Tidy up rudbeckia?

Tin potTin pot Posts: 723
Hi all,

Part if the reason I got rudbeckia was that the seed heads would give structure to garden during winter...but to my eye they just look bedraggled and messy!

Should I tidy these up, (and if so, how?) or they meant to look like this?




  • AlchemistAlchemist OxfordPosts: 174
    Yes they do look like this. Last year I removed them as they were planted new and were small and looked grubby. This year Ive left them as they are around 4 feet and looks nice. If you don't like the look, you can cut them down all the way to the ground. 
  • lilysillylilysilly Posts: 386
    I would say please leave them as they are. I ignore mine and each winter they are visited by a small flock of goldfinches who then feast on the seeds. It's a beautiful sight to see if you're lucky to see it. Other birds will visit them too. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 53,131
    The goldfinches love them here too ... it just means we have to adopt a different mindset and be open to the beauty of those dark mahogany stems and chocolate drumsticks.  :)

    will those containers look look any better with the stems chopped off ? 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Tin potTin pot Posts: 723
    Oh I be not seen any wildlife interest in them so far.

    i was more thinking of taking the leaves off or something so the stems and seedheads were clearer - I’m not sure, hence the question.

    But chopping them off isn’t on the table :)
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 1,897
    I just would leave them as they are.
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 3,135
    You could just take the leaves off gently -then the seed heads would look more structural and tidier.
  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 8,068
    Mine look just like that, and get visited by tiny wrens feasting on the seedheads.  I’ll cut them back early spring 💛
    We did not inherit the earth from our grandparents.  We’re borrowing it from our children.
  • Tin potTin pot Posts: 723
    Lizzie27 said:
    You could just take the leaves off gently -then the seed heads would look more structural and tidier.
    Okay, I’ll give it a whirl.

    If it goes wrong, I’m looking to grow some from the seeds anyway :)
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 880
    Wish mine even looked like that as it would mean that they had flowered! Plenty of foliage this year but not one flower! Obviously I must have neglected them in some way  :(
  • batwood14batwood14 Posts: 94
    Hi Fran - two principal reasons, one - too much nitrogen in the soil so leaf at the expense of flower (are you feeding them) two - may need dividing - I divide mine every two years. I started with 4 plants and now have 24 plants and having to give them away.
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