All About Black-Eyed Susans!

black eyed susan

Black-eyed Susans are a popular wildflower that can be found in most parts of the United States, but some varieties can be found right in your yard! They are easily recognizable by their bright yellow petals and dark brown centers. They are easy to grow and look great when planted in large groups. Read on to find out how this unique and bold-looking flower can improve your yard!

What Are Black-Eyed Susans?

black eyed susan in yard

This annual, vibrant flower is beloved for its unique appearance all across the United States, and it is native to North America. Officially known as Rudbeckia hirta, this flower belongs to the same family as sunflowers and daisies, hence some similarities in appearances. Black-eyed Susans are known as pioneer plants because they are usually the first plants to grow in newly disturbed areas, such as roadsides or farmlands. They are popular among gardeners because they don’t require a lot of maintenance and can be grown pretty easily in most climates!

What Do They Look Like?

black eyed susan by water

Black-eyed Susans are famous for their bright yellow petals and dark brown central disks. The flower petals typically point downward, and they are often described as being finger-like because they are long and slender. They are a bold addition to a garden filled with light and delicate flowers, but their large seed disks and finger-like petals make for some colorful contrast in your yard!

The flowers range in size from 2 to 4 inches in diameter, depending on the variety. The foliage is typically green, although some varieties may have a bluish tint. The leaves are oval-shaped and usually grow in opposite pairs. Black-eyed Susans can produce up to 15 flowers per stem, meaning they will be one of the more dominant species in your flower beds.

Key Characteristics:

  • Large central disks
  • Long, finger-like petals
  • Yellow is most common color
  • Up to 3 feet tall
  • Stiff, hairy stems

Where Do Black-Eyed Susans Grow?

black eyed susan with butterfly

Black-eyed Susans prefer full sun and well-drained soils. They need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, though they will still thrive with partial shade in the afternoon. The flowers are relatively drought tolerant once established, so they do not require frequent watering or fertilizing to survive.

These plants can grow up to 3 feet tall, making them perfect for adding some height to flower beds and gardens. They also naturalize easily, meaning that you can expect them to reseed themselves each year if planted in the right conditions. Black-eyed Susans are also fairly disease-resistant and can withstand both heat and humidity without much damage.

  • POLLINATE THIS! If you plan to incorporate some black-eyed Susans into your yard, get ready for a few new visitors! The large seedhead in the center of the flower is a giant target for bees and other pollinators, and several species of butterflies use this flower as their larval host.

When To Plant Black-Eyed Susans

Planting these flowers as early as March can help ensure that your gardens see blooms throughout late summer and fall. The best time for planting is in the spring, when the soil has had a chance to warm up and temperatures are still cool. This helps avoid any issues with premature flowering or exposure to frost.

For those living in warmer climates, fall can also be an appropriate time to plant these flowers. They should be planted at least 4 weeks before the first expected frost date so that they are able to establish roots before winter arrives.

How To Care For Black-Eyed Susans

Tuxedo Yard Care Mulch Installation Service for a flowerbed in Layton, Utah

Caring for black-eyed Susans doesn’t require much effort; however, there are some things you should keep in mind if you want your flowers to thrive! Following these basic guidelines will help ensure that your garden is blooming with these wonderful flowers all season long:

  1. Plant them in full sun and well-drained soil.
  2. Wait until soil temperatures are near 70 degrees before planting.
  3. Space them at least 8 inches apart to encourage air circulation and prevent overcrowding.
  4. Deadhead the flowers regularly to encourage more blooms throughout the season.
  5. Water only when necessary to avoid root rot or other issues with fungal diseases.
  6. Fertilize in spring with a balanced fertilizer for best results.
  7. Mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and discourage weed growth.
  8. Cut back faded foliage in late fall to tidy up your gardens before winter arrives.

Black-eyed Susans are an ideal choice for any garden or landscape because they require very little effort to care for and attract a variety of pollinators to your yard. They are colorful, easy to grow, and will provide you with plenty of blooms throughout the summer months. With just a few simple steps, you can have these beautiful flowers in your own garden!

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