Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia is a genus of plants that include about 20 species of annuals, biennials, and perennials. Rudbeckia hirta, aka Black-eyed Susan, is a widespread native plant found in prairies and cultivated, which is a great nectar source for butterflies and seed source for birds. The characteristic daisy-like flower of Rudbeckia comes in a wide range of colors from yellow, orange, bronze, and mahogany hues, with a black or brown central cone, and blooms from mid-summer into fall. These plants also tend to be deer-resistant.

Light

Blooms best in full sun, but can tolerate part shade.

Location

Rudbeckia can serve well in a border or scattered in a natural meadow.

Soil

Does well in a variety of soils. Prefers soil that isn’t too rich and moist, yet well-draining.

Water

Keep evenly moist. Don’t allow to dry out; Rudbeckia doesn’t recover well from drought.

Fertilizer

Fertilizing isn’t necessary. Occasionally adding compost to surrounding soil is helpful.

Grooming

Deadheading helps encourage more blooms, but allowing the last flower heads to remain provides seed for birds and allows self-seeding to occur.

Mulch

Apply a layer of mulch after the soil warms in spring to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and keep the soil cool in the summer. Keep a space between mulch the base of the stem.

Problems

Susceptible to powdery mildew under humid conditions. Thin the plant and remove surrounding weeds to allow more air circulation and/or spray with Bonide Copper Fungicide to prevent further spread.