How to Grow Black Eyed Susans

black eyed susan in the gardenblack eyed susan in the garden

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.

black eyed susan black eyed susan

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.

  1. Prepare the site by removing existing weeds and loosening the soil.
  2. Make a hole a few inches wider that your young plant;
  3. 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.
black eyed susan rootsblack eyed susan roots
Black Eyed Susan with developed roots, ready to be planted.
planting black eyed susan planting black eyed susan
Planting Black Eyed Susan at soil level.
  1. Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm, Rudbeckia in bloom in perennial garden

    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green f...

    Learn More
    Goldsturm Black Eyed Susan Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm
    As low as $7.99 Sale $5.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green foliage. Unbothered by most pests, poor soils, drought and humidity, 'Goldsturm' is easygoing and the perfect addition to flower arrangements and pollinator gardens. Deer resistant and long-lasting. (Rudbeckia fulgida)
    Learn More
  2. Black Eyed Susan Prairie Sun close up yellow flowers

    Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Sun’ produces gorgeous daisy-like blooms from early-summer through frost. Large, 5-inch flowers bear overlapping rings of orange petals tipped in lemon-yellow ...

    Learn More
    Prairie Sun Black Eyed Susan Prairie Sun Black Eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisy Rudbeckia hirta Prairie Sun
    $9.32 Sale $6.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Sun’ produces gorgeous daisy-like blooms from early-summer through frost. Large, 5-inch flowers bear overlapping rings of orange petals tipped in lemon-yellow and surrounding a bright green eye. Flowers stand atop tall sturdy stems perfect for cutting and attract scores of butterflies. Low maintenance and deer resistant. (Rudbeckia hirta)
    Learn More
  3. Giant Black Eyed Susan or Great Coneflower, Rudbeckia maxima

    Bring the native beauty of the prairie to your garden beds with the dramatic Giant Black Eyed Susan. Low, gray-green foliage clusters send up tall stalks 4-6 feet tall topped with ye...

    Learn More
    Giant Black Eyed Susan Giant Black Eyed Susan, Great Coneflower Rudbeckia maxima
    $11.99 Sale $8.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Bring the native beauty of the prairie to your garden beds with the dramatic Giant Black Eyed Susan. Low, gray-green foliage clusters send up tall stalks 4-6 feet tall topped with yellow coneflowers in early summer. Blooms are loved by finches and butterflies. A low-maintenance plant that excels in average and poor soils. Deer resistant. (Rudbeckia maxima)
    Learn More
  4. Yellow Black Eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta, Black Eyed Susan

    Black Eyed Susan, or Rudbeckia, produce golden yellow flowers with a black center, similar to a daisy. As one of the most popular wildflowers grown, they're often found in gardens an...

    Learn More
    Black Eyed Susan Black Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta
    $9.99 Sale $7.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Black Eyed Susan, or Rudbeckia, produce golden yellow flowers with a black center, similar to a daisy. As one of the most popular wildflowers grown, they're often found in gardens and meadows. Butterflies, bees and other pollinators are attracted to Black Eyed Susans for their sweet nectar. Blooms arrive in midsummer and last into the fall. (Rudbeckia hirta)
    Learn More

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.

bird landing on black eyed susanbird landing on black eyed susan
  1. Yellow Black Eyed Susan Seeds, Rudbeckia hirta

    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 E...

    Learn More
    Black Eyed Susan Seeds Black Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta
    As low as $15.95 Sale $15.15
    Per 1/4 Pound
    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.
    Learn More
  2. Yellow-orange Black Eyed Susan Vine Seeds, Thunbergia alata

    Black-Eyed Susan Vine, also known as Clock Vine, is a unique, quick-growing annual that delights with large, bright orange blooms on tall, vining foliage. Perfect for trellises and f...

    Learn More
    Black Eyed Susan Vine Seeds Black Eyed Susan Vine Thunbergia alata
    As low as $3.95
    Per Packet
    Black-Eyed Susan Vine, also known as Clock Vine, is a unique, quick-growing annual that delights with large, bright orange blooms on tall, vining foliage. Perfect for trellises and fences! Annual.
    Learn More
  3. Yellow Black Eyed Susan Seeds Marmalade, Rudbeckia hirta

    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...

    Learn More
    Black Eyed Susan Seeds Marmalade Black Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta
    $3.95
    Per Packet
    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.
    Learn More
  4. Black Eyed Susan & Echinacea Seed Combo

    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....

    Learn More
    Black Eyed Susan & Echinacea Seed Combo Black Eyed Susan & Purple Coneflower Rudbeckia hirta & Echinacea purpurea
    $74.95 Sale $71.20
    Per 2 Pounds
    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)
    Learn More

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.


To learn more about the plants we sell and how to grow them in your garden beds and patio containers, sign up for our inspiring emails.

© 2021 AmericanMeadows.com All rights reserved