How to Gather Seeds from Rudbeckia Plants


Rudbeckia, or black-eyed Susan, is a native wildflower that is pretty enough to grow in gardens. Rudbeckia grows into a 2-foot-tall foliage plant with colorful flowers that bloom from summer through fall. The flowers are red and orange ringed with yellow, although different cultivars will have a different distribution of those colors. The Rudbeckia flowers are lovely as cut flowers, and continual cutting of the blooms encourages even more flowering on the plant. Rudbeckia reseeds itself easily and can take over garden beds.

Things You'll Need

  • Rudbeckia flowers
  • Paper plate
  • Plastic or glass jar with a lid
  • Envelope
  • Watch for the petals to drop from faded flowers. The cone in the center of the flower will then begin to swell and turn color, becoming a dark brown. Below the cone, the flower stem will change color from green to a lighter brown.

  • Remove the cone when it has become a dark brown and the stem has become a lighter brown. The cone can be removed by simply pulling it gently off of the stem. The cone contains the Rudbeckia seeds.

  • Place the cone on a plain paper plate. Put the paper plate on a shelf or counter, away from sunlight. Let the cone dry for several days.

  • Place the dried cone in a plastic or glass container and cover with a lid. Shake the container vigorously until the seeds have all been released from the cone. If the seeds do not release, the cone may not be dry enough. If it is not dry, set it aside again for a few more days. The Rudbeckia seeds are small, dark and look like splinters.

  • Make a homemade seed packet by storing the seeds in an envelope. Write the name of the flower and the date the seeds were collected on the envelope.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make a pretty seed envelope using your computer printer, and give the seed packets as gifts from your personal garden.

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