The state flower of Maryland has 2″-4″ daisy-like flowers with orange-yellow petals. This beautiful, heirloom rudbeckia blooms over a long period–at least 8 weeks; winter seed cones supply food for birds, too. Black-Eyed Susan is a short-lived perennial (USDA zones 3-7), that may come back for a second or third year, but is often treated as an annual. Great cut flower. North American native wildflower; may re-seed itself and is an excellent addition to wildflower areas.
Botanical Name: Rudbeckia hirta
Native: North America prairies
Hardiness: Short-lived perennial in USDA zones 3–7, but usually treated as an annual, because it does not reliably come back year after year. May self-sow.
Plant Dimensions: 24″–36″ tall, 12″–24″ wide
Variety Information: 2″–4″ wide, yellow flowers with a purplish-brown center.
Exposure: Full sun
Bloom Period: Summer to frost
Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Cut Flower, Deer Resistant
When to Sow Outside: 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date, and as late as 2 months before your average first fall frost date.
When to Start Inside: 8 to 10 weeks before your average last frost date. If started inside early enough, may bloom the first year.
Days to Emerge: 10–15 days
Seed Depth: Press into surface
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds every 12″–24″
Thinning: When 1″– 2″ tall, thin to 1 every 12″–24″
Harvesting: For longest vase life, harvest flowers in the morning, choosing those that have just unfurled all their petals.