What to Do With Black-Eyed Susans in Fall & Winter

Written by aaron painter
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What to Do With Black-Eyed Susans in Fall & Winter
Black-eyed Susans feature yellow, daisy-like flowers with black centres. (black-eyed susans image by Carbonbrain from Fotolia.com)

The black-eyed Susan is a type of rudbeckia. It's a perennial plant named for the black centres of its flowers. Black-eyed Susans are relatively easy to care for, but require some special attention during fall and winter.

Cutting Back

Cut back the stems of black-eyed Susans in the fall, after the first frost, to about 2 inches above the ground. If you leave this amount of foliage, it will help the plant trap snow for insulation.

What to Do With Black-Eyed Susans in Fall & Winter
Black-eyed Susan stems can be cut back after the first frost. (black eyed and little bee image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com)


Generally, black-eyed Susans should be mulched in spring, but if it's fall and your black-eyed Susans were recently planted, or if the mulch has washed away, apply a couple of inches of fresh mulch to help protect the plant through the colder months.

Other Considerations

If you like, you can refrain from cutting back your black-eyed Susans in the fall, because the seed heads that remain after the petals drop can provide food for birds. Be sure, however, to cut back the stems and foliage in the fall if your black-eyed Susans were effected by disease during the growing season. Destroy--don't compost--the diseased leaves and stems.

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