Height Guide For 10 Popular Black Eyed Susan Varieties

red and orange single rudbeckia flower

If you’re planning out your flower bed for the year and you will include black eyed Susan, you’ll no doubt be able to find one that grows to the right height for the spot you’ve picked out. From short varieties that barely reach one foot tall to towering six-foot shrubs, black eyed Susan grows to various heights across many varieties.

Black eyed Susan grows to heights of 15 to 60 inches tall. The most commonly grown varieties such as Cherokee Sunset, Prairie Sun, and Indian Summer land somewhere in the middle at 24-36 inches tall. To help plants reach their optimal height, grow them in well-draining soil and full sun.

With such a broad range, you have your pick of which to include in your flower bed. Dig into a height chart and some growing tips to determine the best choice for your garden.

What is the height of black eyed Susan flowers?

There are black eyed Susan varieties of too many different heights to give just one answer. To summarize the wide range of plant heights, use the table below to compare varieties and their growth habit.

VarietyAppearancePlant height (inches)
Amarillo Goldgolden yellow petals, green center12-18
Orange Fudgetwo-tone single flowers in copper and yellow, brown center15-20
Carmeldouble and semi-double flowers in copper, pink, and yellow20
Saharadouble and semi-double flowers in rust, rose, and copper20
Cherokee Sunsetdouble flowers in orange, copper, and yellow, brown center20-24
Cherry Brandysingle flowers in cherry red, brown center20-24
Chim Chimineeflowers have tubular petals in bronze, orange, yellow, brown center24-30
Prairie Suntwo-tone single flowers in orange and yellow, green center36
Indian Summersingle flowers with solid golden yellow petals, brown center36-42
Rudbeckia trilobasmaller yellow flowers, brown center48-60

Black eyed Susan height varies among different varieties

The average height for black eyed Susan is right around three feet tall. Short varieties will top out at about 20 inches, while the tallest plants may get to almost six feet tall. Choose a variety that will fit your requirements depending on the space available in your garden and how you want to arrange your beds.

If you’re looking for a shorter variety to tuck into smaller spaces or line the front of your flower bed, then you’ll find a range of colors in the 12-20 inch tall range.

Amarillo Gold (12-18 inches) will provide the typical golden-yellow petals on semi-double and double blooms, giving a puffball effect to the flowers. Orange Fudge (15-20 inches) has darker yellow-orange petals with a ring of copper around the center of the flower. It actually looks a bit like a gloriosa daisy, another type of black eyed Susan.

Amarillo Gold Black Eyed Susan flowers
Amarillo Gold black eyed Susan

Speaking of different types, if you’ve ever heard of black eyed Susan called Rudbeckia, don’t get confused. It turns out they’re the same flower. Black eyed Susans get called by many other names, and I had to do some research to get it all straight.

If you’ve run into this too, jump over to this article to get it all sorted out: Is Black Eyed Susan The Same As Rudbeckia? (Plus other lookalikes)

Carmel and Sahara (20 inches) look different from the typical golden-yellow black-eyed Susan flower. These varieties have petals in antique shades of rose, rust, copper, yellow, and pink, which adds beautiful variety to the flower garden and the bouquet.

Carmel black eyed susan flowers in shades of pink and yellow
Carmel black eyed Susan

All varieties of black eyed Susan make excellent cut flowers, by the way, so don’t forget to pick a handful for yourself or a friend.

Coming in at around two feet tall are two varieties with similar colors but completely different petal shapes. Cherokee Sunset (20-24 inches) has bushy blooms with double rows of petals. Chim Chiminee (24-30 inches) has quilled petals that look like they are rolled into narrow tubes. The flowers of both varieties are orange, golden-yellow, and bronze colors that exude fall vibes.

Cherry Brandy (20-24 inches) is the first, and only, deep red black eyed Susan (what a mouthful) that complements the other fall-hued flowers beautifully.

If you’re looking for a midheight variety with a green center, try Prairie Sun (36 inches) for something unusual. Or stick with the classics and grow Indian Summer (36-42 inches), the quintessential black eyed Susan with gold petals and a dark brown center.

Finally, if you need a tall variety with a bushy, branching growth habit, try the small flowers of Rudbeckia triloba (48-60 inches). The height makes up for the small blooms, as the plant is covered in blooms from summer to fall.

Rudbeckia triloba with small yellow flowers
Rudbeckia triloba

As you can see, the combinations of height and color are vast and open up your garden to any possible scheme or layout.

Help Black eyed Susans reach their full height with optimal growing conditions

You can help your black eyed Susan reach their mature height by providing them with their preferred growing conditions. Fortunately, black eyed Susan isn’t a picky plant, and all it asks for is a well-draining site and full sun.

The flowers are forgiving of poor soil and will positively thrive if planted in average soil. Soil that is too rich will result in lush vegetative growth and slow down flower production, so save your most compost-rich beds for other plants that need the extra nutrition.

As easygoing as black eyed Susan is about soil, it is temperamental about having wet feet. If the flowers are planted in soil that doesn’t drain well, they are more likely to develop root rot from a lack of oxygen in the ground. Root rot will kill the plant unless the moisture issue is fixed.

Do yourself and your plants a favor, and don’t drown them. Instead, find a well-draining area, or plant them in containers if your garden gets bogged down regularly with heavy rainfall.

Black eyed Susans prefer to get full sun throughout the day, meaning at least six hours of sunlight, if not more. They can grow well in partial shade, but the tradeoff will be slower growth and fewer blooms. Ideally, site your black eyed Susans where they will get at least eight hours of full sun per day, and you’ll be rewarded with healthy growth and buckets of blooms.

Read more about how to grow your flowers in this article: Black Eyed Susan: A Complete Guide To Growing.

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