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Viette’s Little Suzy Black-Eyed Susan
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Pure sunshine. Viette’s Little Suzy Black-Eyed Susan will light up your beds and borders with masses of joyful golden yellow coneflowers in summer. Their dark purple-brown centers make the gold color glow even brighter. Only half the size of regular Black-Eyed Susans, this cutie is perfect for edging a sunny pathway, fronting a perennial border, or covering up the “ankles” of taller Spirits that get bare at the base. Not only is Little Suzy a prolific bloomer, but it’s simple to grow, too. Even beginning gardeners will have success with it. No green thumb required!
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
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This species of Black-Eyed Susan is a native wildflower that grows throughout much of the eastern U.S., from Massachusetts to Florida and as far west as Wisconsin. It provides nectar and pollen for insects and seed for birds, and for those reasons, it’s a must for meadow gardens and for wildlife-friendly spaces of all types. Viette’s Little Suzy is a special pint-sized version of the original that was discovered at Viette Nurseries in Fishersville, Virginia, in 1990. Viette Nurseries was founded by Martin Viette, who came to this country from Switzerland in 1920 at the tender age of 16 to be a gardener’s apprentice. Little Suzy was introduced by Martin’s grandson, Mark Viette.
Under favorable conditions, Viette’s Little Suzy Black-Eyed Susan will spread, giving you extra blooms that you can use to make wonderful bouquets for the table. The stems are just long enough to make perfect cut flowers. Cutting them will encourage new flower buds to form, so more blossoms will follow!
How to Grow
Viette’s Little Suzy is an adaptable, easy-going Spirit, but does best in a full-sun position in rich but well-drained soil. Water it regularly—about once a week if there’s no rain. The bloom period may be extended by diligent deadheading (trimming the spent flowers off). You may want to leave the end-of-season seed heads standing over the winter, both for some visual interest and for bird food. Cut all dead stems and foliage back before growth resumes in spring. Black-Eyed Susans love heat and may be slow to get started in the spring.
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