Rudbeckia is a beautiful plant that begins to bloom from mid-summer to late autumn. Her bright sunny flowers add light to the flower beds. In addition, she requires a little attention. It also attracts continuously different pollinators, including bees. In North America, she is often called the Black-Eyed Suzanne. 

In 2008, the National Garden Bureau named rudbeckia the plant of the year. As a result of this, it has become a very popular plant. This was facilitated by a variety of varieties of different heights, colors, and flower shapes. Rudbeckia in general is a universal plant grown both in open and closed ground. 

About Rudbeckia 

Rudbeckia belongs to the family Asteraceae. Grown in zones 3 to 9. It blooms for a long time, even without pruning. Typically, flowering begins in late July and lasts until the first frost. Some varieties have been blooming since mid-summer. For example, Early Bird Gold. The height of the plant varies from 50 cm to 3 m. The size of the flowers is 5 – 25 cm in diameter. They are simple, semi-terry and terry. Coloring – from bright yellow to golden orange, some varieties may have red, bronze spots. The center of the flower is actually not black, but dark brown; in some varieties it is green (Prairie Sun). 

Rudbeckia is from North America and there are about 25 species of these plants. Many species are biennial or annual and sprout each year in the spring from seeds that were sown in the fall. The most affordable species for gardeners are Rudbeckia hirta and R. fulgida. However, other species also deserve attention because of their characteristics: R. maxima, R. laciniata, R. triloba, R. subtomentosa, R. nitida. 

Rudbeckia planting

Rudbeckia can be purchased in the form of seedlings, but it is easily grown from seeds. In this case, the range of varieties available in stores makes it possible to use the plants more widely in the garden in various plantings. You can sow seeds 10 weeks before the end of winter, or sow them in early spring directly into the ground. It is better to sow seeds when the soil is warming up to +20 ⁰С. They then germinate well. 

Rudbeckia grows beautifully in almost any sunny place. The soil should be well drained. In hot and humid climates choose places where there will be sufficient air circulation to avoid the appearance of powdery mildew. 

Sowing Rudbeckia seeds in the garden

Rudbeckia seeds are sown in open ground shallow: 2-3 cm. Light soil is poured on top and regularly watered. Between the low varieties, the distance between the seedlings can withstand 15 – 20 cm, and between the tall – 40 – 70 cm. Grow seedlings until they grow a normal, strong root system. Seedlings are planted in a permanent place at the same distances from each other. In this case, they can tolerate dry conditions well. 

Sowing the seeds of rudbeckia in a container is carried out according to the requirements of the variety that you purchased. Usually, such information is always present on the package. As soon as the seedlings appear, you need to provide them with a sufficient amount of light and heat. To do this, they are placed on a well-lit window sill or illuminated with lamps. Before planting plants in the ground, they are first accustomed to the environment. They are kept for a week on the street in a sheltered, cool place. 

Caring for Rudbeckia

It, like a wildflower in its homeland, does not require much attention. There they are resistant to natural conditions and diseases. To make your rudbeckia even more beautiful and healthy, you still need to take some steps:

  • To extend the flowering period, cut off the plants, faded flowers at the base of the stem. 
  • To attract birds to the garden (they are helpers in the fight against insects) leave a few flowers to form seeds. In addition, in the spring you will have new seedlings. 
  •  Since rudbeckia propagates well by self-sowing, and you do not need so many of these plants, control their number. 
  • You can breed Black-eyed Suzanne by dividing the rhizomes in spring or autumn after flowering has ended. Use a clean and sharp tool. 
  • Rudbeckia plantings should not be dense: she does not like excessive moisture and can be affected by powdery mildew. 
  • Never water it on top !!! Powdery mildew will harm her. 

Varieties of rudbeckia: rudbeckia hirta “Double Gold”, rudbeckia hirta “Cherokee Sunset”, rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii “Goldsturm”, rudbeckia hirta “Toto Lemon”, rudbeckia fulgida “Early Bird Gold”, rudbeckia hirta “Prairie Sun”, rudbeckia hirta “Indian Sun”, rudbeckia laciniata “Herbstsonne” (Autumn Sun), rudbeckia E sub , rudbeckia hirta “Marmalade”, rudbeckia laciniata “Wild Golden Glow”, rudbeckia hirta “Chim Chiminee”. 

Combinations of rudbeckia and other plants

Rudbeckia itself is a bright and expressive plant. However, in combination with other plants, you can create a striking color effect. It is combined with annual and perennial flowers, herbs, bushes, shrubs. 

For example, rudbeckia can be combined with cool blue and purple hues. For this, perovskii, asters, tall verbena, sage and hissop can grow nearby. 

To create a warm color scheme, plant together rudbeckia and yarrow, zinnias, tiger lilies. Its combination with daisies, echinacea and sunflowers will be beautiful. Harmonious planting of plants along with sedum, goldenrod, monarda, lyatris, asclepius, purple tabs. 

Varieties of rudbeckia: Irish Eyes, Little Suzy, Sunny, Denver Daisy, Gloriosa Double Gold, Summerina Orange, Green Eyes, Autumn Forest, Sunset, Cappuccino, Gigging SmileyZ, Summerina Yellow, Autumn Colors, Becky Mix, Little Henry, Cherry Brandy, Chocolate Orange, Maya, Sonora, Hortensia, Prairie Glow and many more.

Enjoy your cultivation!

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