Where are my black eyed Susans?

by Anne Molluso

My newly planted black eyed Susans bloomed beautifully last year but I am still waiting for some sign of life this year. It is the middle of May and all eight of my plants show no sign of life. Is there anything I should do to hasten their appearance?

I did cut them down last fall and they are properly mulched. HELP!

Doug says - it depends. 1) Still early. 2) Heavy clay kills Rudbeckia 3) Heavy mulch and too much water on crown kills Rudbeckia 4) Depending on Rudbeckia - there are annuals, biennials that die after bloom and perennials - you dont' way which you had and many nurseries don't distinguish between them (particularly the box stores).

So without a ton more info - I'm not able to say where they are. Me? I'd wait for a bit yet before I pulled the plug on them. But you can gently excavate the soil around the crown of the plant and this will tell you whether the crown is hard and growing or soft, mushy and dead. At least you'll know.

Good luck.

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