Advertise ◇ Today is November 28, 2023 ◇ Subscribe
102 Foxhound Road ◇ Simpsonville, S.C. 29680
Phone: (864) 275-0001View our Old Website

Let us know if you have a possible news story to include in The Simpsonville Sentinel.


July 29, 2023 by Sue Ercolini - Views: 55

Share this Page on Facebook


Have you ever thought about the colors you choose?   Some people believe that you can predict a person’s personality traits based on their color preferences….maybe so!  My garden is full of rich, vibrant colors of red, orange and blue flowers paired with lots of yellow Black-Eyed Susans and white hydrangeas…cheerful and full of life.  I believe it’s the Black-Eyed Susans that brighten the garden and not my wild personality as my husband says! 

S620-1.jpgS620-2.jpgWith their cheerful disposition and bright appearance, Black-Eyed Susans ´Rudbeckia hirta´ have become the star of gardens around the world.  They are native to Central and Eastern regions of North America, and have become naturalized in our Western regions.    They were introduced into Europe soon after Columbus’s visits and were named in 1753 by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus, father of the system of binomial nomenclature, a 2 part naming method for plants.  Linnaeus gave them the Latin name Rudbeckia hirta after his mentor Olaf Rudbeck and hirta meaning rough, hairy which describes the Black-Eyed Susans stems and leaves.  

The history of the Black-Eyed Susan begins with Native Americans who used the plants for medicinal purposes.   They found that washing sores with liquid made from the roots helped reduce inflammation and swelling.  And, healing powers of the plant aided in various infections in children and snake bites.  In 1918, the Black-Eyed Susan was designated the Floral Emblem for the State of Maryland.  And, each year the flower has its moment of glory when a huge drape made of hundreds of Black-Eyed Susans is lifted onto the back of the horse that wins the Preakness–the second jewel of the triple crown of horse racing.

S620-3.jpgBlack-Eyed Susan is a cheerful, widespread American prairie plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family of flowers that includes many other daisy-like plants: sunflowers, coneflowers, asters, mums, daisies and more.  It is known for its showy golden, orange or bi-color flowers with dark, dome-shaped centers.  Its bright blossoms add color to the landscape from early summer to frost.  The flowers attract butterflies and bees.  At the end of its growing season, the seed heads are a feast for goldfinches, cardinals, nuthatches and chickadees.  And, if that is not enough, in different cultures the Black-Eyed Susan is considered a symbol of justice, truth and encouragement.  Its golden petals represent goodness, while its dark center signifies darkness being conquered.

S620-4.jpgBlack-Eyed Susans are adaptable plants that thrive in a variety of growing conditions making them a great choice for our Southern gardens.  They are known for their ability to withstand heat, drought, and various soil types…a reliable and low maintenance plant for the garden.

Growing Black-Eyed Susans is relatively straightforward.  Choose a location that receives full sun to partial shade.  Incorporate organic matter into the soil to improve its fertility, structure, and moisture retention.  Sow seeds directly in the garden and cover with a thin layer of soil in early spring after the last frost.  When transplanting seedlings, space them about 12 to 18 inches apart to allow for proper growth.  It is important not to overwater.  Apply a layer of organic mulch for weed control and to help retain soil moisture.  Remove faded flowers for continuous blooming but leave some dried seed heads for hungry birds.  Apply a slow-release fertilizer in early spring.  And divide plants every three years or so to help plants and roots get good air circulation and enough nutrients.  Since Black-Eyed Susans are not particularly good looking after flowers fade, underplant with other plants like wave petunias, red verbena or burgundy foliage sweet potato vines.  

For the last 20 years, plant breeders have been developing many new cultivars of the Black-Eyed Susan with bigger flowers in various colors.  They are still Rudbeckia hirta commonly known as the Black-Eyed Susan but prettier in colors of yellows, oranges, reds and mixed colors like  ´Prairie Sun´, ´Cherokee Sunset´, ´Cherry Brandy´ my favorite, Chocolate Orange´, and one of the most reliable cultivars ´Indian Summer´.    

So, choose the colors you like and forget about personality traits.  Just enjoy growing the beauty of Black-Eyed Susans in your garden. These cheerful flowers will brighten up your landscape, attract pollinators, and provide long-lasting blooms until fall…be a little wild!■ 

Support Our Advertisers

The Simpsonville Sentinel

One Call Maintenance Solutions

The Simpsonville Sentinel

Home | Contact Us | Subscribe

Back Office

Copyright © 2010 - 2023 The Simpsonville Sentinel
Website Design by TADA! Media Services, Inc.