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

Monday - July 06, 2009

From: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Propagation, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Dividing blackeyed susans in Lake Ronkoko NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How are you supposed to divide blackeyed susan's? And when is the best time to do this?

ANSWER:

The only plant we found with the common name "Blackeyed Susan" native to New York is Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (blackeyed Susan). According to the information in our Native Plant Database, this is a biennial, which may perennialize if it's happy where it is. So, we're going to go on the assumption that your plants are happy, and suggest you divide them in early fall in your climate, preferably after the first cool nights, but when the soil is still warm. The plant will be going into dormancy then and won't be quite so subject to transplant shock. You can spend some time between now and then preparing their new home, possibly adding some compost and working it in to improve drainage and to help make trace nutrients in the soil more available to new roots. 

We found an excellent website by Fine Gardening, 10 Tips on Dividing Perennials, which gives you information in a much more organized form than we could. 


Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima

 

 

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Garden problems from Centreville VA
July 23, 2011 - Plants die, trees won't grow. I've replaced the soil (6") twice. Replaced grass twice and planted new plants and tree. After two yrs, the tree is still the same size and the flowering bushes nea...
view the full question and answer

Suitability of Carolina Cherry Laurel for Bulverde TX
October 24, 2012 - The local Home Depot is selling Carolina Cherry Laurel Trees. They look beautiful. Is this a good tree for Bulverde TX..20 miles north of San Antonio? Can it survive? Will it be a high maintenance...
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a sand bank in VT
August 13, 2011 - We have a summer cottage in Burlington, Vt. and need to stabilize a mound of sand. The "bank" we are trying to stabilize has partial sun and faces south. It measures approx 4' high and is 30' long...
view the full question and answer

Black-eyed Susans in potting soil on ground
November 12, 2010 - I would like to know if black eyed susans can be planted in just potting soil instead of mixing it in with dirt from the ground? I don't want to leave it in the pots. I want to plant it, but the grou...
view the full question and answer

Removal of live oaks leaves on lawn in Austin
October 11, 2011 - We have about a half inch or so of mostly live oak leaves still on the ground which I thought was good root protection and also holds in moisture. There is a small group of people in our condo subdi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center