How to Grow Black Eyed Susan from Seed – A Gardener’s Guide
Gardening is an art that breathes life into the environment around us. One such masterpiece that you can create in your own garden is the Black Eyed Susan, a bright, cheery flower that brings joy and liveliness to any space. Embark on an exciting journey as we explore a step-by-step guide on how to grow Black Eyed Susan from seed.
Understanding Black Eyed Susan
The Black Eyed Susan, definitive of its dark center, belongs to the family of Sunflower and has various species. The most common species is Rudbeckia hirta. These plants bloom with vibrant, golden-yellow petals and invoke a sense of joy and cheerfulness. Typically, they bloom from June to October, attracting butterflies and lending an aesthetic appeal to any garden.
The origin of Black Eyed Susan can be traced back to North America. They are easy to care for, resilient, and versatile, making them a favorite among gardeners. Not just the visual appeal, these pretty flowers are also known for their medicinal properties, used in treating colds and flu.
Selecting and Preparing your Seeds
Quality is key when selecting the seeds of Black Eyed Susan. High-quality seeds have a drastic impact on the growth potential and flowering of the plants. Companies specializing in garden seeds are recommended for the procurement of these seeds. Once you’ve obtained your high-quality seeds, they must be retained in cool, dry conditions until planting time arrives.
Once it is time to plant, the seeds need not be soaked or chilled, they are ready for sowing right away. However, preparing the soil is an important step. The soil must be rich in organic matter and well-draining. Additionally, this plant prefers slightly acidic soil.
Sowing and Germination
Black Eyed Susan seeds can either be started indoors or outdoors. If you’re planning to begin indoors, it’s best to start 6-8 weeks before the last spring frost date. Spread the seeds over the soil and lightly overlay with garden soil as the seeds require light for germination. Sprinkle water gently so as not to displace the seeds.
If you decide to sow outdoors, do so a couple of weeks before the last frost date in your region. Similar to indoor sowing, sprinkle the seeds lightly with soil and water gently. Within 7-30 days, the seeds will begin to germinate and you will observe sprouts.
Caring for the Black Eyed Susan
Once you see the seedlings, it’s crucial to provide them with the right care for them to grow into robust plants. The seedlings must reside in a location receiving full sunlight and regular watering is necessary. Although Black Eyed Susans are drought-tolerant, in the initial stages regular watering is essential.
Further on, these plants are not very demanding as they are relatively disease and pest resistant. They do require a good amount of sunlight though, around 6-8 hours a day. Additionally, winter care is a must for perennials. It’s necessary to mulch around the base of the plant to protect the roots from freezing conditions.
Propagating Black Eyed Susan
These plants usually self-seed and will grow readily in your garden. If you desire more plants or want to grow them in a different area, you can collect the seeds once the blooms have dried and store them for the next season. If you want a faster method, propagation by division during spring or fall can be done to multiply your plants.
In conclusion, growing Black Eyed Susan from seed is a rewarding gardening journey. Their vibrant hues light up any garden and attract lots of pollinators. With minimal care and the right conditions, they will provide you with a delightful view every season.
“Frequently Asked Questions”
1. How long will it take for Black Eyed Susan to bloom after sowing seeds?
Usually, Black Eyed Susan takes one to two years to bloom from seeds. However, if you propagate the plant through division, the new plants can bloom within the same year.
2. Can I grow Black Eyed Susan in pots?
Yes, Black Eyed Susan can be easily grown in pots. The pot should have a decent drainage system to avoid water stagnation and root rot.
3. Do Black Eyed Susans come back every year?
If grown under the right conditions, these are perennial plants that return each year. However, they can behave as biennials if care is not taken during the winter months.