8 Companion Plants For Black Eyed Susan: Garden And Bouquet

red zinnia with black eyed susan

Finding the right combination of flowers to plant with your black eyed Susan plants is a thankfully easy task. Many plants grow well with it and look good while doing so. Planting the right combinations in the garden makes it easy to pick a beautiful bouquet from just one section of the garden, too.

Black eyed Susan’s companion plants should have similar growing conditions, complementary colors and shapes, and an overlapping bloom time to ensure a continuous show of flowers. Some examples of good companions are daisies, coneflower, yarrow, and cosmos, among others. 

As an added benefit, choosing a variety of flowers from this list will provide various shapes and colors for your flower garden, which will help attract pollinators and beneficial insects.

The best companion plants for black eyed Susan

To get the most bang for your flower buck, choose the right companion plants to go with your black eyed Susan flowers, also called rudbeckia. Here’s a chart for some at-a-glance information to get you started:

FlowerVarietyHeight (inches)Appearance
Shasta daisyCrazy Daisy24-30white double, frilly flowers
Alaska36-48white single flowers
ConeflowerEchinacea purpurea24-36magenta pink single flowers
Yarrow Summer Pastels24umbrella-shaped florets in pink, yellow, white
CosmosCupcakes Mix40-50fluted single flowers in pink and white
Double Click Cranberry42-46double flowers in cranberry red
ZinniaQueen Lime30-40round flowers in chartreuse and lime green
Profusion Series12-18small, single blooms in red, orange, and yellow
FeverfewMagic Lime Green28-36small sprays of light yellow flowers
GomphrenaStrawberry Fields18-28small round flowers in pink shades
SalviaHummingbird Forest Fire24-36spikes of blooms in deep red
Victoria Blue18-24spikes of blooms in blue-violet
There is no shortage of perfect companion flowers for black eyed Susan, aka rudbeckia.

Black eyed Susan and all of her companions, enjoy full sun to produce blooms from summer until the very last days of fall. They are all heat-loving plants, with some even able to withstand infrequent watering once established.

Average, well-draining soil is essential for all these flowers, including black eyed Susan. Wet roots from overly saturated soil will result in poor growth, and for some flowers, it will eventually kill them as their roots drown from lack of oxygen in the ground.

If you have to compromise and put your black eyed Susan in a slightly shadier location to find well-draining soil, then do that. You’ll have a happier plant.

Now into the details!

1. Daisy

Daises are great companions with black eyed Susan, and it’s little wonder considering they’re in the same plant family. Both flowers have similar growing habits, forming clumps of leaves and sending up tall stems with one flower each. They both also prefer average soil and full sun, with the reward being profuse blooms.

This garden bed is in front of my house. The white petals of Shasta daisies complement the rusty ones of black eyed Susan and it’s just stunning.

Shasta daisies, in particular, are a visual complement to black eyed Susans. With white petals and a yellow center that reflects the golden-yellow petals of black eyed Susan, these two flowers are a bit like mirror images of each other. 

Daisies grow two to four feet tall, so they are about the same height as black eyed Susan, depending on the variety. You can mix the plantings without fear of one variety shading out the other as they grow at about the same rate. 

Some daisies won’t bloom until their second season, but other varieties, such as Alaska, will reward you with flowers the first year. Both daisies and black eyed Susans bloom from summer to fall, so be sure to cut a few stems of both for a summer bouquet.

2. Echinacea

Also known as purple coneflower, echinacea is a heat-loving, daisy-like flower with the same shape as black eyed Susan. The most widely recognized variety, echinacea purpurea, or purple coneflower, has magenta-pink petals that grow out and down from a reddish-brown center cone.

Echinacea, or coneflower, and black eyed Susan get along perfectly on hot summer days.

Echinacea is a perennial, meaning it returns from year to year. Usually, perennials don’t bloom until the second year of growth. But depending on which variety you choose to grow, you might get blooms the first year if you start seeds early in the year and transplant them out as soon as the weather warms.

You can also buy your plants from the nursery, which will likely be old enough to give you first-year blooms. If you’re unsure whether your black eyed Susan will provide you with flowers in the first year, this post can help you with more information: Black Eyed Susan: First-Year Blooms And Other Flowering Questions.

When you plant echinacea and black eyed Susan together, you’ll eventually get large sweeps of plants since both flowers spread easily through root growth or self-sowing. This makes the combination great for areas you want to have low-maintenance plantings that take care of themselves.

3. Yarrow

Try yarrow for a companion plant that has an entirely different shape than black eyed Susan. Yarrow produces umbrella-shaped blooms, which are actually clusters of tiny flowers. Its fern-like foliage adds variety to the smooth edges of black eyed Susan’s oblong leaves, and there’s no shortage of colors to choose from.

The umbels of yarrow provide a completely different shape from the rays of black eyed Susan (and daisy) for a little variety in the vase.

As with other good companions for black eyed Susan, yarrow is a heat-loving plant that does well in full sun and average, well-draining soil. It is a perennial plant, but many varieties bloom during the first year, even when started from seed. The mature plants will reach about 30 inches in height, adding a fluffy understory to taller varieties of black eyed Susan.

I’m growing Summer Pastels in my garden this year, producing flowers in shades of cream, pink, and salmon. I’ll be interplanting the two flowers and picking small bouquets throughout the summer.

