, and am hoping that this will be as easy. Anyone else had any sucess with the seeds?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 2:13PM
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