By Pam Brown, Urban Horticulture Extension Agent
Try planting some Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) seeds or better yet, buy some plants for instant effect. These plants form a clumping, two-foot-tall mound of foliage topped with large, bright yellow flowers. They need full sun and well drained soil. Being very drought tolerant and salt tolerant as well makes Black-eyed Susan a wonderful flower for our gardens in Pinellas County. Plants should be spaced 18 to 24 inches apart for mass planting. You can also sew seed directly into the garden bed. The seed germinates in 5 – 10 days once the soil temperature reaches 70 – 75 degrees, and they produce flowers 10 – 14 weeks later. Once the seeds germinate and have several true leaves, thin the plants to the recommended planting distance. Leaving the planting too thick can decrease air flow around the mature plants and increase the incidence of fungal diseases.
This flower can make you happy just looking at it. The cultivars available today are a far cry from the roadside Black-eyed Susans of the past.
For more information, check out this link: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FP512