How to Separate a Black-Eyed Susan Flower

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Black-eyed Susans provide hardy, colorful flowers that brighten up any garden and make attractive cut-flower bouquets. With a scientific name of Rudbeckia, Black-eyed Susans also are known as gloriosa daisies and coneflowers. Black-eyed Susans come in perennial and annual varieties. Annual varieties self-seed, and perennial varieties spread as they get established. Both types are good candidates for dividing and moving to other locations in your garden, or for sharing with friends. Divide your Black-eyed Susans every three to five years in the fall after the growing season.



things you’ll need:
  • Spade-style shovel
  • Trowel
  • Small garden clippers
  • Long, sharp knife
    1. Prepare a location in your garden or in a pot where you want to plant the divisions. Dig and loosen the soil with the shovel. Water the soil so it is moist, but not saturated. Work in some organic matter, such as composted steer manure from a garden center, with the trowel.
    2. Dig all the way around the Black-eyed Susan plant at the drip line with the spade shovel. This makes a clean cut on all the roots. The drip line is the perimeter of the plant’s leaves. Define the drip line by lightly watering the plant, but not the surrounding soil. When the water drips off the leaves, the moist soil around the plant shows the drip line.
    3. Lift the Black-eyed Susan out of the ground in one large clump, taking care not to damage the roots. Remove extra soil by gently shaking the plant. Clip off dead or unhealthy-looking stems and leaves.
    4. Separate the clump into smaller clumps with a knife or by gently separating the clump with your hands. Each clump should contain at least three healthy shoots.
    5. Replant each clump in the spot or spots you prepared in Step 1. Plant the new clumps at the same depth the original Black-eyed Susan was planted. Fill in around the new clump with the loose soil you prepared. Gently pat the soil into place when the hole is filled.
    6. Water the new clumps well, but do not over-water. The soil should still be loose and crumbly after watering.
    7. Mulch the new Black-eyed Susan flowers in late fall or after the first freeze to keep them healthy through the winter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Dividing Black-eyed Susans helps older plants remain healthy.

  • Divide Black-eyed Susans on a cool day. The new plants will stay healthier and require less care.

  • Black-eyed Susan flowers that are not divided when necessary produce fewer blooms than young or regularly divided plants.

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