Updated at: 06-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Garden folklore has it that if you plant just one Black Eyed Susan in the right place, it will thrive. Then, a few seasons later, you’re greeted by hundreds of young ones all over. For the neat and orderly gardener, this might be a source of frustration. Find out how to control Black Eyed Susans and the benefits and cons of clipping the flowers on Rudbeckia plants in this article.

Do You Deadhead Black Eyed Susans?

In order to prolong the flowering time and prevent the plants from spreading all over your landscape, you can deadhead Black Eyed Susan blossoms. More than twenty-five native Rudbeckia species can be found growing wild in North America’s farms and meadows. While providing food and refuge for butterflies and other small animals, they also self-sow new generations of Black Eyed Susan plants in the natural world. Pollinators and butterflies like as fritillaries, checkerspots, and swallowtails frequent wild Rudbeckias during the blooming season. Rudbeckia laciniata is in reality a host plant for Silver checkerspot butterflies. This seed is eaten by birds like goldfinches, chickadees and nuthatches all year long after the flowers have faded. Beneficial insects, tiny animals, and birds all find a home in Black Eyed Susan colonies.

How To Prune Black Eyed Susans In The Fall - Krostrade

Cutting Blooms on Rudbeckia

In spite of the fact that wildflower gardens are excellent habitats for a wide variety of species, you may not necessarily want all that activity right outside your door or on your patio, even if they are beautiful. If not deadheaded, Black Eyed Susan’s seed will cheerfully spread throughout the landscape, making them a stunning and long-lasting addition to the garden. Throughout the growing season, remove any wilted or fading Black Eyed Susan blossoms to keep the plant neat and tidy. A quick and painless method for removing spent flowers from Rudbeckia is this: Cut the stems of Rudbeckia back to the base of the plant if they have only one flower on each stem. Snip the wasted blossoms off of Rudbeckia stems with many flowers. You can either prune Black Eyed Susan back in the fall, or leave the last blooms on the plants for the birds if you don’t mind having a few more Black Eyed Susans in your garden. It is possible to propagate new plants by cutting and drying the seed heads


Make sure you don’t cut into the root system of a black-eyed Susan plant while making a cut. It repopulates the following year, or in two years if the plant is biannual.

History of Black-Eyed Susan

Many Native American cultures grew black eyed Susans, one of the few native American flowers, and understood its medicinal properties. To heal wounds, swelling, snakebites and worms, the indigenous people of the region employed this herb. In 1753, legendary botanist Linnaeus gave the flower its Latin name as a tribute to his mentor, Olof Rudbeck, who had been a student of Columbus.

When a fire or natural calamity damages the soil, the black-eyed Susan is generally the first flower to bloom. They’re low-maintenance, fast-growing, love the sun, and don’t succumb to drought. Without constant supervision, they have the potential to become harmful or even harmfully intrusive. It is imperative that the region where the flowers grow is shielded from wildlife if they are to thrive.

Black-Eyed Susan Care

On a single branch, a yellow bloom with a characteristic “black eye” appears, with yellow petals and a black center. There are microscopic hairs protruding from the leaves, which are a grayish-green color. There are large leaves at the base of the stalk that narrow out and halt a few inches below the bloom as they climb up the stalk. Flying insects are essential to the life cycle of this plant since it thrives in open, dry places. The black-eyed Susan should be your first choice if you’re planting a wildflower garden because it blooms the first year it’s planted from seed.

Black-eyed Susans come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, red, and burgundy, all of which can be grown from seeds that were sown before the first frost. Temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for germination, which might take anywhere from 8 to 14 days. Once the seeds have germinated, water only once a week.

What To Do With Black Eyed Susan In The Fall, How To Cut Back & Divide

Black-Eyed Susan Pruning

The sooner a flower dies, the more it will bloom again. Pruning isn’t necessary, however Florgeous recommends using sterilized pruning shears to remove any withering stalks. To remove any leftover stalks after the flowering season, trim them to a height of about 2 inches above the ground. It is possible to cut the entire plant down to the soil line when the first fall frost has occurred.

Birds eat the seed heads in the winter. A few should be left behind for the animals to eat. As a precautionary measure, gardeners should remove all clippings from the garden, which might attract rats and spread disease, according to Garden Guides. Protect the crowns of the stalks by covering the garden bed with mulch after a few frosts to ensure their survival.

Annual Varieties

Annuals die in the winter, whereas perennials continue to bloom well into the summer. Encourage a second fall bloom by deadheading faded blossoms. Disinfect pruners by dipping them in rubbing alcohol or a home cleaner like Pine-Sol or Lysol before and after every cutting session. The plants should either be removed to prevent reseeding, or the seed heads should be left in the ground to provide winter feed for birds and other animals. If the plants have powdery mildew or other illnesses, you should uproot them, mulch the area, and discard them. Fungi will not be able to infect next year’s blossoms by overwintering in plant waste.

Perennial Species

Both Rudbeckia fulgida and ‘Goldsturm’ are known as black-eyed Susan because of their color. USDA zones 3 through 9 are suitable for growing them. Perennial rudbeckias’ blooming can be prolonged by deadheading spent flowers. After the flowers have faded in colder regions, trim the plants to a height of a few inches. Mulch the plants with straw or hay after the first harsh frost to protect them. Depending on where you live, you can either leave the plants in place until spring to provide shelter and food for wildlife, or you can chop them back. The trash should be emptied of any plants that are infected with illness. As soon as the weather heats up, remove any loose mulch.

Save Seeds

In contrast to annuals, perennials can either be started from seed or reproduced from cuttings. Three to four weeks after the flowers have faded, collect the seed heads. There are ripe seed cones that can be opened to check for seeds. Pinch the cones off the plant if they’re black. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed container. Before they can be planted outside, the seeds must be stratified, or stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, for a period of three months.

Divide Perennials

Every three to five years, perennial rudbeckias should be divided. In the case of ‘Goldsturm,’ a hybrid variety, the seeds will not produce plants that are genetically identical to the parent variety. Cut the plant into portions with a sterilized knife or spade in the fall or early spring. Add more compost to the garden bed before replanting the cuttings. When the divisions begin producing new growth, water thoroughly and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Winter is a good time to cut back on watering, but only if the weather has been dry for a long time.

How to Cut Back Black-Eyed Susans - Miss Chen - Garden Manage - cuidado de las plantas, jardín de pusadee, flor

General Plant Care

At 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, Rudbeckia seeds germinate the most effectively. Indoors, in seed-starting trays, six to eight weeks before to the last frost, or outside as soon as the weather warms. Remove weeds and other debris from the garden and then add compost to a depth of 6 to 8 inches to the prepared area. In a sunny, well-drained area of the yard, plant this perennial herb. Soil the seeds to a depth of 1/16 to 1/4 inch. Until the seeds germinate and the seedlings are established, keep the soil moist. Alternatively, transfer seedlings late in the day or on a cloudy day into the garden or into pots. After the seedlings have been transplanted, make sure they are well watered. Before returning to full health, the plants will wilt.

One inch of water a week is all that is needed for Black-eyed Susans to grow. A slow-release, well-balanced fertilizer can be applied at half the suggested amount when the plants exhibit new growth. Make sure to fully moisten the soil before applying the granules. Organic mulch, such as crushed leaves, can assist keep water from evaporating from the soil. Remove 3 to 4 inches of mulch from the stems.