This is the second year I tried to grow Rudabeckia from seed, and they are beutifull. the first one is Irish eyes, but I tought it should be green in the middle. the darker one is Cherokee sunset, it blooms for a long time. Etelka
This message was edited Jun 22, 2013 8:24 AM
I love Rudabeckias
I think those are beautiful, but I don't think that is actually Iris Eyes. Must be some mix up in the seed. I think the dark eye is prettier anyhow, but that is just me.
I am a huge fan of rudbeckias as well. I really like them for the long lasting blooms. Unfortunately they aren't reliably perennial for me as I lost several last year. I think this fall I'm going to leave them all standing rather than cut them down, maybe that will help.
Luckily though, our local nursery always has them in quart sizes in the spring for $5 so they aren't expensive to replace.
They aren't reliably hardy for me in the ground but they are hardy in pots...telling me that they drown in the garden during our wet winters. Try a pot or raise the bed up where they are planted if you want to experiment to see if you can get them to stay for you.
They also start easily from seed. I have bought from Thompson & Morgan to get nice varieties.
Do you start them from seed right in the garden or inside before spring?
I'm delighted to see this thread because this prompts me to post a Rudbeckia question I have. I am looking for plants that are (1) long-lived, (2) drought-tolerant, (3) not deer candy, (4) happy in infertile soil, (5) not heavy re-seeders and (6) good in a part to mostly sunny location. Goldstrum fails the last test (in my experience -- but I'd love to hear if you think otherwise). What about these other gorgeous cultivars?
I think I started them inside. But, I seem to remember they are easy starters, and I bet you could direct sow. If you start them inside they are more likely to bloom the first year, though.
I was told by a master gardener that Goldsturm is the most reliable cultivar. For years I had problems keeping them alive until I got Goldsturm in my MI zone 5b and now they come back every year. But I don't have deer in town so I can't attest to that one nor do they not readily multiply (they are very diligent multipliers).
So all I can say is Goldsturm is the only one I have been able to get to return reliably after every winter.
I started out with Goldsturm a thousand years ago and have had reliably returning rudbeckias ever since, though my current plants may no longer be the original Goldsturm anymore; not sure. Regardless, I like them for midsummer bloom. Mine aren't bothered by deer, of which we have plenty. The plants pop up randomly here and there; I leave them to do their own thing. I love watching the finches pick at the seedheads in the fall.