Plant Spotlight: Black- Eyed Susan

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Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia fulgida, is an herbaceous perennial that is a great plant to be added to your fall flower garden or pollinator garden. It will give it a wonderful yellow and basal green color that will last until autumn frosts. Even after the frost and the flowers have wilted away, the leaves will survive through the winter and give an appealing ground cover in your flower bed. Be sure to leave the seed heads for the birds and remove the floral stem from the plant to introduce new growth of leaves for a dense ground cover.

Rudbeckia is a fairly easy plant to grow. Soil conditions should not be soggy but well drained. It is recommended that you take soil samples before planting flower beds for optimal growth. This plant is full sun but can withstand partial shade. The size of this plant can range from 2-3 feet in height and 1-2 feet in width. A foot to three feet should be the space between plants depending on the area in which you are planting. This plant is resistance to dry soil and drought. Propagation can be done by division in the spring or fall or you can propagate it by seed.

This is a clumping plant so the roots grow underground as rhizomes. This is why the best way to propagate this plant is by dividing the roots. The growth form of this plant makes it suitable for planting in areas such as perennial beds, backgrounds, pollinator gardens, naturalized areas or forest gardens, and borders. If you have bees or a large population of pollinators, this is the perfect plant to have on your property as a source of food.

For additional information please visit the N.C. Cooperative Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox or call N.C. Cooperative Extension – Bladen County Center.

Picture of the reproductive part of Rudbekia

R. fulgida, bloom detail. By Debbie Roos

Rudbekia in a landscape

‘Early Bird Gold’ Flower Form. By Jim Robbins

Picture focusing on the Rudbekia's leaf color and margins

Toothed, serrated leaves. By Lucy Bradley