How to Deadhead Black Eyed Susans


Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is a perennial flower that self propagates through seeds. The 2- to 3-foot-tall plant thrives in moist soils with full sun exposure. The plant blooms from June on into September. The flower petals are a yellow-orange with a deep brown center. Deadheading the plant, removal of the flower heads, reduces the chance the plant will spread through scattered seed and improves how the flowers re-bloom in the future.

Moderately Easy


things you’ll need:
  • Scissors
  • Plastic bucket
    1. Select flowers for deadheading that show signs of wilting and color fade on the yellowish orange petals. Fading color to the petals indicates the flower head is maturing and readying to make seed.
    2. Grasp the underside of the flower head at the stem between two fingers.
    3. Slip the open jaws of the scissors between your fingers and the underside of the flower head.
    4. Cut the flower head from the stem. Throw the cut flower head into the plastic bucket. Black-eyed Susan will typically have multiple flowers on the end of a single stem coming from the plant. If a single flower resides on the end of the stem, cut that stem back to ground level after deadheading.
    5. Collect all of the cut flower heads and place in an active compost pile, if you have one.

Tips & Warnings

  • Leaving the mature flower heads in place offers up seeds for small birds in the garden, along with self-propagation of the plant.

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