Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
black-eyed Susan 'Indian Summer'


The 'Indian Summer' is a radiant variety known for its large, daisy-like flowers. Each blossom is distinctly characterized by its bright yellow-orange petals that radiate outwards from a central dark brown or black cone-shaped center. This eye-catching contrast creates a bold and warm display that can brighten any garden setting. The plant's petals have a slightly overlapped positioning and a smooth texture, offering a sunny, cheerful aspect. The foliage of 'Indian Summer' consists of medium to dark green leaves that are lance-shaped and have a slightly hairy texture, contributing to a lush backdrop that accentuates the brilliance of the flowers. While these plants are widely appreciated for their aesthetic appeal, they also attract a variety of pollinators, including butterflies and bees, which are drawn to the prominent central disk. Overall, the 'Indian Summer' exudes a classic wildflower charm that is synonymous with late summer and fall blooming periods, making it a favorite among gardeners who desire a splash of late-season color.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Black-Eyed Susan, Brown-Eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisy, Yellow Ox-Eye Daisy, Golden Jerusalem, English Bull's Eye, Poor-Land Daisy.

    • Common names

      Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer') is generally considered to be non-toxic to humans. However, sensitivity may vary, and some individuals could potentially experience mild irritation or an allergic reaction if they have particularly sensitive skin or if they ingest parts of the plant. Ingestion is usually not a problem with this plant, but if large amounts were consumed, it could potentially cause stomach discomfort or gastrointestinal distress due to its fibrous nature.

    • To pets

      Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer') is also generally considered to be non-toxic to pets, including cats and dogs. Similar to humans, different pets may have varying levels of sensitivity. If a pet were to ingest parts of this plant, mild gastrointestinal upset could occur as a potential consequence of ingestion, particularly if consumed in large quantities. Symptoms could include vomiting or diarrhea, but severe toxicity is unlikely. If any concerning symptoms arise after ingestion by a pet, consultation with a veterinarian is advised.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet [91 cm]

    • Spread

      1.5 feet [45 cm]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: This plant is known for drawing in butterflies and bees, which are essential for pollination.
    • Easy to Grow: Black-eyed Susan is low maintenance and can thrive in a variety of soils and conditions.
    • Drought Tolerant: Once established, it can withstand periods of drought, making it suitable for xeriscaping.
    • Long Blooming Period: It has a lengthy blooming season from early summer to fall, creating long-lasting visual interest.
    • Cut Flowers: The flowers are suitable for cutting and arranging in vases for indoor decoration.
    • Wildlife Habitat: The seeds of the Black-eyed Susan provide food for birds in the fall and winter.
    • Colorful Display: It offers bright, sunny yellow flowers that can enhance the aesthetic of any garden.
    • Erosion Control: The plant’s root system helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Natural Fabric Dye: The flowers of Black-eyed Susan can be used to create a natural yellow or green dye for coloring fabrics.
    • Photography Subject: Due to its vibrant flowers, Black-eyed Susan is often used as a subject in nature and botanical photography.
    • Garden Borders: This plant is commonly used to create visually striking borders along garden pathways and beds.
    • Craft Projects: The dried flowers of Black-eyed Susan can be incorporated into various craft projects, such as wreaths and dried flower arrangements.
    • Insect Habitat: The plant provides a habitat and food source for beneficial insects, including bees and butterflies.
    • Landscape Restoration: Black-eyed Susan is used in wildflower mixes that are aimed at restoring native landscapes and ecosystems.
    • Teaching Tool: The plant is often used by educators to teach children about plant biology, pollination, and the importance of native species.
    • Erosion Control: Its extensive root system helps in soil stabilization and erosion control on slopes and in wildflower meadows.
    • Companion Planting: Black-eyed Susan is used in companion planting to attract pollinators that will benefit other plants in the vicinity.
    • Seasonal Celebrations: The flowers are sometimes used in decor for fall celebrations and events due to their autumnal color and seasonal appearance.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Black-eyed Susan is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Black-eyed Susan is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Hope: Rudbeckia, commonly known as Black-Eyed Susan, often symbolizes hope due to its ability to return each year with bright blooms.
    • Justice: In some Native American cultures, the Black-Eyed Susan represents justice, reflecting the plant's equitable distribution of petals around its center.
    • Happiness: The bright yellow petals of the Black-Eyed Susan evoke feelings of joy and happiness, reminding many of sunny, cheerful days.
    • Encouragement: Given to someone facing challenges, Black-Eyed Susans offer a message of encouragement and the strength to endure difficult situations.
    • Longevity: The long-lasting nature of the Black-Eyed Susan's blooms throughout the summer symbolizes longevity and long life.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Late spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Black-eyed Susan requires consistent moisture, especially during its blooming period, but be careful not to overwater. Water the plant deeply once a week, providing about one inch of water each time, which translates to approximately 0.62 gallons for an average-sized plant. During periods of high heat or drought, increase the frequency to twice a week. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering to prevent root rot. Water at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry and minimize the risk of fungal diseases.

