Gardening Tips For Growing Rudbeckia

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Rudbeckia

Growing Rudbeckia

Growing the Rudbeckia is a rewarding and exciting experience. The plant has vibrant colors and a delightful taste that is a combination of bitterness, sweetness and a hint of citrus. Its flowers are edible and can be used to create unique tapenades and syrups. Plus, the leaves of this plant can be used to create a variety of tea blends for delicious beverages. Rudbeckia is also a beautiful addition to any garden and can bring a burst of bright colors to any landscape.

Rudbeckia Gardening Cheatsheet


  • 🌻 Black-eyed Susan: Most popular variety
  • 🌼 Mexican Hat: Resistant to drought
  • 🌸 Prairie Sun: Stunning bicolor petals


  • 🌱 Bright, sunny location
  • 💦 Well-drained soil
  • 🌡️ Thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3-9


  • 📏 Height: 1-3 feet
  • 🌒 Bloom time: Summer to early fall
  • 🌿 Low maintenance and drought tolerant


  • 🌸 Deadhead regularly to encourage more blooms
  • 🌱 Divide plants every 3-4 years for rejuvenation
  • 💧 Water deeply but infrequently to promote deep root growth


  • 🦋 Attracts butterflies and other pollinators
  • 🌻 Adds vibrant colors to your garden or landscape
  • 🌿 Provides seeds for birds and wildlife

Interesting Facts

  • 🌼 Rudbeckia is named after Olaus Rudbeck, a Swedish botanist
  • 🌻 Rudbeckia flowers can last up to two weeks in a vase
  • 🌸 Native Americans used Rudbeckia for medicinal purposes

Gardening Tips For Growing Rudbeckia

Choosing the Right Variety

Rudbeckia comes in many varieties, often referred to as black-eyed Susans. It's essential to pick the right type for your garden conditions.

I've had the best luck with Rudbeckia hirta for its bursts of yellow flowers.

Variety selection can impact bloom time and flower size. Choose wisely.

Site Selection

Rudbeckia thrives in full sun. At least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily is ideal.

However, partial shade can work but may yield fewer blooms.

They're also versatile regarding soil but prefer well-drained soil.

Personally, I've seen them flourish even in less-than-ideal grounds.

Planting Techniques

Spring is the best time to plant Rudbeckia. Space them about 12-18 inches apart.

Deeper roots mean healthier plants. Dig holes slightly larger than the root ball.

Don't forget to water them well right after planting.

Proper spacing ensures better air circulation and fewer disease problems.

Watering and Fertilizing

Rudbeckia is quite drought-tolerant. Water them evenly but not excessively.

Once established, they'll only need watering during prolonged dry spells.

I've found that a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer once a month during growing season works wonders.

Too much fertilizer? Expect more foliage and fewer flowers.

Pest and Disease Management

Rudbeckia is resilient but can attract aphids and powdery mildew.

Neem oil is a great organic solution I've used successfully.

Also, removing affected leaves early can halt disease spread.

Early intervention with pests and diseases preserves plant health.

Deadheading and Pruning

Deadheading encourages more blooms. Cut back spent flowers regularly.

A sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears will do the trick.

In late summer, cutting back stems can result in a second bloom.

For a fuller flower bed the next year, consider letting some seeds fall and replant.

  • Tip: Deadhead frequently to keep Rudbeckia blooming.
  • Tip: Troubled by floppy stems? Try low, ring-shaped supports.
  • Tip: In cooler climates, mulch heavily to protect in winter.

Overwintering Strategies

In warmer climates, Rudbeckia may remain evergreen. However, in colder regions, it's best to cut them back in the fall.

Cover them with a thick layer of mulch for protection against harsh winter temperatures.

I've covered mine with straw and leaves; they survived and thrived by spring.

Proper winter care ensures your Rudbeckia returns robustly next year.

Growing Rudbeckia in your garden can be extremely rewarding. Follow these tips for vibrant flowers that stand out.


1. When is the best time to plant Rudbeckia?

The ideal time to plant Rudbeckia is in early spring.

2. How much sunlight does Rudbeckia need?

Rudbeckia thrives in full sun, requiring at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.

3. What type of soil does Rudbeckia prefer?

Rudbeckia prefers well-draining soil that is fertile and rich in organic matter.

4. How often should I water Rudbeckia?

Water Rudbeckia regularly, ensuring the soil stays consistently moist but not waterlogged.

5. Can I grow Rudbeckia in containers?

Yes, Rudbeckia can be grown in containers, provided they have sufficient space for root growth.

6. Does Rudbeckia require fertilizer?

Rudbeckia benefits from a balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied once in early spring.

7. How do I deadhead Rudbeckia?

To deadhead Rudbeckia, simply remove faded or spent flowers at their base.

8. Are there any pests or diseases that affect Rudbeckia?

While Rudbeckia is generally pest and disease-resistant, it can occasionally be prone to powdery mildew or aphid infestations.

9. Should I stake Rudbeckia?

Most varieties of Rudbeckia do not require staking, but taller varieties may benefit from support.

10. When does Rudbeckia bloom?

Rudbeckia typically blooms from mid-summer to early fall, adding vibrant color to your garden.

Rudbeckia is an easy to grow and colorful addition to any garden. Boasting a wide variety of sizes and shapes, it makes a great addition to any landscape, as both a backdrop or focal point. Its showy blooms come in shades of bright yellow, orange, and red and can bloom from early summer well into October. Not only is it a beautiful addition, Rudbeckia is also easy to maintain and drought tolerant for those with busy lifestyles. Adding Rudbeckia is a great way to add a pop of color to your garden and help bring nature's beauty to your outdoor space.

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