Rudbeckia hirta [rud-BEK-ee-a, HER-tuh] is an annual wildflower and a member of the family Asteraceae.
It’s common names include:
- Orange Coneflower
- Black-Eyed Susan
- Gloriosa Daisy
Despite its name, this wildflower is not a daisy.
It’s an American flowering plant in the sunflower family.
Native to Eastern and Central North America, naturalized in China.
Although individual plants are annuals lasting only one growing season, the plant reseeds enthusiastically and return year after year.
Where is the Gloriosa Daisy from?
Read our PlantCareToday.com article with some history titled: Gloriosa Daisies The Beginnings And Here To Stay
Gloriosa Daisy Care
Size & Growth
Gloriosa Daisy grows to a height of 1′ – 3′ feet depending upon the variety.
Some dwarf varieties top out at just under a foot.
The plant’s typical spread is 18″ inches.
It’s frost tolerant and winter hardy in hardiness USDA zones 3 through 10.
Leaves are 2″ – 4″ inches long and lance-shaped.
They have mostly smooth margins but may have slight serration.
The lower leaves are usually larger than the top leaves.
The stems and leaves are slightly hairy.
Flowering & Fragrance
Flower colors show in a wonderful display of yellow, orange, and red with brown centers and appear zinnia-like.
Yellow flowers are the most dominant.
Bloom Time’s in late summer and continues through mid-autumn.
In some areas, the bloom season may persist through the early winter months.
The sturdy flowers do very well in cut flower arrangements.
The blooms transition into attractive fruit.
In the autumn, goldfinches will eat the wildflower seed.
Light & Temperature
This plant performs best and produces the most blossoms in full sun, but it can also do quite well in partial shade.
Seeds germinate at 70° degrees Fahrenheit (21° C).
The plants thrive throughout the summer months and do best in consistently warm temperatures.
Watering & Feeding
Gloriosa is drought tolerant once established.
Young plants will naturally need regular watering, water mature plants as wildflowers.
Wait until the soil is nearly dry and then water deeply.
Fertilizer is not necessary as long as the soil is well amended with organic compost.
Avoid planting Rudbeckia along the edges of lawns as grass fertilizer contains too much nitrogen for these wildflowers.
Transplanted Rudbeckia will appreciate a feeding of a weak solution of 10-10-10 fertilizer a couple of months after springtime transplanting.
If you transplant in the autumn, do not fertilize until springtime.
Soil & Transplanting
This flower will grow in most soil types, including dry soil, but prefers wet soil moisture.
The most important soil quality is sharp drainage.
It’s easy to direct sow Rudbeckia seeds into the soil where you want them to grow, but transplant them early in the springtime so the roots can become well established before the weather becomes oppressively hot.
Plant into well-worked soil on a cold, overcast day.
If moving the plant from one garden location to another, dig up an 8″ inch diameter of soil around the plant.
Make sure the hole where you will put the plant is ample in size to accommodate the roots.
Press the soil down lightly around the transplanted plant.
If started early enough, plants will flower the first year.
Grooming & Maintenance
Black-Eyed Susan is very carefree, but if you want to promote more blossoms and discourage self-seeding, deadhead frequently throughout the growing season.
How To Propagate Rudbeckia
The easiest way to propagate Gloriosa Daisy is to allow it to self-seed.
If you’re starting from scratch, sow the seeds outdoors directly into the soil early in the springtime after last frost has passed.
Gloriosa Daisy seeds can be started indoors 6 – 8 weeks before planting in spring.
Get a head start by sowing the seeds indoors one or two months before the last predicted frost.
- Indoors or out, seed should be sown in a very bright and sunny location.
- A temperature of 70° – 75° degrees Fahrenheit (21° C – 24° C) is required for successful germination.
- Keep Gloriosa flower seeds moist until germination.
- Once sown, seeds should sprout within a week to ten days.
To propagate Rudbeckia by division:
- Dig up the plants and separate the roots into clumps.
- Replant the clumps in pots or containers or the location desired.
The division is needed once every few years to prevent overcrowding.
Orange Coneflower Pest or Disease Problems
For the most part, the plant’s resistant to most diseases and pest infestation.
Be careful not to overcrowd or overwater as this will cause root rot and may cause problems with other fungal infections.
Crowded, damp circumstances can cause:
- Powdery Mildew
- Leaf Spot
Additionally, aphids, slugs, and snails are more attracted to crowded, damp, stressed plants.
Is Orange Coneflower Toxic or Poisonous?
Black-Eyed Susan is deer resistant and is said to be toxic to pigs, sheep, and cattle.
Nonetheless, anecdotal evidence indicates a folk remedy for worms, dropsy, and the common cold may be made using the roots of the plant in an infusion.
This concoction is also reputedly used in folk medicine as a topical solution for treating snake bites and sores on the skin.
Is Orange Coneflower Invasive?
These plants are native to the United States, so they cannot technically be invasive in the US; however, they are enthusiastic.
They spread with wild abandon under ideal circumstances and will take over your yard and garden if given half a chance.
Control spread by deadheading blooms aggressively to prevent self-seeding.
Suggested Uses for Black-Eyed Susan
It’s an excellent choice for naturalizing and mass plantings or as in addition to any summer through the fall flower garden.
They also do quite well as border or container plants.
These hardy, pretty wildflowers are very attractive to pollinators of all sorts and add color and interest to your butterfly or hummingbird garden.
A beautiful Fall border plant with Asters.
The seed heads provide winter food for seed-eating birds as well.