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How to Grow a Black Eyed Susan


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The striking beauty of Black Eyed Susan adorns the roadside in late summer, dotting the landscape with a flash of bright orange-yellow petals with a dark eye. These hardy plants seem to grow where nothing else will. Dry sandy hill sides and rocky ledges do not pose a problem for these native wildflowers, but they can be a bit tricky to transplant. To grow Rudbeckia Hirta in your landscape you are better off to purchase seeds and start your own plants.

Difficulty:
Easy

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Rudbeckia Hirta seeds
  • Garden tools
    1. Prepare an area that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Till the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Remove any rocks and debris from the area.
    2. Add a little compost to the soil if you wish, but Rudbeckia does well in poor soil conditions. In fact, too much fertilizer may actually encourage weak stems and plants.
    3. Plant seeds directly in the soil once temperatures have reached average daytime temperature of 60 degree and about 2- 3 weeks before the last spring frost. Black Eyed Susan needs light to germinate so simply press the seeds into the soil without covering. Spray lightly with water to moisten the soil and keep the seeds damp.
    4. Keep the soil evenly moist until the seeds germinate and water whenever the soil dries out for the first season to establish a good root system for the plant. Rudbeckia is drought resistant and does not require watering once established.
    5. Deadhead spent blooms to prolong the blooming season. If you wish to naturalize your Black Eyed Susan, do not deadhead the blooms. Flowers that are allowed to go to seed will self seed and spread to new areas the next year.
    6. Divide your plants whenever they become overgrown. Lift the entire root ball when the plant is in dormancy and divide the root into two or more new plants. This is not usually necessary as Rudbeckia tends to bloom well for several years and die out. New plants take over and continue to bloom.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plant Black Eyed Susan near Purple Cone Flower for a striking color contrast.

  • Allow Rudbeckia Hirta to go to seed if you wish to naturalize an area.

  • Use dried seed heads in floral arrangements or crafts.

  • Black Eyed Susan makes a wonderful cut flower.

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