Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta Sunbeckia Alicia (Sunbeckia Series)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
black-eyed Susan [Sunbeckia Alicia]


The Rudbeckia hirta Sunbeckia Alicia, commonly known as Black-eyed Susan, is a visually striking plant. It is characterized by its bold, daisy-like flowers that feature a prominent, raised central cone. This cone, typically dark brown or black, which gives the common name its "black-eyed" descriptor, contrasts strikingly with the petals. The petals themselves radiate from the center in a vibrant, golden-yellow hue, and they may be smooth and slightly reflexed at the tips, adding to the plant's visual appeal. The foliage of the Black-eyed Susan is typically a deep green, with leaves that are lance-shaped and hairy, or 'hirta', which hints at its soft, slightly rough texture. The leaves are arranged in a basal rosette at the base of the plant, as well as alternately along the stems, which bear the weight of the flowers. Overall, the Black-eyed Susan projects a wildflower-like charm, with a robust and cheerful presence that makes it a favorite in gardens designed for a naturalistic look. Its floriferous nature often leads to abundant blooms that create a bright and sunny display wherever the plant is situated.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Black-Eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisy, Yellow Ox-Eye Daisy, Brown-Eyed Susan.

    • Common names

      Rudbeckia hirta Sunbeckia Alicia.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The most common common name for Rudbeckia hirta Sunbeckia Alicia is Black-eyed Susan. Black-eyed Susan is generally considered non-toxic to humans. There is no significant record of this plant causing serious illness or death when touched or ingested. However, it is always advised to exercise caution and avoid ingesting plants that are not specifically grown for consumption, as individual allergic reactions or irritation can occur.

    • To pets

      The most common common name for Rudbeckia hirta Sunbeckia Alicia is Black-eyed Susan. Black-eyed Susan is generally considered to be non-toxic to pets as well. There is no significant evidence to suggest that this plant poses a serious risk to pets upon ingestion. However, some animals might experience mild gastrointestinal upset if they consume large quantities of the plant. It’s advisable to monitor pets around plants and to discourage them from eating ornamental flora.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Rudbeckia hirta, commonly known as Black-eyed Susan, is known to attract bees and butterflies, which are important for pollination in the garden.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, the Black-eyed Susan can tolerate periods of drought, making it suitable for xeriscaping or gardens with sporadic watering practices.
    • Easy to Grow: This plant is known for being easy to care for, which makes it ideal for novice gardeners or those who prefer low-maintenance plants.
    • Long Blooming Period: Black-eyed Susan offers a prolonged blooming season, often from midsummer until the first frost, providing extended interest in the garden.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: The vibrant yellow flowers of the Black-eyed Susan add visual appeal and bright color to any garden or landscape design.
    • Naturalizing: The plant can spread and naturalize in an area, which helps to fill in spaces and create a full, lush garden appearance.
    • Cut Flowers: Black-eyed Susan makes for excellent cut flowers, allowing you to bring the beauty of your garden indoors.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Beyond pollinators, the seeds of Rudbeckia hirta provide food for birds, and the plants can provide shelter for small wildlife.

  • 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

    • Photography Prop: The visually striking blooms of Black-eyed Susan provide a vibrant backdrop or focal point for garden photography enthusiasts.
    • Art Inspiration: Artists often use the bright petals and distinctive center of Black-eyed Susan as subjects for botanical drawings and paintings.
    • Crafts: Dried Black-eyed Susan flowers can be used in floral crafts, such as wreath making and pressed flower arrangements.
    • Educational Tool: Black-eyed Susan can be used to teach children about plant biology, pollination, and the lifecycle of a flower.
    • Natural Dye: The petals of Black-eyed Susan can be used to create a natural yellow dye for fabrics or paper.
    • Garden Design: Can be used as a staple in butterfly gardens or as a natural, informal border for landscape designs.
    • Companion Planting: Black-eyed Susan is often used in companion planting to attract beneficial insects and create a more balanced ecosystem in the garden.
    • Culinary Decoration: Edible varieties of Black-eyed Susan petals can be used to brighten up salads or decorate cakes (ensuring they are free of pesticides).
    • Symbolic Gift: Black-eyed Susan, associated with justice, can be given as a gift to symbolize support or encouragement in pursuing a righteous cause.
    • Wildlife Shelter: The dense foliage provides shelter for small wildlife, including beneficial insects and small birds.

