Can you grow black-eyed Susans from seed?

Answered by Robert Dupre

You can absolutely grow black-eyed Susans from seed! They are a popular and beautiful addition to any garden or landscape. Growing them from seed can be a rewarding experience, and it allows you to have a larger number of plants at a lower cost.

To start, it’s important to choose the right time to sow the seeds. Black-eyed Susans prefer warm soil temperatures for optimal germination. Aim for a soil temperature of around 70⁰ F before sowing the seeds. You can use a soil thermometer to check the temperature in your garden.

When it comes to sowing the seeds, you have a few options. You can sow them directly in the garden bed or start them indoors and later transplant them outside. If you choose to start them indoors, you can use small pots or seed trays filled with a well-draining potting mix.

If sowing them directly in the garden, prepare the soil by loosening it and removing any weeds or debris. Rake the soil to create a loose and even surface. This will provide a good foundation for the seeds to germinate and establish.

When sowing the seeds, sprinkle them evenly over the prepared soil. It’s a good idea to sow them a bit closer together than you would normally plant them, as this will help prevent the plants from sprawling as they grow. Gently press the seeds into the soil, but avoid covering them too deeply. A light covering of soil or compost is enough, as these seeds need light to germinate.

Keep the soil consistently moist during the germination period, which can take anywhere from 10 to 20 days. Watering gently or using a misting spray can help prevent the seeds from being washed away or disturbed. Once the seedlings have emerged, you can gradually reduce the frequency of watering, but be sure to keep the soil moist, especially during dry periods.

Black-eyed Susans are known for their spreading habit, so it’s important to give them enough space to grow. If you have sown the seeds closer together, you may need to thin out the seedlings once they have grown a few inches tall. This will allow the remaining plants to have enough room to develop robustly.

Alternatively, you can also plant black-eyed Susans in a large container. Choose a container with drainage holes to ensure proper water drainage. Fill the container with a well-draining potting mix and sow the seeds as mentioned earlier. Place the container in a location that receives full sun for at least six hours a day and water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist.

In terms of care, black-eyed Susans are relatively low-maintenance. They prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Regular watering, especially during dry spells, will help keep them healthy and thriving. Deadheading spent flowers can encourage continuous blooming throughout the season.

It’s worth noting that black-eyed Susans are perennial plants, meaning they will come back year after year. However, if you choose to grow them from seed, the first year may be focused on establishing the plants, and you may not see as much blooming. But once they are established, they will reward you with their beautiful flowers for years to come.

Growing black-eyed Susans from seed is a wonderful way to add these vibrant and cheerful flowers to your garden or container. With the right timing, proper sowing techniques, and adequate care, you can enjoy the beauty of black-eyed Susans and their ability to attract pollinators to your outdoor space. So go ahead and give it a try – it’s a rewarding and enjoyable gardening experience!