Nope, I have no idea how she got her name. But, dang. I sincerely hope that Susan fought back and did a little damage of her own.
Let there be peace on earth, and all that.
In 2009, when my Grandma turned 90, we traveled to Indiana for her birthday party. She had recently moved into a nursing home and her house was being sold. We went over to her property to dig up a few plants to bring home with us. We dug up her pink peonies, which transplanted beautifully, and her lilacs, which sadly didn’t thrive here. In the corner of her yard, we found one small black-eyed Susan blooming underneath a tall, evergreen tree.
We brought her back to Virginia and transplanted her into one of the few sunny spots in the yard. As with all of my plants, I fuss over them for a few weeks with daily watering, monitoring for wilting leaves and other signs of stress. If they look good at that point, I mulch them well and cut back on watering except for the hottest/driest times of the year.
Black-eyed Susans are members of the sunflower family and come in both annual and perennial varieties. If you have an annual variety, don’t worry because they are prolific self-seeders and you shouldn’t have to re-plant each year. They’re native prairie flowers in the U.S. and are fantastic for attracting pollinators.
If you don’t cut them back at the end of the growing season, the seed heads provide food for the birds over the winter. While most growing guides say that deer avoid eating black-eyed Susans, we’ve had a few years when the deer have mowed them down. Punks.
This bed is about 8′ x 10′ and grew from Grandma’s one, tiny flower. We mow around it to prevent it taking over the entire yard. We’ve divided it several times, transplanting to other locations on our property and we’ve given loads of them away to family and friends. I love to hear updates on how these “Hoosiers” are doing in our friend’s yards!
Black-eyed Susan make beautiful cut flowers as well! Easy peasy! Just snip them, remove any leaves below the water line and plunk them into a vase.
If you are #soextra like me, (just ask my niece) and believe that more is more, jazz up your black-eyed Susan bouquet with other garden flowers. Have some fun with them!
For more reading on the care of black-eyed Susans:
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