The black-eyed Susan is a native to North America and one of the most popular cultivated wildflowers. Also known as rudbeckias, this daisy-like flower blooms from June to September, often covering open fields with its golden yellow beauty, surprising passersby.
Black eyed susan care
Black-eyed Susans are easy to create, naturalize well, and require little maintenance other than dying. Regular cutting back on faded blooms keeps plants in color for longer. You can let the season’s last flowers remain on the plants to form the seed heads that will feed to the birds through the winter. You’ll also get a great deal of self-seeding, which may not be wrong.
How to care for black eyed susans?
1. Prepare the Soil for Planting Black-Eyed Susans
The Black-eyed Susans can grow in almost every type of garden soil except constantly wet soil, although better soil will result in better plants. Make sure you get a best start for your plants by preparing the planting area in the ground with Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers. Mix 3 inches of nutrient-dense garden soil into the top 6 inches of existing soil, or create a 50:50 mix for single planting holes. Then, for maximum beautiful blooms, combine great ground with the power of just the right plant food – be sure to check out the How to Feed Black-Aid Susan section below.
Plant Black-Eyed Susans
- Check the plant tag for space between black-eyed Susans, then place the plants on top of a soil, so you know where to dig.
- Dig holes a little wider and as deep as the root ball of each plant.
- To enhance nutrition, drop Miracle-Gro® Quick Start® Planting Tablets into planting holes, following label directions.
- Remove the plants from the containers and place them in the holes to ensure the top of each plant’s root ball is even (or slightly higher than) the surrounding soil.
- Fill around each plant, pack the soil tightly, and water deeply.
- Light mulch (a 2-inch layer is ideal) to help keep the soil moist and block sunlight so weeds don’t grow, taking care to keep the mulch away from the stems of the plant.
2. Take Black-Eyed Susans
Plenty of black-eyed Susans are no more than 2 feet tall and won’t need to be sobered. However, if you are growing taller varieties, you may need to provide some support. Stick a dowel into the ground near the center of each plant (but not through it) and use twine to attach the individual stems to the stake. Another option is to use 2 or 3 pegs and weave a small mesh around the plant’s branches, allowing them to bend gracefully at different angles.
3. Water Black-Eyed Susans
Black-eyed Susans don’t need a lot of extra water once they are comfortable and established in the garden. It would help if you watered it when you first plant it, though, to help the plants grow new roots and settle down. Then, water them well whenever the top of the soil around the plants dries out. (A good rule of thumb: The plant needs water if you see leaves drooping.) However, over-watering will cause more problems with black-eyed Susans than under-watering. When in doubt about water or not, wait another day.
4. Feed Black-Eyed Susans
When new leaves appear in spring, feed black-eyed Susans with Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘n Feed® Rose & Bloom Plant Food. With natural ingredients like earthworm castings, bone meal, and kelp, this highly effective fertilizer will encourage plenty of colorful blooms.
5. Deal with Problems with Black-Eyed Susans
Powdery mildew sometimes covers the leaves of black-eyed Susans during hot, humid summers. To help prevent this, direct the water to the base of each plant, so the leaves remain dry and are sure to leave enough space between plants to allow good airflow.
Tips for Growing Black-Eyed Susans
Black-eyed Susans tend to be harder than most flowers, making them a popular choice for landscaping around homes and other buildings. Some techniques can make it bloom longer:
- Kill Susan with your black eyes. Removing dead plants or removing dead flowers at the base of the stem will encourage new growth and extend its flowering period.
- Reducing congestion. As a self-seeding, black-eyed Susans can be spread all over your garden. Overcrowding may prevent each flower from getting the amount of sun it needs. You can quickly remedy this by removing the flowers and transplanting them to another area.
- Avoid excessive watering. Too much water can cause a powdery mildew to form on plants. Planting your flowers far enough apart will ensure that the leaves dry out sufficiently between waterings, and it will also help to limit the amount of water they get in the first place.