Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia): An Easy-to-Grow Flower for Late Summer

by | Updated: Jan 4, 2022

Close-up photo of Black-Eyed Susan, a yellow or gold flower that looks like a daisy with a brown, black or green center

Looking for an easy-to-grow flower that gives you big, pretty color in the late summer?

I’d like to introduce you to Black-Eyed Susan (officially, Rudbeckia — Rude-bek-ee-uh). It also goes by the name: Gloriosa Daisy.

There are MANY reasons to love this flower.

In this article, we’re going to chat about why Black-Eyed Susan plants can be great flowers for late summer gardens in the West.

Black Eyed Susan, aka Rudbeckia, is one of the best late summer flowers for Colorado and Utah gardens

More than a month of colorful blooms? Yes, please!

If you’re new to Black-Eyed Susan, it’s a showy flower that resembles a daisy.

It often has gold or yellow petals and a black, brown or green center.

Typically, in states like Colorado, it will bloom in late July, August and even early September, so it gives you pretty color when a lot of other flowers are done blooming.

The exact bloom time depends on where you live.

Here are reasons to include these pretty flowers in your western garden:

  • They’re bright and showy, adding a BIG pop of gold color to your garden in mid- to late-summer.
  • They bloom for a looooong time. You may get up to 2 months of color.
  • Some grow well in mountain gardens, as well as down at lower elevations.
  • They tend to be adaptable to our tricky western soils, from clay soil, to sandier soils.
  • They grow well in the sun, but some will tolerate places in your garden that get a mix of sunshine and shade.
  • Some are drought tolerant once they’re established. (Ideally, though, many of them prefer moderate water. You may want to plant them near a downspout or in a low area that stays more moist.)
  • They don’t like a lot of fuss. They’re usually happier without things like fertilizer.
  • They tend to be deer-resistant, meaning these plants aren’t Bambi’s first choice for breakfast.

Translation: This is an easy-going, low maintenance plant for western states like Colorado and Utah.

And cheers for plants that aren’t a lot of work, am I right?

Rudbeckia (commonly known as Black Eyed Susan or Gloriosa Daisy) has bright gold flowers and brown or black centers

But here’s what doesn’t always get mentioned…

Some types of Black-Eyed Susan are much shorter-lived than others.

I share this with you because if your plant doesn’t come back, you may think you did something wrong.

But nope, you may have just purchased a shorter-lived Black-Eyed Susan!

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Ann from Go West Gardener with her flowerpots and garden

Hey there, I'm Ann

I’m a Certified Colorado Gardener, dog mama and Midwesterner-turned-Colorado girl. I help budding gardeners in the intermountain west skip the “Why didn’t anyone tell me that phase?”, so they can get pretty results faster. More about Ann >>

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