In love with Rudbeckia

Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)August 12, 2005

I've never been fond of gold or orange or even goldish yellow, but I swear I've fallen in love with Rudbeckia. I'm gaga over Double Gold, especially two variations I have now, one so double and thick it looks like a mum, and one double with pale green centers. But I also like the spiky Chim Chiminees and some of the lighter Cherokee Sunsets. Even Indian Summer is pretty impressive. The one I'm not too fond of is Prairie Sun, which is (of course) the only one the customers want. All of them are somewhat perennial here and produce like crazy, but the customers just don't want any of them, except Prairie Sun. I can't sell a bunch of Indian Summer to save my life. Very few Double Gold will sell, and NO Chim Chiminees or Cherokee Sunsets. I'm going to pull out all but the Prairie Suns and maybe just a couple of Double Gold (the mum and the green-centered one). What's wrong with all the customers? Or is there something wrong with me??? Does anybody else love Rudbeckia?


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Jeanne, I'm with you. I love them in every variety they come in and I can't get enough. I just planted a rudbeckia triloba which is a gorgeous shrub-like one. It would be no use for you in your business but it sure looks gorgeous in my garden. Adele

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 8:00PM
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On the contrary. We use alot of Rudbeckia tribola in our late summer bouquets -- today actually. It's a wonderful little spray of flowers. Growing for Market also mentioned this flower as a cut in the June 2005 edition. Rudbeckia bunches alone (any type) wouldn't sell well at our markets. They must be in the mixed bouquets.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 9:11PM
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Oh that is very interesting. I planted it this summer actually so it is still small but as lovely as can be. I am excited to see what it will do next year then. Thanks...Adele

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 9:53PM
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kfuerst27(z6 CT)

I also love rudbeckia. I've been growing Double Gold for several years. It has reseeded itself and crossed with others. I have Indian Summer, some Cherokee Sunset and Irish Eyes also. When I picked today, I sadly made a point of picking very few rudbeckia. I sell everything in mixed bunches, and I'm tired of hearing even one person comment about my "wildflowers." I didn't pick any echinacea, either. Now that my other flowers are blooming in full force, I can make enough bunches without them. But they sure are cheerful, and I don't think that some people appreciate their staying power in a bouquet. My husband commented this evening that the flowers and bouquets I made today are my best ever. I have to agree. That's owing to my gorgeous glads, and perhaps to the absence of my "wildflowers." I'll keep growing them, though, and they'll continue to be the workhorses of some of my early season bouquets. I usually make a few bunches of only rudbeckias, and they usually all sell. But most people still want zinnias and asters and glads and snapdragons (which I can hardly bear to think about--it was going to be the year of the snapdragon, but that's another story...).


    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 10:55PM
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What you are saying, Kelly, is that most people want a mixed bouquet. Maybe it is a Midwestern thing; but, customers love the wildflower look in bouquets. The snapdragons usually tire out in the heat.
And, because we have a large glad bulb grower in the area who also sells the cutflowers at market, customers prefer their glads straight up.
They don't want them in a mixed bouquet. They will, however, buy a couple bunches of glads and a mixed bouquet.
Customers may buy grower's bunches of the snapdragons once, maybe twice; however, they want them in the mixed bouquet. Zinnias are the workhorses in most cutflower operations. These flowers are at their best this season............

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 5:08AM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

The customers here vastly prefer mixed bouquets also, and I use the rudbeckia in them, but I always have a lot extra. Once I've used up the "main events" for the bouquets, I put whatever is left into grower's bunches and sell them from buckets. That's what hasn't been moving. Today's market made a liar out of me, though. All the rudbeckia bunches sold, rather early. But I did put some of the green-centered flowers in each bouquet instead of segregating them as I always have in the past, and I didn't even cut any Indian Summer or any of the darker types. You live, you learn.

