RudbeckiaEarly this year I had to do an assignment on plant selection for a proposed garden design. As part of that work I need to visit a nursery and photograph the plant tags for the specimens I chose for the design. The local nursery I visited shut down some months ago now but I have a plant growing and thriving in my home garden that was kindly given to me as a gift by the nursery owner.
The plant is a Rudbeckia and as it was propagated by the nurseryman himself it didn't come with a plant tag so I'm not exactly sure of the species. I'm 90% sure mine is Rudbeckia fulgida because it fits the description of having a slight serration in the leaf margin and also leaf hairs. Rudbeckias are amazing looking plants which come into bloom late summer after all my regular annual flowers are tailing off to seed. My one has large yellow daisy like flowers but they also come in other colours. The great thing about the one I have is that with very little care it has quickly grown into a massive plant (and I have read that they are so vigorous that they can become invasive in rich soils). When I first planted it the Rudbeckia was very small indeed. It came in a tube and had a single flower stem with one flower. Within one season it is now roughly a metre tall with bunches of flowers. See the link below for a picture of this now massive plant when I first put in into the soil.
Dividing RudbeckiasAs they are clumping perennial plants Rudbeckias can be propagated by division. I haven't done this myself but I have read that it is as easy as digging up the plant and splitting it with a sharp spade in spring then replanting the clumps in a desired location. I've propagated other clumping plants by division before and I have to say that it has to be one of the most successful propagation methods. Apparently you should divide Rudbeckias every three years.
The massive flower heads on my Rudbeckia.