Rudbeckia are a wonderful perennial, easy to care for, drought tolerant once established and adding a colourful display to the garden.
Often referred to a ‘Black eyed Susans’ or ‘cone flowers’ their are a number of varieties well suited to garden use.
Rudbeckia hirta and Rudbeckia fulgida is one of the most widely grown of the species. Rudbeckia fulgida ‘goldsturm’ (picture right) is a favourite variety, it commences flowering in spring and grows well in full sun to part shade, yellow daisy like flowers with dark cones.
A member of the Asteracaea family these are a plant that is tolerant of hot summers and they do not mind a little humidity. Although sold as ‘drought tolerant’ they do not really thrive in dry soils.
Rudbeckia Care and Growing Conditions
Generally suited to Zones 5 – 10. Rudbeckia varieties are reasonably disease resistant if planted in a sunny position in a well drained soil, good air flow helps to prevent problems.
All Rudbekia are excellent in the garden border. They can be mass planted or set in clumps amongst other perennial plants.
As they flower later in the season they add color after many other plants have finished flowering.
- Good humus rich soil
- Full sun to a little afternoon shade
- Water during dry summers
- Mulch around plants to maintain moisture and a cool rot run.
- Spacing will depend on the effect, usually from 12 – 24 inches apart.
- Over time they will spread by underground runners to form a dense clump.
- Rudbeckia hirta var angustifolia is a lovely variety, again yellow petals and a dark central cone, but the petals are flushed with a burnt orange close to the cone.
- Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ , this is the well know yellow flowering variety.
- Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’ is a red flowering cultivar
- ‘R.hirta ‘Indian Summer’ has some of the largest flowers we have seen.
- And if you are looking for an extra tough type then try Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii probably the most drought tolerant variety of all.
- Seeds can sown in a cold frame or indoors about 2 – 3 months before planting out. However as most are cultivars they will not come true from seeds, division is the best method.
- Clumps can be divided in early spring
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