Just for contrast, people don't buy the wildflower look at all here.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 2:15AM
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Last year I told my big florist that I had Indian Summer and she told me they were boring. I brought them to her anyway and the designers loved them. Next thing I knew I was selling them 600 a week @ .50 a stem. I'll take that kind of boring any day of the week. My Prairie Suns are looking pretty pathetic this year because I neglected to weed them for so long so they are really tall on wobbly stems. I'm gonna just let them go to seed and then sow even more next year. All of the Rudbeckia's mix well with the Zinnias in our prairie boquets.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 9:36PM
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Glad to hear someone else admits to not weeding!...Ann

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 8:26AM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

Geez, I wish I could magically transport all my Indian Summers to Steve's place ....


    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 11:51AM
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msgreenjeans(8 OR)

I love browns, golds and oranges and they seem to be selling well. Last Saturday I mixed the fat double Rudbeckia with brown amaranth, solidago and a few bright orange crocosmia stems. I think the novelty of the amaranth sold them.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 1:50PM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

I too love rudbeckia! However, I agree with you all! Sometimes bunches of them sell fine, other times they must be mixed in with other things. I have sold them with Crocosmia Lucifer and Emily McKenzie and that helps. I haven't tried with amaranthus...great idea! I might try with my wheat too.

A side note...I'm having a horrible time getting them to "last" - and I think it is really due to the lack of water earlier in the year. I've been really paying attention to them and watering them deeply and trying to keep them deadheaded. But, this is their 3rd they get less reliable the longer they're there? Last year I had them last 2 weeks in bouquets! Not this year, I'm tossing buckets of them away...ugh! And, they're conditioned "properly" in buckets w/preservative for a few hours prior to being arranged.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 4:17PM
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Wendy, The rudbeckia need to be cut early in the morning, and placed in a commercial hydrating solution -- Crystal OVB. Then, they need to be moved up to a holding solution -- Crystal Professional 2. They're in this for at least 24 hours. The preservative doesn't condition them in any way. After we make bouquets, we'll put the flowers into a preservative. And, preservative packets always go home with the purchased bouquet.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 5:44PM
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"But, this is their 3rd they get less reliable the longer they're there?"

Yes they do. Many Rudes are short-lived, and some are biennial. You can refresh the short-lived perennials, like the double golds, by dividing them. I don't know if that's practical for market growers, considering they do so well from seed. My doubles reseed furiously, and I leave some, prick some for better spots, and just plain pull some. I wintersowed a flat this year, and got nearly 100% germination. I have no room for 64 new double rude plants, so they're all sitting in larger pot-up cells, waiting for me to find someplace to put them. The good part of that is that I have them sitting (and blooming) on the boardwalk along the canal. Over the weekend, I sold 12 half-gallon plants for $5 each. They left in boats.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 7:22PM
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I don't know if that's practical for market growers, considering they do so well from seed.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 9:02PM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

Thanks for the responses to my I cut them at night and don't have the hydrating formula - any other tips? I'll get some hydrating formula...but until then?? I can't yet cut in the mornings...have to go to my other job then!! Is their a formula for hydrating solution like Jeanne's preservative one? I have also learned to cut them before they're fully "open", that seems to help!


    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 7:01PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Don't recall who was in charge of the Wintersowing 2010 season but I rec'd in the swap a pkt. of Double sun-gold rudbeckia seeds from a Sue Cirisin(not sure if correct spelling of her last name)but that plant is so full of blooms this year. When it first started putting out buds in early spring, Bambi had a midnight snack off of those buds and I was afraid it wouldn't bloom again but it has bounced back and I love it..

If Sue is still a gardenweb member, I'd like for her to email me because I need to Thank Her for the seeds and find out where she purchased the seeds or if she collected them off her own plants. It is very similar to Tiger's eye variety but I don't think Tiger's eye has the double layer of petals.

You'll find my email address by clicking on "My Page."
Something is eating holes in the leaves and I don't see any Japanese beetles around it and no signs of slug's slimy trail. I keep seeing some little pest flying around, almost looks like a baby dragonfly..anybody have any idea what insect it could be from my description?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 9:28PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Pippi, you may want to post this over on the winter-sowing forum as well. If this Sue is still a GW member, and she sent you seeds to WS, chances are she is over there perhaps more than here.

And yes, I am definitely in love with rudbeckia - ALL of them! And especially this year, as they are really the stars of my garden this year!


    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 5:23PM
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