Costa Farms


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Black-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia spp.

Black-Eyed Susan Plant Features

Rudbeckia, commonly called Black-eyed Susan, is a classic perennial flower that shows off bright yellow, gold, or bronze flowers with striking dark brown centers. Black-eyed Susan is an easy-to-grow North American wildflower that's excellent for attracting butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects. A late-summer bloomer, black-eyed Susan is invaluable for adding lots of bright color to late-summer and autumn gardens. It's also a wonderful cut flower. And if left to form seeds, Black-eyed Susan attracts birds such as finches. Hardy from zones 3-9.

Rudbeckia Questions?
Email us your questions and one of our experts will get back to you!

Black-Eyed Susan Growing Instructions

Black-eyed Susan grows best in a spot that has full sun and well-drained soil. It tolerates morning shade/afternoon sun, but may not bloom as well and may be more susceptible to diseases that can cause the leaves to develop unsightly dark brown or black spots. Once established, Black-eyed Susan is drought tolerant and quite carefree. In addition to landscape beds and borders, Black-eyed Susan also grows well in container gardens. Remove the faded flower heads as they appear to encourage new waves of bloom throughout the season.

Note: Black-eyed Susan is perfect for pollinators, but not intended for human or animal consumption.

  • Light

    Outside: Sun

  • Colors

    Orange, Red, Yellow

  • Water

    Moist, well-drained soil

  • Special Features

    Attracts butterflies
    Super-easy to grow

Complement your Black-Eyed Susan with these varieties:
Like black-eyed Susan, liatris is an American native that tolerates heat and drought. Plant them together for an easy care border.

Bee Balm
Roll out the welcome mat for butterflies and bees by planting bee balm and black-eyed Susan together.

Q: My black-eyed Susans have black spots on the leaves. What's happening?

Several varieties of black-eyed Susan can easily catch a bacterial leaf-spotting disease. To prevent this disease from becoming a problem, remove all spotted leaves before or as they fall from the plant. Don't leave them in the garden over winter; this encourages the disease to spread. Also be sure to give your plants good air circulation -- thin them as necessary to encourage good airflow. Keep the foliage dry as much as you can. Watering with a sprinkler, for example, is more problematic than watering with a soaker hose. 

Varieties: Our Favorites

Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherokee Sunset' Cherokee Sunset Black-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherokee Sunset'

Grown as an annual, Cherokee Sunset offers semidouble flowers in a range of warm shades from gold to bronze to burgundy. An All-America Selections winner, it's perfect for any sunny garden. Cherokee Sunset grows 30 inches tall and 14 inches wide.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Denver Daisy' Denver Daisy Black-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta 'Denver Daisy'

Often grown as an annual flower, Denver Daisy blooms from midsummer to frost with big golden-yellow blooms and a rusty-red center. It grows 24 inches tall and wide.

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' Goldsturm Black-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'

This award-winning variety shows off an abundance of golden-yellow flowers from midsummer through autumn. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 3-9

Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer' Indian Summer Black-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer'

Often grown as an annual, Indian Summer is a super variety that bears large (to 8 inches wide), golden-yellow flowers in summer and autumn. Zones 3-8