As a cut flower, yarrow is long-lasting in the vase and is an excellent filler, adding volume and subtle color to bouquets. In the garden, yarrow attracts many beneficial insects and pollinators that land on the broad umbrella of flowers to rest and feed.

4. Cosmos

Oh, cosmos. Is there anything you don’t do? Attractive to bees and butterflies, beautiful in the vase, and highly productive in the garden, cosmos are a jill-of-all-trades for any gardener. They’re also a fantastic companion to black eyed Susan.

Various shades of pink cosmos add delicacy to the black eyed Susan’s stems in the vase. This bed has already provided several bouquets for me.

Cosmos prefer poor to average soil since too rich soil will result in more foliage growth than flower production. They are happy with moderate water until they’re established, after which cosmos can tolerate less frequent watering, just like black eyed Susans.

There’s no limit to the different colors of cosmos, with varieties available in shades of yellow, white, pink, maroon, and more. There are also single and double-bloomed varieties, so you can find just the right shape to compliment your black eyed Susan blooms.

5. Zinnia

Much like cosmos, zinnias pack a wallop as companion plants for black eyed Susans. They’re available in practically every shade of the rainbow, so no matter the color scheme you want for your garden, you’ll be able to find a shade that fits.

red zinnia with black eyed susan
Pink zinnias are a fun pop of color with golden black eyed Susans.

There are also many shapes of zinnia flowers, from shaggy blooms to round ball-shaped flowers to small daisy-like blooms of Mexican zinnia.

Each of the different shapes adds a different look to your bouquet. The large ball-shaped booms of a Queen Lime share the spotlight with large black eyed Susan blooms, whereas the small daisy-like flowers of Profusion zinnia contrast with the larger blooms and make a great filler flower.

The growing requirements of zinnia are very simple: well-draining soil and a lot of sun. Zinnias are very tolerant of heat; dry, warm weather helps stave off the powdery mildew that often plagues them if the weather is too humid or if they’re planted too close together for sufficient airflow between the plants. 

With deadheading, you’ll get frequent regrowth and a continuous show of fresh blooms. Not sure what deadheading is? Check out this article to learn about it: Should you Deadhead Cut Flowers, Too?

6. Feverfew

Feverfew is a less common flower in the home garden, but it deserves a spot, especially when planted with black eyed Susan. This plant produces sprays of small flowers, but the diminutive blooms adorn a large plant that reaches around three feet tall.

The flowers look like miniature daisies, with some varieties showing a similar yellow center and rounded white petals. Other varieties have yellow both in the center and on the petals. Both color schemes go well with the golden yellow of black eyes Susan, whether in the garden or the vase.

Something to keep in mind with feverfew is that bees don’t like its smell and will avoid visiting areas where it’s planted. If attracting pollinators is important to you, skip feverfew as a companion plant, or site it away from other crops that need bees to produce vegetables or seeds.

Bees aren’t the only ones that stay away from feverfew; many damaging pests also keep their distance, so you could plant it as a protective crop if you have flowers vulnerable to pests pressure.

Despite its power to ward off bugs, feverfew is a strong companion plant with black eyed Susan, and they grow together easily.

7. Gomphrena

Another less common garden flower, but no less valuable, is gomphrena. Also known as globe amaranth, its blooms are shaped like big gumdrops. You can find varieties in a rainbow of colors, including red, pink, purple, and white.

As with all companion plants to black eyed Susan, gomphrena thrives in full sun, well-draining soil, and regular water. It will still perform well with infrequent watering as long as the plant has established itself. The plant produces blooms on long stems that are excellent for cutting.

In addition to having the long stems necessary for cutting, gomphrena flowers also last a very long time in the vase and make excellent dried flowers.

If you have extra flowers to cut before the end of the season, cut and tie small bundles of gomphrena to hang in a cool area out of direct sunlight, and you’ll have a bouquet of dried gomphrena to last you through the winter.

8. Salvia

Try salvia for a completely different shape than black eyed Susan that still complements the color. This plant produces spikes covered in small flowers. They’re an excellent visual contrast in the garden, especially when planted in dense sweeps of flowers.

Salvia will fit right in among black eyed Susan in the garden. This plant was eaten by slugs, so it’s still in the small recovery stage. Another slug victim, a daisy, is in this pot as well.

You can find salvia in various shades, from blue to red to white (and more!), so whether you prefer complementary or contrasting colors, you’ll find a salvia variety that works for you. Blue and purple salvia are beautiful to bees, but hummingbirds will go crazy for the red flowers.

Salvia is a tough plant. Once established, it will thrive in hot weather and with little water. Of course, you’ll still get blooms if your summer is cooler and wetter. It’s an adaptable plant, so don’t write it off just because it’s also a heat-loving plant. I’ve grown salvia in the temperate climate of Washington state (yes, where it rains all the time) and gotten plenty of blooms.

Salvia will grow as a perennial in some climates, but even in cooler climates, salvia will self-sow itself by dropping seed at the end of the season. So leave a few plants behind to propagate themselves to get a new round of flowers next year.

What else do black eyed Susans need besides company?

Companion plants aren’t all black eyed Susans need to grow well. Get all the details for healthy plants here: Black Eyed Susan: A Complete Guide To Growing.

Or, if you’ve already got a healthy patch, figure out what to do with them at the end of the season in this article, Know When To Cut Back Black Eyed Susan For Optimal Growth.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply