A season standout at Plant Exchange Blog is two cultivars of Rudbeckia. The mother plant is native to North America. It grows well in clay soil and is tolerant of drought and deer. Blooms are at least 3 inches in diameter and, in summer and fall, form a canopy of golden blooms like their relative, Black-eyed Susans. One standout is Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Sun’, and the second is Rudbeckia ‘Indian Summer.’
Both Rudbeckias can be grown from seed indoors and planted in-ground or containers in later May in this region. Few pests bother them with occasional powdery mildew in wet conditions. They are low-maintenance plants. Dead-heading encourages more blooms but is not required.
These herbaceous perennials are biennial (USDA Zone 3-8) and are short-lived. Some people choose to plant them as annuals. They bloom the first year. In our region, they may self-seed if not dead-headed and possibly overwinter. While cold-tolerant, a layer of straw over them is extra protection.
Originating in North America, these plains flowers respond to cold and grow sufficient roots to bloom next year. For cut flowers, second-year plants have longer stems. This bouquet is from first-year plants.
At Plant Exchange Blog, we don’t mind the occasional validation of plants we like. Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Sun’ was an All-America Selections winner in 2003, and another cultivar is recognized this fall.
Colorado State University 2021 Plant Field Trial Results show Rudbeckia ‘Ophelia’ as Best of Show. They noted their growing environment as a wet spring and hot summer, not unlike this region. For more about their trial results, see www.flowertrials.colostate.edu.
Thanks for visiting this week. Comment on one of your favorites of the season if you like.