Dr. Gary Bachman:
The yellow petals and dark centers of black-eyed Susans are recognizable across Mississippi today on Southern Gardening.
Southern gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University extension service.
Dr. Gary Bachman:
There are many selections that look great in our gardens and with some of the color combinations these are not your grandma's black-eyed Susans. Rudbeckia have received recognition in Mississippi for their landscaping garden performance.
In 1999 the Rudbeckia Indian Summer was selected as a Mississippi medallion winner and is a real show off. The upright stems display the huge flowers. The petal colors are bright and cheery, ranging from sunshine, yellow to warm oranges at the petal bases.
Each flower has a delicious looking rich chocolate brown center cone. Many Rudbeckia display varying degrees of darker colors at the bases of their flower petals. One selection is Rudbeckia Denver Daisy. The flower petals are a pure, bright yellow with variable splotches of dark red. Most years, Denver Daisy should be considered a tender perennial, maybe even treated as an annual.
A novel Rudbeckia selection is Irish Eyes with its emerald green center cone highlighted by the clear yellow petals. Irish Eyes can grow to three feet tall, which is large enough for all to enjoy the pretty five inch diameter flowers.
Rudbeckia are all considered lower maintenance plants, but they need deadheading of the faded flowers to keep the plants blooming. The home gardener should take advantage of this summer long blooming by bringing the landscape inside with gorgeous cut Rudbeckia stems. To increase face life, place the cut stems in warm water, about 100 degrees, for about 10 minutes. I'm horticulturist, Gary Bachman, for Southern Gardening.
Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University extension service.