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

Wildflower seeds for trail for Eagle Scout project
May 11, 2006 - I'm a boy scout with Troop 1202 in the Dallas, Texas area, planning an eagle project to benefit my local parks department. The project will be to plant native wildflowers (from seed) along a trail. ...
view the full question and answer

Best date for spring bluebonnet blooms for 2015
January 31, 2015 - What is the estimated date range for the best bluebonnet viewing in the Hill Country this year (2015). I have guests from the north planning a visit and we'd like to pick a weekend with great possibi...
view the full question and answer

Identity of sunflower
November 02, 2012 - I am not able to find how to post a picture to help you identify a plant on our campus. I believe the plant I am trying to identify is a rough sunflower. (Helianthus hirsutus) We have zexmenia as ...
view the full question and answer

Number of wild flowers in Durham NC compared to all of North Carolina
April 24, 2009 - How many wild flowers have been identified in the North Carolina Area compared to just in Durham. I would like to photograph them all and want to know how close I can get to capturing photos of all th...
view the full question and answer

Native plant initiatives for universities in Southeast U.S.
April 26, 2005 - Hello, I am an undergraduate student majoring in botany at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN. I am a native plant enthusiast and would like to promote n.p.'s on campus. Do you kn...
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