  • sunLight

    Black-eyed Susan thrives in full sunlight, requiring at least six hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal growth and flowering. The ideal spot for this plant is in a garden area where it can enjoy uninterrupted exposure to the sun throughout the day. While it can tolerate some light shade, too much shade can lead to sparse blooms and weak, leggy growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Black-eyed Susan is a hardy plant that can survive a range of temperatures, but it grows best when the daytime temperature is between 60-70°F. It can tolerate temperatures as low as 40°F and as high as 85°F, but consistent freezing temperatures or heat above 90°F can be damaging to the plant. The plant is well-adapted to withstand typical summer conditions in temperate climates.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Black-eyed Susan helps to maintain its shape, encourage bushier growth, and prolong the flowering period. Deadhead spent blooms regularly to encourage more flowers. In the autumn, after the blooming season has finished, cut the stems back to just above ground level to help the plant conserve energy for the next season. This can be done annually, or every other year depending on the plant's performance.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Black-eyed Susan thrives best in a well-draining soil mix with plenty of organic matter such as compost or peat moss. The ideal soil pH for this plant is between 6.0 and 7.0. To create an optimal growing medium, mix two parts garden soil, one part peat moss or coconut coir, and one part perlite or coarse sand for improved drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    Black-eyed Susans are typically grown as annuals, so repotting is not usually necessary. However, if grown as perennials, they should be divided and repotted every 3-4 years to maintain vigor and prevent overcrowding.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Black-eyed Susan is not particularly humidity sensitive and can adapt to the typical range of outdoor humidity levels. It thrives in an environment that has moderate to high ambient humidity but does not require any special humidity adjustments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, minimal water, and well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, moderately fertile soil, water occasionally.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer', commonly known as Black-eyed Susan, begins with seed germination, which typically occurs in late winter or spring when soil temperatures warm up. After germination, seedlings establish themselves and develop a basal rosette of leaves, focusing on root and foliage growth. As the plant matures, it develops a sturdy stem and produces large, daisy-like flowers with golden-yellow rays and a pronounced dark brown central cone during the summer months. Following the blooming period, the flowers are pollinated, often by bees and butterflies, leading to the production of seeds. As fall approaches, the plant begins to enter a period of senescence; the above-ground portion dies back, while the seeds disperse to give rise to new plants the following season. The plant may behave as an annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial depending on environmental conditions and cultivation practices.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late spring to early summer

    • The Black-eyed Susan 'Indian Summer', a popular perennial wildflower, is typically propagated through seed sowing. The optimal time for propagation by seeds is in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. Seeds can be directly sown into the garden where they will germinate and grow to flowering size during the summer months. For earlier blooms, gardeners may start seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. The seeds should be lightly covered with soil since they need light to germinate. It is important to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Germination usually occurs within 7 to 30 days at room temperature. Once seedlings are large enough to handle, they can be transplanted into individual pots and later moved to their final position in the garden. This straightforward seed sowing method is the most popular and effective way to propagate Black-eyed Susan and enjoys the benefit of producing a large number of plants from a single packet of seeds.