Starting Rudbeckia from seed: Easy — sort of

My ‘Irish Eyes’ were smiling: This is the last time these seedlings were seen alive.
My ‘Irish Eyes’ were smiling: This is the last time these seedlings were seen alive.

The existing Rudbeckia in my yard re-seeds like crazy, so it can’t be to hard to grow them from seed. When I spotted a packet of ‘Irish Eyes’ seed, I snatched it up. There is something about seed packets that gets me. I don’t know whether it is the optomist or the miser in me, but the prospect of 10, 20, or 50 plants for around $1.50 stirs my pulse.

But it doesn’t excite me enough to actually do things right, unfortunately. If I do get around to sowing the seeds (that reminds me: I need to plant ‘Moon and Stars’ watermelon this weekend), there is no guarantee that I will remember their existence. Alas, my ‘Irish Eyes’ germinated wonderfully but as time went on they succumbed due to thirst. I felt guilty enough to replant more seeds and I remember to water them once in a while. They are succeeding in spite of me. Lesson learned: Rudbeckia seeds are easy to start and the seedlings are pretty tough. But they do need to be watered more than once a month.

Notes: It was my blogging duty to purchase ‘Toto’ and ‘Some Other Cultivar I Can’t Remember’ at White Flower Farm last week. Assistant Editor Danielle Sherry dismissed them as “annuals,” but I don’t care. I pledged to grow every Rudbeckia I could find, and dammit, that is what I’m doing.

“Notes” note: I intentionally misspelled “damn it.” All other errors are due to time constraints, lack of a spell checker, and/or general incompetence.

View Comments


  1. user-7006886 06/05/2010

    Me too!!! I understand completely. In one of my garden sections, I am moving the phlox and most other "ordinary" perennials so I may emphasize the vast variety of Rudbeckia.

  2. SteveA 06/07/2010

    Well, feel free to tag along on this Rudbeckia adventure. I would love to hear about what you are growing & how it is doing.

  3. anitaberlanga 02/04/2017

    I laughed through this post because YES. WATER! I am just starting my ' Irish Eyes' and have them in a milk jug (sawn nearly in half, retaped, etd). It'll help hold a bit of moisture in - did you germinate on a heat mat or just wing it?

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