If you are planting perennials, you will need to cut back black-eyed Susans at the end of their flowering period. When planting rudbeckia, you can either cut them back in the fall or spring, depending on your preference.
No matter which option you choose, and it may depend on the style of your backyard, the process is fortunately simple. We take a look at the pros and cons of each to help you decide when to cut back black-eyed Susans in your garden.
When is the best time to prune black-eyed Susans?
Black-eyed Susans have a long blooming season and can bloom all the way from mid-summer until the first frost. With deadheading, this flowering season can be extended as it will prevent the plant from going to seed and divert its energy back into producing and opening new flower buds. These bright, easy-to-grow plants have gorgeous blooms that attract bees, pollinators and other beneficial insects to the space and deserve a place in any sunny flower bed, border or container garden.
The flowering period will end in the fall and then comes the decision on when to cut back black-eyed Susans. There are two options for when to remove the pruning shears, either cut them back for the winter in the fall or wait until the following spring.
“The best time to prune black-eyed Susans is in the fall,” says professional landscaper Quentin O’Dea. “The flower benefits from a strong, perennial root system that can withstand shock and pruning easily,” he adds. “In late summer or fall, cut these plants back at their base when they turn slightly brown and lose their flower petals.
“It is difficult to reduce it at the wrong time; Their hardiness will keep them coming back until they are completely pulled out of the ground.
Cutting back the plants in the fall helps to tidy and prepare the garden for winter, while removing the seed heads will prevent black-eyed Susans from self-seeding all over the garden – something they are known for.
The alternative is to leave the plants On site During the winter. Garden expert Louise Curley explains how when the flowers begin to wilt on black-eyed Susans, the central cone remains in place, and this can make an attractive, wildlife-friendly feature in a conservatory.
She says: If the seed heads are left standing above wintering birds such as goldfinches, they will eat the seeds. They provide attractive structure in autumn and winter, especially when covered with frost.’
While seed heads in winter can be useful as part of wildlife garden ideas, it will likely mean repotting the plant around the garden. Some people may be put off by this, but others may not mind growing more plants for free or wouldn’t mind if they had a looser and more diverse approach to backyard ideas. However, do not be afraid, because if the clump becomes too large, it is easy to lift and divide the plants in the spring.
Quinten O’Dea is a professional landscaper with over 13 years of experience
Completing quality projects. His company, Q&A Landscaping, has been planting flowers, shrubs and trees for more than a decade throughout the Pittsburgh area.
How far should you cut your black-eyed Susan?
It is important to use clean, sharp pruning shears when cutting plants, as clean garden tools prevent damaging the plant and spreading diseases around the garden. A pocket sharpener, like the Garden Tool Sharpener available at Walmart, is a handy set to help you keep tools sharp while working outside in the garden.
Cutting back black-eyed Susans is a simple process and the goal is to prune all stems to a height of about 4-6 inches above the ground. This removes all spent flower stems as well as most of the plant’s leaves. If you are cutting plants for the winter, leaving a few inches of material at the base of the plant will help protect the crown from the worst of winter weather.
Zahid Adnan, gardener and founder of The Plant Bible, recommends that “light feeding” in the spring after cutting plants can also be beneficial. “You can use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer around the base of the plants,” he says. “This will help replenish nutrients in the soil and support plant growth during the next growing season. Just be careful not to over-fertilize, as this may lead to excessive leaf growth at the expense of flower production.”
An example of a balanced, slow-release fertilizer that fits an expert’s recommendation is Expert Gardener Flower Plant Food also available at Walmart.
Zahid Adnan is the founder and editor of The Plant Bible and also manages a 10-hectare farmland. He is also involved in a project to develop sustainable urban farming practices by using farming techniques to increase food production and reduce environmental impacts.
Should I die Black-Eyed Susan?
While deadheading is not an essential task, it is a good idea to give yourself the longest flowering period possible. Once the flower begins to wilt, cut the stem back to just above the leaf node. Avoid the fatal mistake of cutting the stem too often, as this may leave a bare stem with no foliage or flowers. Regularly removing faded flowers will tidy up the plant, stop seed sowing around the yard and ensure energy returns to produce new flowers.
Black-eyed Susans are also a good choice when planning a cut flower garden. The flowers spread in late summer and their deep colors work wonderfully in displays. If you are looking for cut garden flowers with a distinctive appearance and long vase life, black-eyed Susans are worth considering.