We are all familiar with the classic Black-eyed Susan look featuring yellow ray flowers around a dark brown or black center cone, but we may not be aware of the many types of Black-eyed Susan plants available. Black-eyed Susan plants come in many different varieties including upright growers and vines and ranging from annuals to true perennials. Here at Hook’s we have four different types of Black-eyed Susan plants some of which come in a variety of colors. This guide is to help you figure out which of these bold plants to choose for your garden.
Black-eyed Susan ‘Toto’
The Toto variety of Black-eyed Susan is considered an annual in our northern climate and attracts butterflies, birds and bees. This variety of Black-eyed Susan is a tough, upright growing flower. Toto can tolerate droughts and is deer resistant. These sunny flowers do best when planted in an area with full sun, well drained soil and good air circulation. This long blooming flower will show off its colors from summer to fall while growing 6-12″ tall and 15-18″ wide. We love Toto for its versatility in the garden. It thrives when planted in containers or in the ground where it can function as a low maintenance way to add a pop of color. Toto can be purchased at Hook’s in packs of flat for $1.69 or at $14.99 for a full flat.
Black-eyed Susan ‘Indian Summer’
The Black-eyed Susan ‘Indian Summer’ is considered a tender perennial, meaning that it is a short lived perennial lasting between 2-4 years. Indian Summer can maintain its population in a garden whether or not the plant survives the winter by self seeding. This upright growing variety of Black-eyed Susan is hardy with both deer resistant and drought tolerant qualities. Indian Summer blooms from summer to frost, showing off its vibrant yellow ray flowers around its iconic dark brown center in large 6-9″ blooms. The size of these blooms make Indian Summer a striking addition to any garden or flower arrangement. We recommend deadheading the fading flowers in order to help encourage the development of new blooms all season long. This long blooming flower prefers full sun and well drained soil. Indian Summer’s bold colors, large blooms and low maintenance care make it one of our favorites here at Hook’s.
Black-eyed Susan ‘Goldsturm’
The Goldsturm variety of Black-eyed Susan is a true perennial plant that will consistently come back year to year. This variety has an upright habit and features classic Black-eyed Susan flowers with yellow rays surrounding a black center cone. These bright flowers will bloom from mid summer to fall and attract butterflies. Additionally, Goldsturm is drought tolerant and deer resist making it hardy as well as visually striking. Goldsturm thrives in full sun, good air circulation and well drained soil. These sun-loving plants will grow 6-12″ tall, 15-18″ wide and will spread slowly through the garden. Deadheading the spent blooms will promote growth of fresh ones. Here at Hook’s we love Goldsturm for its fabulous colors, low maintenance requirements and true perennial nature. Goldsturm is available at Hook’s in 2 gallon pots for $12.99.
Black-eyed Susan Vines
Black-eyed Susan plants also come in an annual vine form. This plant is from a different genus (Thunbergia rather than Rudbeckia) and has a different habit from the other Black-eyed Susan plants, but has the same common name which can cause some confusion. This fast growing vine has vibrant warm colored flowers with dark black centers and trails up to 96″. We recommend spacing these plants 14-16″ apart. These bold climbing and trailing vines are heat tolerant, do not require deadheading and bloom continuously all summer long. Black-eyed Susan vine look fabulous in hanging baskets or in landscaping when given something to climb. Here at Hook’s we have three stunning varieties, ‘Lemon A-Peel’, ‘Orange A-Peel’ and ‘Tangerine Slice A-Peel’, that feature yellow, orange and variegated red flowers respectively.
image of Toto from https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/153500/i-Rudbeckia-hirta-i-Toto/Details
image of Indian Summer from https://www.landscapeofus.com/garden/rudbeckia-hirta-indian-summer/
image of Goldsturm from http://www.perennials.com/plants/rudbeckia-fulgida-goldsturm.html