En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Thursday - September 30, 2004

From: Philadelphia, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Care of native black-eyed susans after blooming
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

What is the best way to take care of black-eyed susans once they have lost their blooms? Am I supposed to cut them down to the base, or just let them die out naturally. Also, they all have a white residue on their leaves, which I understand is a common mildew for them. Will this affect these plants returning next year?

ANSWER:

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is a short-lived perennial, sometimes considered and treated as an annual plant. Since the vegetation will die-back, and if the maturing seed is not affected by the mildew, then it will not be a detriment. As with any seed producing plant that you wish to propagate through built-up populations in the garden, allow the seed to mature before cutting back declining plant material. You can then either collect the seed for sowing in the Fall, or leave the spent flower heads in the garden to renew populations in the Spring. Look in the Native Plant Database for more information about Rudbeckia hirta.

 

From the Image Gallery


Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

More Wildflowers Questions

Shearing Pink Skullcaps
September 21, 2014 - My pink skullcap plants keep dying. The ones that are still alive are about 3 years old, but have large sections of dry twigs. Do I shear them and hope they come back or are they gone? I live in Helot...
view the full question and answer

Planting time and method for bluebonnets in Leander, TX
May 13, 2010 - What month is the right month to plant the bluebonnet seeds? September or October? Is the correct way to plant is by "throwing" them on top of the ground? I have a grassy area and I like them...
view the full question and answer

Blooming time in Austin for wildflowers
March 12, 2007 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants!! I am a wildflower artist coming for my first spring visit to Austin to exhibit in the Artisan's Festival. As a wildflower fanatic, I am hoping to see and photograph some of "...
view the full question and answer

Using Native Plants Database to determine flowering time in Austin
April 07, 2006 - How can I access your data base to learn what plants are flowering in Austin during the months of October and early November?
view the full question and answer

Storing Rudbeckia Hirta Seed
October 10, 2014 - I just bought and planted your Rudbeckia hirta seed. I have a lot leftover. Can I store it until spring or better yet, next fall? If so, how?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center