Rudbeckia: Beautiful Fall Garden Plant – Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susans, Golden Coneflower) belong in every sunny garden. Coneflowers are easy to grow, sturdy and essential plants for borders in early fall. The petals of the daisy-like flowers droop away from the contrasting centers in an appealing way.
Rudbeckia is an outstanding perennial plant. Rudbeckia is an excellent cut flower and a great choice for mass planting. Rudbeckias are versatile plants that add bright sunny color to perennial beds, mixed borders and containers. They can be used alone in mass plantings, as a border, or along a fence.
Ideal for attracting wildlife, bees and butterflies are drawn to their colorful flowers while the ripe coneheads provide seed during the fall and winter to feed hungry birds, especially finches. They combine well with grasses. Rudbeckia fulgida or black-eyed Susan, is an excellent garden plant. R. fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ has large, richer yellow flowerheads. R. ‘Goldquelle’ has double flowers with yellow petals and greenish centers.
R. fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’
For outdoor beds find a location where the soil drains well. While black-eyed Susans aren’t fussy about soil, they will not thrive in areas that are soggy. Site your plants where they will receive full sun. Very light shade is also fine in regions where the sun is especially strong. After planting, water your rudbeckias generously to settle the soil around the root ball. Root and top growth form in a few weeks, depending on soils and air temperature.
When your rudbeckias flower feel free to snip blooms for bouquets. This will not hurt the plants and for some varieties it prolongs the blooming period. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place, don’t cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the plant for the future.
R. ‘Little Gold Star’
In late fall, your rudbeckias’ foliage will fade and wilt with the onset of colder nights. At this point you may clip the stems to within 3″ of the ground. Fresh growth will develop in the spring. If you live in an area where the weather stays warm year round, just trim out dead stems or spent flowers to keep your plants looking their best. Rudbeckias will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.
R. hirta ‘Cappuccino’
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’