The Q&A Archives: Blackeyed Susan Seeds

Question: Hi my neighbor gave me a container of black eyed susan seeds, I would like to plant them along the front of my house, when can I put them out, I really don't want to start them in a container first, I'm trying to have a large showing and thought I could plant them directly outside in the area I picked. Can I ???? I know these are not usually considered perennials, but they reseed themselves.

Answer: Black Eyed Susan seeds can be sown outdoors in spring, summer or fall. They can also be started indoors in early spring and moved outdoors when the danger of frost has passed, but few people do this since they are so easy to start right in the garden. Rudbeckias are one of the easiest plants you can start from seeds. Even if you haven't had great success growing flowers from seeds in the past, you can save yourself a good bit of time and money, and be sure of success with Rudbeckias. You might get a better germination rate if you keep your seeds in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks before planting, but since it is still cold in your garden, go ahead and sow them directly outdoors right now.

Simply broadcast your seeds over prepared soil. If possible, roll or press the seeds into the soil. Once seedlings are an inch or two tall, thin them to about 12 inches apart. Pinch out the growing tips when they are about a foot tall for bushier, sturdier plants. You'll want to keep your plants moist until well established. Mature plants are quite drought tolerant. Monthly applications of complete plant food results in larger plants and flowers.

The plants will reseed so even though they are considered annual in your growing region, once you plant them in a garden bed, new plants will come up every spring. Enjoy!

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