Black-Eyed Susan: How to Grow and Care for This Cheery Perennial

Ignite your garden with the floral fireworks of black-eyed Susan.

February 10, 2021
Related To:
Garden With Purple, Yellow & White Flowers

Fairytale Cottage Garden

Tuck spots of living sunshine into your landscape with the cheery yellow blooms of black-eyed Susan.

Photo by: Rapoza Landscape

Rapoza Landscape

Tuck spots of living sunshine into your landscape with the cheery yellow blooms of black-eyed Susan.

Low-maintenance and lovely, black-eyed Susan flowers start opening in early summer and keep on coming until fall frost. Most black-eyed Susan plants are perennial, although some are short-lived at best. Happily, many black-eyed Susans self-sow readily, ensuring a continued presence in the garden.

Botanical Name: Rudbeckia
Common Name: Black-eyed Susan
Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10
Size: 24 to 36 inches tall and wide; blooms 2 to 3 inches in diameter
Bloom Time: Late spring through early fall

On average, black-eyed Susan plants grow 24 to 36 inches tall and wide. If plants are happy, they can spread somewhat aggressively with underground stems and self-sowing. Limit the spread by dividing clumps every four to five years. Snipping spent blooms in fall prevents self-seeding. But if you leave faded flowers in place, they’ll add winter interest to the landscape and attract seed-eating birds.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan

This perky perennial, especially Rudbeckia fulgida, is drought-tolerant once established.

Planting Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan plants boast sturdy constitutions, offering winter hardiness in Zones 3 to 10.

It's best to plant perennial Rudbeckia in early fall so they can acclimate to their new environment, but they can also be planted in mid-spring.

Give this bright bloomer a spot in full sun, although in hottest regions, a little afternoon shade won’t hurt. Plants survive in a partly shade location, but flower number will be reduced. Black-eyed Susan isn’t picky about soil and thrives in average soil that drains well.

Water newly planted black-eyed Susans until they’re steadily showing new growth, then gradually reduce moisture.

How to Use Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan makes a great addition to a low-maintenance, low water-use landscape.

Plant plenty of black-eyed Susans and you’ll have ample blossoms to pick for bouquets.

Black-eyed Susan flowers beckon pollinators by the dozen, including all kinds of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Fuzzy, almost bristly leaves put black-eyed Susan on the do-not-disturb list for deer and rabbits.

Companion Plants

Black-eyed Susan plants bring a coarse texture to the garden. Pair them with fine-textured ornamental grasses and prairie blazing star to mimic their native prairie environs. Black-eyed Susan comes into its own in autumn, making it a wonderful planting companion for Russian sage and autumn sedums.

Varieties of Black-Eyed Susan

Look for black-eyed Susan flowers in a variety of sizes and colors. The common type, Rudbeckia fulgida, features the classic black-eyed Susan flower form, with a dark button center surrounded by a sunburst of golden petals.

Rudbeckia Gloriosa Daisy

Rudbeckia Gloriosa Daisy

Glorisa Daisy

Photo by: American Meadows

American Meadows

Glorisa Daisy

Gloriosa daisies (Rudbeckia hirta) open flowers with a blend of hues, including bronze, russet and orange.

Gloriosa Daisy 'Prairie Sun' flower at full bloom

Photo by: Shutterstock/ Khairil Azhar Junos

Shutterstock/ Khairil Azhar Junos

'Prairie Sun' gloriosa daisy reveals a green center encircled with gold and yellow petals.

Black-Eyed Susan Vine

Black-Eyed Susan Vine

Embrace high-flying beauty by planting black-eyed Susan vine, an easy growing tropical climber.

If you like the look of black-eyed Susan flowers, don’t miss an annual vine that goes by the same name: black-eyed Susan vine. It opens trumpet-shaped blooms with gold, orange or white petals and, in most cases, a dark-colored throat. These vines are tropical natives and grow easily from seed, but need warm soil to take off.

Next Up

Perennial Geranium Care: Your Guide to Growing Hardy Geraniums

Learn why perennial geraniums should be your new favorite plant. These hardy geraniums bring the color to low-maintenance plants.

How to Grow and Care for Rhododendron

Learn how to plant and care for rhododendron, the gorgeous cousin of azaleas.

How to Grow and Care for Pansies

Pretty, perky pansy plants are one of the easiest flowers to grow. They bring bold color during cool seasons, unfurling blooms in a rainbow of hues. Learn how to coax the best show from your pansies.

How to Grow and Care for Calibrachoas

Whether you call them million bells or baby petunias, easy-to-grow calibrachoas may be small, but they pack a big punch of color in the garden.

How to Grow Gladiolus Flowers

Plant easy-to-grow gladioli in spring and watch them burst into beautiful summertime blooms.

How to Plant, Grow and Care for Hydrangeas

No garden’s complete without this old-fashioned favorite, and new varieties make hydrangeas easier than ever to grow.

Choosing the Right Crape Myrtle for Your Landscape

Follow these tips to help you choose the right crape myrtle varieties for your yard and learn how to care for them.

How to Plant, Grow and Care for Hyacinth Flowers

Sweet-smelling hyacinths are a symbol of spring. Learn how to grow these iconic flowers.

Planting and Caring for Tulips

Tulips bring some of the earliest color to the late winter garden. Learn how to plant and care for these flowers that signal warmer, better days are on the way.

How to Grow and Care for Euonymus

Whether in shrub or vine form, euonymus’s popularity is matched only by its propensity for annoying pests and disease problems. We offer solutions to common issues as well as suggestions for native alternatives to replace problematic euonymus plants.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Related Pages