When and Where to Plant Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)
Light: All varieties of Rudbeckia will thrive in full sun. However, some varieties, especially the Sweet Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia subtomentosa) and the perennial black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’) will also take partial shade.
Soil: All Rudbeckias tolerate a wide range of soil types, from clay to loam. If you have very sandy soil which dries out easily, add organic matter to help the soil retain moisture. If you have a very water-retentive soil, choose Sweet Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia subtomentosa).
Spacing: Plant Black-Eyed Susans about 18” apart.
Planting Rudbeckia from Seed: Sprinkle the seeds on top of regular seed starting mix about six weeks before the last frost date. Do not cover the seed as they need light to germinate. Plant your seedlings outdoors after any danger of frost has passed.
Planting Rudbeckia from Plants: Providing all danger of frost has passed at your location, set your new plants out as soon as possible after you receive them. If additional frost is anticipated hold your plants in a sunny window and keep well-watered until it is safe to plant them outdoors.
Prepare the site by removing existing weeds and loosening the soil.
Make a hole a few inches wider that your young plant;
Place your Rudbeckia in the hole (disturb the roots with your fingers if they're coming in thick), backfill with soil, tamp gently and water well.
How to Grow Black-Eyed Susans Throughout the Season
Growth Habit: Rudbeckias are compact-growing plants that spread to no more than 2’ wide. Height varies with the variety; most are less than three feet high.
Staking: No staking is required.
Watering: Most Rudbeckias will tolerate dry soil for a few weeks. However, water weekly if you are experiencing a prolonged drought or your plants are showing signs of stress.
Fertilizing: Light fertilizing in springtime is beneficial but not required.
Trimming & Pruning: Regular dead-heading will prolong blooming and reduce self-seeding; otherwise leave seed heads intact for winter bird food.
Versatile, drought-tolerant and easy-to-grow, Black Eyed Susan adds a cheerful splash of color to the summer landscape. A native plant that attracts a variety of pollinators, Black Eyed Susan pairs beautifully with other prairie favorites like Purple Coneflower and Butterfly Weed. Its adapatable nature makes it a great choice for poor soils and tough conditions. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow. Biennial.
The Black Eyed Susan & Purple Coneflower Seed Combo is a native duo that creates instant charm and attracts a myriad of butterflies, bees, and other pollinators to the summer garden. This versatile combination can be planted in garden beds, wildflower meadows, and anywhere in between for years of easy color. Tolerates poor soil and less-than-ideal growing conditions. (Rudbeckia hirta and Echinacea purpurea)
Gloriosa Daisy is a deer-resistant variety that adds rich, gorgeous color to the summer and fall garden. A perennial form of the native Black Eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisies grow to be 12-36” tall and tolerate partial shade. Giant, bi-color double flowers are extremely easy to grow and bloom reliably year after year. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
Ignite your garden or meadow all season long with Rudbeckia Marmalade. This low-growing variety delights with large, daisy-like flowers that are orange/yellow. Deer resistant and sun loving, plant this annual in almost any spot.
Black Eyed Susans: End of Season Care
Pests and Diseases: Rudbeckias are generally carefree plants that do not attract pests.
Overwintering: Cut remaining stalks to the ground in either fall or spring.
Dividing & Transplanting: True perennial types, especially Rudbeckia 'Goldstrum' will benefit from dividing every three to five years. Leave any varieties designated as ‘short-lived perennial’ undisturbed.