Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta 'Sputnik'
Rudbeckia hirta 'Sputnik', commonly known as the Black-Eyed Susan 'Sputnik', has a distinctive appearance characterized by its bright, daisy-like flowers. The focal point of each bloom is the dark brown or black central cone, which is surrounded by a ring of vivid yellow petals that fan outwards. These petals are typically oval-shaped with a slight taper towards the tip, creating an overall appearance that resembles the classic 'eye' effect, drawing observers in. The foliage of Black-Eyed Susan 'Sputnik' adds a lush backdrop to the showy flowers. The leaves are generally oblong with a pointed end and have a textured, hairy surface, which is where the species gets the descriptor "hirta," meaning "hairy." The color of the leaves is a deep green which contrasts nicely with the yellowness of the flowers. The stems of this plant are sturdy and covered with fine hairs, helping it to support the weight of the flowers, which typically appear in the late summer and can continue blooming into the fall. The overall appearance of Black-Eyed Susan 'Sputnik' is one of vibrancy and hardiness, making it a popular choice for gardeners looking to add long-lasting color to their landscapes.
About this plant
Black-Eyed Susan, Brown-Eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisy, Yellow Oxeye Daisy, Golden Jerusalem, Poorland Daisy, Yellow Daisy, Coneflower.
Rudbeckia serotina, Helianthus hirtus, Rudbeckia brittonii
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta 'Sputnik') is generally considered to be non-toxic to humans. However, some people may experience a mild allergic reaction if they have sensitive skin and come into contact with the plant. Ingesting parts of the plant is not usually associated with severe poisoning, but as with any non-food plant, ingesting large amounts can potentially cause stomach upset or discomfort.
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta 'Sputnik') is also generally considered to be non-toxic to pets. As with humans, some pets might experience mild gastrointestinal upset if they consume parts of the plant, but significant toxicity is not typically expected. Care should be taken to discourage pets from eating large amounts of any non-food plant, including the Black-eyed Susan, to prevent potential digestive issues.
Color of leaves
2 feet (61 cm)
1-2 feet (30-61 cm)
- General Benefits
- Attracts Pollinators: Rudbeckia hirta, commonly known as Black-eyed Susan, is known to attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, supporting local ecosystems.
- Drought Tolerant: Once established, Black-eyed Susans are notably drought-resistant, making them suitable for xeriscaping and low-water gardens.
- Easy to Grow: They are generally low-maintenance, hardy, and adaptable to a variety of soil conditions, which makes them great for novice gardeners.
- Long Blooming: Black-eyed Susans have a long flowering period, typically from early summer to early fall, providing extended color and interest in the garden.
- Wildlife Habitat: The seeds of the Black-eyed Susan attract birds, such as finches, who feed on them, hence providing a food source for wildlife.
- Erosion Control: The fibrous root system helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion, making them particularly useful for planting on slopes or in areas with loose soil.
- Landscape Design: Black-eyed Susans are versatile and can be used in a variety of garden designs, including prairie-style, meadow, and perennial borders.
- Cut Flowers: They make excellent cut flowers with a relatively long vase life, adding a bright, cheery touch to bouquets and indoor arrangements.
- Reseeding: Black-eyed Susan plants often reseed themselves, providing new plants for the following year without requiring additional planting.
- Naturalizing: They can spread and form naturalized areas that require minimal maintenance, ideal for creating a natural or wildflower garden appearance.
- Visual Appeal: With their bright yellow petals and dark brown central cones, they add a splash of color that complements many other plants in a garden setting.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Black-eyed Susan petals can be used to create natural dyes for fabrics, yielding vibrant yellows and oranges.
- Fine arts: The distinctive and bright flowers are often used as subjects or inspiration in painting and photography, capturing the beauty of nature.
- Crafting: Dried Black-eyed Susan flowers can be incorporated into floral arrangements, wreaths, or used in scrapbooking and other paper crafts for their vivid colors and texture.
- Seasonal decor: Fresh or dried Black-eyed Susan blooms can be used to create table centerpieces or bouquets for autumn-themed decorations.
- Garden companion planting: Black-eyed Susan can be planted alongside vegetables like cucumbers to attract pollinators, potentially increasing crop yields.
- Educational resource: Black-eyed Susan's life cycle and growth can be studied in classrooms or educational gardens to teach about plant biology and ecology.
- Garden aesthetics: The plant can be strategically placed to create visually appealing patterns or borders in landscape design due to its height and color.
