Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susans)

I have been growing Black-Eyed Susans for almost thirty years.

In my first home, the few plants I started with reseeded and flourished so well I gave some to my neighbor. She in turn gave some to her neighbor. A year later, I was quite pleased to look out from my backyard into hers and her neighbor's to see a continuous sea of yellow daisies.

When I moved, I took three young plants with me. Thirteen years later, every July, I am in the midst of a new yellow sea. Hardy, heat tolerant and cheery, Black-Eyed Susans are one of my favorite perennials.

A couple years ago to mix things up, I planted some bicolor Rudbeckia (annuals from seed). They have exploded. Their blooms are larger with red radiating from the cone. Bicolor also self-seeds. Unlike the Black-Eyed Susans, the bicolor spreads out so I have to transplant the new plants to keep them together. Otherwise, they start to crowd out the smaller perennials. But hey, it gives me an excuse to spend more time digging in the dirt.

Rating: Excellent choice for zone 5

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