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

    • Optimism and Positivity: Rudbeckia hirta, commonly known as Black-eyed Susan, often symbolizes optimism and positivity due to its bright, sunny appearance that resembles the sun.
    • Justice: The plant can sometimes represent justice, resonating with the flower's ability to stand tall and proud.
    • Happiness: Its vibrant yellow petals evoke feelings of happiness and evoke a sense of warmth and light, much like a sunny day.
    • Encouragement: Given as a gift, Black-eyed Susans can signify encouragement, especially during challenging times, owing to their robust nature and capacity to thrive in various conditions.
    • Devotion: The plant can symbolize devotion or a lifelong affection, stemming from its long-lasting and perennial nature.

Every week
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Black-eyed Susan prefers even moisture, so water the plant thoroughly whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. A good method is to water at the base of the plant rather than overhead to prevent fungal diseases. Depending on the climate and weather conditions, this might translate to watering once or twice per week, ensuring the plant receives about 1 inch of water weekly. During hot, dry spells, you may need to increase watering frequency. It's important not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    Black-eyed Susan thrives in full sun, meaning at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. The best spot for this plant is in an area that receives unfiltered sunlight throughout the day. If planted in too much shade, the plant might not bloom as vigorously and could become leggy.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Black-eyed Susan is hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but grows best when the temperature is between 60°F and 70°F. They can survive minimum temperatures down to about -30°F and maximum temperatures well into the 90s°F. Ensure that the plant is not exposed to frost, as this can damage young growth.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Black-eyed Susan to remove spent flowers and encourage new blooms, a process known as deadheading. Pruning can also help maintain the plant's shape and prevent it from becoming too leggy. The best time to prune is after the plant has finished flowering, which is usually in late summer or fall. Cut back to just above a set of leaves for healthy regrowth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Black-eyed Susan is well-draining, fertile soil enriched with organic matter, with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0 to support healthy growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Black-eyed Susans typically do not require frequent repotting as they are often grown as annuals; repot biennial or perennial forms every 2-3 years to refresh the soil.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Black-eyed Susans are adaptable and do not require specific humidity levels, thriving in average outdoor conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Use bright light, well-draining soil, and keep moderately moist.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, well-draining soil, moderate watering, space 12-18".

    • Hardiness zone

      3-10 USDA.

  • circleLife cycle

    Rudbeckia hirta, commonly known as Black-eyed Susan, begins its life cycle as a dormant seed which germinates in the spring when soil temperatures warm up. The seedling emerges and develops into a rosette of leaves at ground level before sending up a flowering stalk. Throughout the summer months, the plant produces bright, daisy-like yellow flowers with a distinctive brown or black center cone. After pollination, typically by bees or other insects, the flowers produce seeds which are dispersed by wind, animals, or other means. As an annual or short-lived perennial, the plant may die after setting seed, or if it is perennial, it may enter a period of dormancy during the winter months. In the following growing season, the plant may regrow from its root system or new plants will grow from the seeds that were produced, continuing the life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: The most popular method of propagation for the Black-Eyed Susan is by seed. The optimal time for sowing these seeds is in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. To propagate, seeds should be scattered on the surface of a well-draining soil mix and lightly pressed into the soil, but not completely covered, as they require light for germination. It is essential to keep the soil moist until germination, which usually takes 7 to 30 days at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21-24 degrees Celsius). Once the seedlings have developed several true leaves and are sturdy enough, they should be transplanted to their final growing location, ensuring they are spaced adequately to allow for mature growth.