- Photography props: Black-eyed Susan flowers are often used in photoshoots as a natural prop for portraits, weddings, or fashion photography due to their striking appearance.
- Erosion control: The deep roots of Black-eyed Susan can help in stabilizing soil and controlling erosion on sloped gardens or banks.
- Culinary garnish: While not widely known for its culinary uses, the vibrant petals of Black-eyed Susan can be used to add a splash of color to salads or desserts as an edible garnish.
- Feng Shui
Black-eyed Susan is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
Black-eyed Susan is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Justice: Rudbeckia hirta, commonly known as Black-eyed Susan, is associated with justice, likely due to its consistent and bold appearance resembling fairness and equitability.
- Encouragement: The bright, yellow petals radiating from a dark center give a sense of hope and encouragement, symbolizing motivation to move forward through challenging times.
- Brightness and Positivity: Its bright yellow color represents the sun's light and energy, bringing positivity and cheerful vibes, which are often used to uplift spirits.
- Longevity and Strength: Black-eyed Susans are known for their hardiness and ability to thrive in various conditions, symbolizing strength and the ability to withstand adversity.
Black-eyed Susan needs regular watering, especially during dry spells. As a general rule, provide about 1 inch of water per week, taking care not to overwater as the plant prefers well-draining soil. In hot or particularly dry climates, increase watering to twice per week, ensuring that the soil is moist but not saturated. Always water the plant at the base to avoid wetting the foliage, which can lead to fungal diseases. During the winter or in periods of rainfall, reduce watering to prevent root rot.
Black-eyed Susan thrives in full sun, with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Position it in a spot where it will receive ample sunshine throughout the day for optimal growth and flowering. Although it can tolerate light shade, flowering may be less abundant in these conditions. Avoid deep shade areas as this can hinder growth and decrease blooms.
Black-eyed Susan is hardy and can withstand a wide range of temperatures but grows best when daytime temperatures are between 70°F and 75°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to around -25°F but prefers not to be exposed to prolonged periods of extreme cold. Keep the plant in an environment within this temperature range to ensure healthy growth and flowering.
Prune Black-eyed Susan to remove spent flowers, which encourages further blooming and prevents self-seeding, if desired. Cut back the stems to about 1-2 inches above the ground after the first hard frost in the fall to help prepare the plant for winter. Pruning can also be done in early spring to remove dead or damaged foliage and to shape the plant for the upcoming growth season.
Black-eyed Susan prefers well-draining soil rich in organic matter with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A balanced mix would be two parts garden soil, one part compost, and one part peat moss or perlite.
Black-eyed Susans, being perennial plants, do not require frequent repotting. Assess the need to repot every 2 to 3 years and provide fresh soil to support renewed growth.
- Humidity & Misting
Black-eyed Susan is tolerant of a wide range of humidity conditions and does well in the average humidity found in outdoor environments.
- Suitable locations
Ensure bright light, and well-draining soil.
Full sun, well-draining soil, and space plants.
- Life cycle
The Rudbeckia hirta 'Sputnik', commonly known as Black-eyed Susan, first begins its life as a dormant seed that, with adequate warmth and moisture, germinates in spring. The seedling emerges, growing its first true leaves and developing a root system. As the plant matures, it forms a rosette of foliage at the ground-level and elongates its stem, getting ready to bloom in the summer. During its flowering stage, Black-eyed Susan produces distinctive yellow flowers with a dark brown central cone, attracting pollinators and possibly setting seed for future generations. After pollination, the plant forms seed heads, which dry and disperse seeds, either self-sowing or with human assistance for propagation. Finally, in late autumn or with the onset of frost, Black-eyed Susan enters a period of dormancy, especially in colder climates, completing its annual or perennial cycle depending on the environment.
Spring to Summer
Propogation: The most popular method of propagating Black-eyed Susan, or Rudbeckia hirta 'Sputnik', is through seed. The optimal time for sowing directly in the garden is after the threat of frost has passed in the spring, or for colder climates, seeds can be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost. To propagate by seed, scatter the seeds onto the surface of well-drained soil and press them in lightly, as they require some light to germinate effectively. It's crucial not to bury the seeds too deeply. Keep the soil moist until germination, which typically occurs in 7 to 30 days. Once seedlings have grown and the risk of frost is past, they can be transplanted outdoors to a sunny location with well-draining soil, spacing them about 18 inches (approximately 46 centimeters) apart to allow for adequate air circulation and growth.