When to Move Black Eyed Susans

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Black-eyed Susans are hardy wildflowers that will tolerate many growing conditions.

Black-eyed Susans are wildflowers found in flower beds, along roadsides and in open fields throughout North America. These cheery wildflowers have daisy-like blooms of bright yellow petals, surrounding cone-shaped brown centers. If you want to move or transplant black-eyed Susans in your landscape, choose the right time of year to give them the best chance of surviving.


Reasons for Transplanting

Divide and transplant black-eyed Susans every three to four years to keep them at their best. Divide them before they begin to show signs of trouble, when they are still growing vigorously. Smaller leaves in the center of the plant, fewer blooms and weaker stems are the first signs you need to divide them. You may also want to divide and transplant black-eyed Susans when they grow too big for the space where they are planted, to prevent them from spreading into nearby plants.


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Timing of Transplanting

Divide and move black-eyed Susans when they are dormant, usually fall or early spring. Ideally transplant your black-eyed Susans in the fall so that their roots can establish before the winter weather arrives. This will also give them an earlier start in spring. Because black-eyed Susans are so hardy, however, you can transplant them anytime.



To divide your black-eyed Susan flowers, first cut back the plants so they will be easier to move. Then dig a trench around the clump you want to divide, beginning at the plant's drip line. Carefully cut down into the ground at an angle to sever the roots until you can lift the plant out of the ground. Using a spade, divide each clump into smaller plants about 20 or 25 percent of the original plant size, keeping only the healthiest parts of the plant. Place the divisions in a bucket in a shady location and cover them with dampened newspapers to keep the roots from drying out.



Soak the divisions in water for about an hour, if they dry out before you are ready to move them. When you are ready to move your black-eyed Susans, choose the coolest part of the day to reduce stress on the plants. Plant them in holes that are at least as wide as the roots so that that the roots don't need to be turned or twisted to fit. Leave enough space between the divisions so that their roots don't overlap. Once planted, water the transplants and keep them moist during the next few weeks while the roots become established.



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