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looking after in winter

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please can you help what do i do with a black eyed susan in the winter



Hi Mcmillan. Assuming you do not have a heated conservatory or greenhouse then you really only have one alternative and that is to treat it as a house plant.

One snag is that they like it fairly moist so, especially if you have central heating, I would stand its pot in a container with some gravel and water in the bottom in a bright window. Don't let the base actually be in the water so don't cover the gravel bed with H2O. Spray with a fine water mist every few days as well. And of course, as it is East African, try to keep it warmish. Even a cold greenhouse will not be warm enough unless you are in the extreme south west of the UK. These are definitely tender not half hardy.


23 Nov, 2008



I am confused. Black eyed susan is what botanical name?

if it is Rudbeckia hirta, a more than common American wildflower it needs little if anything. It is native to the Dakota's of the Great Plains. I just wack it back and leave it alone.

This must refer to something else. The trouble with most common names.

ex. Kaffir lily -- it could be Schyzostylos or Clivia, then again it could be an offensive reference to blacks in S.Africa. Many are calling for that commen name to be shelved for all.

24 Nov, 2008


In the UK it is 'Thunbergia alata' Secateur. As you will see from my reply to the question, it is native to East Africa and is completely tender.


24 Nov, 2008


Sorry to both ot you, but I still see no reference in the original post to specie. John, you are correct of course.

Yup, to the greenhouse ... and even there it might not survive the minimal heat
I keep my cacti and succulents at. 40.F. Trouble being loss of light degree days as much as heat degree days. Some of these S. African plants do need extra lighting. I have grow lamps in my greenhouse to turn on during the winter. Even in Sequim, WA. 14" of rain a year, we have drizzle and overcast. Plants like this (and gardeners as well) need more than four hours of sun a day.

My own growing season has finally collapsed. Mid twenties for the next few days. Nice and sunny though, so I can't complain. December snows are sure to slow things up big time.

24 Nov, 2008


Yes Secateur. That is why I said 'In a bright window'. I think most G0Y members do not want to start building light boxes. I happen to have one, but that is only because I specialise in exotics. Most members are amateurs who just want to keep their plants growing without technical details. They probably don't even have propagators.


24 Nov, 2008


I love your handle Sarraceniac.
That was much better than a sharp cutting tool: :-) I do want to mention that I grow hundreds of different cacti and succulents and would love to trade seed for other interesting things.

24 Nov, 2008

How do I say thanks?

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