Rudbeckia is often called chamomile. The plant is really simple and unpretentious in maintenance, even for inexperienced gardeners. It came to us from the prairies of North America, being known on the other side of the ocean as the black-eyed Susan – for the dark cores of the inflorescences. Once in Europe, the rudbeckia got another nickname: sun hat.
The species diversity of rudbeckia is represented by annual, biennial and perennial plants – about 40 species in total. Among them is echinacea purpurea, which is widely known in medicine.
Care of rudbeckia in the garden
As follows from natural growing conditions, the bright flower prefers well-lit places and fertile clay soils. Dry and hot weather is not well tolerated by the plant, so during such periods it is important not to forget about regular watering.
Flowering of rudbeckia can not be called sparse, but to prolong it, it is desirable to remove the offflower inflorescences. However, even after this period the plant will not lose its attractiveness, pleasing the gardener with bright green foliage until the frost.
With the onset of winter, perennial shrubs are pruned at the root, and for harsh climatic conditions, insulating the roots with lapnik or dry grass until relatively stable temperatures are established in the spring is a mandatory requirement.
Propagation of rudbeckia by seeds
This method is suitable for all species, with the exception of the macerated perennials, which in principle is characteristic of many flowers. The seeds of rudbeckia can be harvested when they are completely dry on the inflorescence, after which they will need to be dried thoroughly. The germination of the seeds lasts for 3 years.
Do not be surprised if, when growing from self-picked seeds from the same plant, you get specimens that differ somewhat in size, shape or color of the flowers. However, such a characteristic may please you with the resulting variety.
Planting rudbeckia in late March – April – so that the plants will bloom in June-July. Seeds need to be lightly covered with soil and moistened. When germinating at a temperature of 16-18 degrees you will see the first shoots in 2-3 weeks.
At the end of spring frosts, seedlings are planted in the open ground. It is very important to choose the right moment, because rudberries are very vulnerable to cold, which cannot be said about adult plants – they are quite resistant to autumn frosts.
Propagation by rhizome
The highest probability of preserving species traits is achieved by propagating Rudbeckia by rhizome, and for perennial plants, this is the only acceptable method. For this purpose, select specimens formed by the fall or overwintered specimens. However, you can also buy them if you detest the idea of taking care of seedlings.
Dig up the whole Rudbeckia and carefully separate the root so that each part has a growth point. The rhizome pieces are then planted in loose, fertilized soil.
Dividing the bush is also used to rejuvenate it. The dead shoots in the center are removed, leaving room for new ones. Although perennials live for 5 years, it is advisable to carry out this procedure every 3-4 years to prevent the degeneration and death of bushes.