Black-eyed Susan’s are a very common and fairly easy to grow plant in North America. The flowers are bright yellow with a dark center. They are considered to be perennials and are easy to grow from seeds. In fact the plant will drop it’s seeds each fall and you will find small plants emerging from the soil in the spring.
If you know someone who has Black-eyed Susan’s growing you can ask to collect the seeds in the fall and keep overwinter to sow in the early spring (earlier the better). I have also spread the seeds in prepared soil in the late fall and have had several seedlings grow up early the next spring. If you don’t know anyone with Black-eyed Susan seeds you can buy them in your local grocery store, nursery, or hardware store. I recently bought some seeds while visiting Mount Vernon in Virginia, they are heirloom seeds from George Washington’s Estate (I also picked up heirloom Columbine seeds).
1. Prepare soil by removing weeds, grass, and rocks. Add mulch to soil and blend well (however, Black-eyed Susan’s are known for growing even in poor soil) – the better the soil, the better the results will be.
2. Spread the seeds evenly over the surface of the soil. The seeds will fall into the cracks of the soil and do not need to be covered.
3. Water the seeds immediately and carefully after spreading the seeds, so that the wind will not blow them away. The seeds are pretty small.
It should take from 2 – 3 weeks for the seeds to germinate. When the seedlings take hold thin out the plants to 1 – 1 ½ feet apart. Black-eyed Susan’s tend to do well even when crowding but will take hold much better when they are properly spaced.
After the first year you may have to thin the plants out annually as the seeds germinate and take hold pretty easily.