All herbaceous perennials die back over winter and rudbeckia is no exception, but when is the right time to cut it back?
When To Cut Back Rudbeckia?
You want to cut back rudbeckia in late autumn once the cold weather has really arrived and the plant has begun dying back naturally.
You want to leave removing the dying growth on your Rudbeckia as long as possible in my book. Don’t remove it at the first sight of it looking untidy, let it go on until it has truly died, and then remove it.
I like to take this method to ensure the plant has as much time as possible to store up energy in its roots ready for next year, as soon as you cut back your plant that’s it, it is done for the year.
The more energy you can get into those roots this autumn the better the plant will do next spring and then summer.
So why cut back at all? You can leave the dead foliage there all winter and some natural gardeners encourage this as a way to give habitat to insects and small animals.
There is one problem though, rot. With a lot of soggy decaying foliage right above the root of your rudbeckia, there is a much greater chance they will die over winter.
That is why I like to remove all of the dying foliage once it has started to turn brown in late autumn or early winter.
More On Rudbeckia
Rudbeckia is a member of the Asteraceae family, which is a huge family of plants by the way, along with asters, calendula, and daisies.
Rudbeckia is a very popular species of plant, they look gorgeous and are easy to grow, two factors that will always lead to popularity.
Most Rudbeckia are hardy perennials when grown in Zones 5-8 but there are a couple of types that are only grown as annuals in all but the hottest of zones.
In general, it is the yellow Rudbeckia that are perennial with most other colorways being annual plants.
What Conditions Do Rudbeckia Like?
Rudbeckia like a sunny spot and well-draining soil. They don’t like their roots drying out though so need to be watered during dry spells (although there are certain drought resistance varieties). They really don’t like their roots being in standing water either though which is why well-draining soil is a must.
Although they like a sunny spot they can also survive in partial shade but with reduced flowering.