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Black-Eyed Susan Flowers

Updated on November 17, 2012

Every Garden should have a patch of Black-Eyed Susans

One of my favorite flowers is The Black-Eyed Susan - a hearty flower that is easy to care for and comes back bigger every year. There are many varieties of Black-Eyed Susan, but most of us know the common Yellow and Brown Center variety.

What a great addition this is to any landscape and if you do not have some yet, you will want some after reading this page.

Why I love Black-Eyed Susans

Well for one they are beautiful. The other reasons are they add so much color in my yard and last into fall for me. Every year they come back bigger and more beautiful than the year before. I also dead head them and make more all over my yard so from one plant I know have so many.

They are also so easy to care for - not much you need to do to them. Just some basic maintenance to keep them looking great.

Flower Poll

Do you have Black Eyed Susans in your Yard?

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So what exactly are Black-Eyed Susans?

The Black-Eyed Susan is probably the most common of all American wildflowers. The characteristic brown, domed center is surrounded by bright yellow ray florets. They thrive in most soils in full sun. A true sunshine worshiper that forgives neglect - which almost everybody loves .

Some Facts:

The Black-Eyed Susan is the state flower of Maryland.

When cut, they have a vase life of 6 to 10 days.

They Re-seed

The botanic name for Black Eyed Susan is Rudbeckia

Named after Olaus Olai Rudbeck (1660- 1740) a Swedish physician and botanist. And while black eyed is simple - the plants have a black eye - none of my resources tell me who Susan was. :-)

Snails, slugs, and aphids eat the leaves of this plant. Rabbits and deer eat the entire plant.

Growing Black-Eyed Susans

The trick to growing Black Eyed Susan plants is to give them full sun in decent soil. Moderate fertility will give you the best flower show so avoid the edges of lawns where lawn food will give too much nitrogen.

Mostly in shades of yellow and gold, the plants range in height from 18 inches to a full 72 inches in height and bloom in late summer into fall. Planting is 18 inches apart for the shorter varieties and 24 inches apart for the larger plants over 3 feet tall.

They will do well in average soils and even poor soils. They are also tolerant of dry soil conditions. Water them during extended dry periods. They perform best with regular watering in soil that does not completely dry out.

Adding little fertilizer a couple times a season, will reward you with bigger, healthier plants and flowers.

Once your Black Eyed Susan are established, they will grow well unattended. Separate the clumps after a few years, or the plants will crowd each other out, resulting in smaller plants and flowers.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 to 9

Gardening Zone Chart

How To Plant A Black Eyed Susan

How To Fertilize A Black Eyed Susan

Care for your Black-Eyed Susans

Deadhead spent flowers to prolong blooming.

If you see the lower leaves of this plant turning brown and twisting, the odds are that you have powdery mildew or one of the numerous leaf spot fungal problems this plant is susceptible to.

Leaf spots are caused by fungi or bacteria. Brown or black spots and patches may be either ragged or circular, with a water soaked or yellow-edged appearance. Insects, rain, dirty garden tools, or even people can help its spread.

Prevention and Control: Remove infected leaves when the plant is dry. Leaves that collect around the base of the plant should be raked up and disposed of. Avoid overhead irrigation if possible; water should be directed at soil level. For fungal leaf spots, use a recommended fungicide according to label directions.

How To Trim A Black Eyed Susan

Seed Starters - A Great way to get your Seeds Started - I love using These

Black Eyed Susans make great Cut Flowers

Black Eyed Susans make great Cut Flowers
Black Eyed Susans make great Cut Flowers

How To Cut And Groom A Black Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan Jumbo Wildflower Seed Packet

Everwilde Farms - Sweet Black-Eyed Susan Native Wildflower Seeds - Jumbo Seed Packet (2000)
Everwilde Farms - Sweet Black-Eyed Susan Native Wildflower Seeds - Jumbo Seed Packet (2000)

We know you will enjoy this wildflower as much as the butterflies and birds do. Self sows.


Cool Vases for your freshly cut Black-Eyed Susans

How about a Hair-Do of Black-Eyed Susans? - Now this is very cool

Whimsical Ceramic "Flowerhead" Vase
Whimsical Ceramic "Flowerhead" Vase

This whimsical "Flowehead" vase is fun, functional, and fabulous! Best of all, she is always in style and always in season. Individually handcrafted in white porcelain, the vase is designed with a series of small holes that keep each flower stem in place.


A Bee Collects Pollen from a Black-Eyed Susan

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    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 5 years ago

      Interesting! Thanks for the information about black-eyed susan flower.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Great information...blessed.

    • bbsoulful2 profile image

      bbsoulful2 5 years ago

      I have several different types of black-eyed Susan in my yard -- LOVE them! Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • Steve Dizmon profile image

      Steve Dizmon 5 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Black-Eyed Susans grow wild here in Tennessee and are one of my favorite wildflowers. Beautiful Lens

    • profile image

      annamari 6 years ago

      I think these flowers look especially lovely in large groupings.I did plant some one year and accidentally pulled them out, thinking that they were a big weed. I was upset! They are one of my favorites and I should try planting them again. Thanks for your helpful lens!

    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens..adding to my favorites.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      OMG my dear! I have seriously loved black-eyed susans since I first saw them! I think sunflowers come in second to them.

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 8 years ago from Covington, LA

      I love black-eyed Susan's, too. Welcome to the Naturally Native Squids group. Don't forget to add your lens link to the appropriate plexo and vote for it.