How to Grow Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy

Rudbeckia hirta Cherry Brandy is a fabulously glamorous plant. With huge crimson red blooms with a hint of golden brandy colouring and a long flowering period these plants are a great addition to the late summer garden. They are brilliant for cut flowers, to attract bees and butterflies or simply enjoy them in your beds and borders.

Rudbeckia are easy to grow from seed. They are Half Hardy Annuals so they are best started off indoors. If you love these plants I recommend sowing twice, first at the beginning of March and then again at the end of April. Plant out the well established young plants when all danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm… usually from May inwards here in the UK. Then you’ll have lots of glamorous flowers all summer long from July until the first frosts in October.

Cherry Brandy Rudbeckias grow to around 60cm / two feet tall so it’s great for the front of a border where you can allow it to encroach on your garden path if you like that natural relaxed look. Alternatively grow three plants in a large container in a sunny spot… make sure they don’t dry out or your plants will suffer, they love moist soil.

You may know Rudbeckias as the Cone Flower or Black Eyed Susan. Both of these common names describe the distinctive button centre of these flowers which is usually dark brown or black. As the flowers age the centre becomes raised forming a cone. Like most Half Hardy Annuals these are lovely plants to grow for late summer and autumn flowers in your garden. They will go on flowering until the first frosts and your bees and butterflies will love them too.

Plant Name                 Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’

Plant Type                   Half Hardy Annual

Height & Spread        60cm/2 feet Tall x 30cm/1 foot wide

Sow Seeds                   Sow seeds indoors in March and April at 16°C-18°C and cover lightly. Grow on in 9cm pots. Plant outside after the last frosts from May onwards 30cm/1 foot apart.

Conditions Required   Rudbeckia like full sun and moist but well drained soil. Make sure that the soil does not dry out or your plants will suffer

Flower Production       Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy takes 12-14 weeks from seed to flower then produces blooms for a good three months.

Picking                         Pick flowers and dead head regularly to encourage production of new blooms.  Cut flowers last up to ten days in a vase if you change the water frequently.

Plant Combinations     The deep red blooms of Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy combine beautifully with autumn grasses and other Rudbeckias such as the golden yellow Rudbeckia Irish Eyes and Rudbeckia Marmalade.


Are you growing Rudbeckia this year?  I’d love to know what you think about these long flowering plants. Which is your favourite?  

Growing information for many seeds is freely available at in the SHOP and on the RESOURCES page.


8 thoughts on “How to Grow Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy

  1. I still think of the Echinacea as coneflower, and the yellow Rudbekia as black-eyed Susan. It seems odd to refer to a red Rudbekia as either. It is like a red black-eyed Susan.

  2. Thank you for the reminder to get some seeds for this gorgeous plant, and for the tips! I can’t tell you how long I’ve been meaning to add these to my garden.

    I’d never thought to stagger the starting dates for seeds. What a brilliant idea for extending the bloom times! How will I remember this? Please pop me a reminder next spring! LOL

    1. Thanks Leah. Staggering sowing dates is great for lots of annual flowers, especially if you’re growing flowers for cutting. Rudbeckia are looking their best here right now, they are amazing! Of course I will remind you to sow them in spring.

  3. These are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing them. I just may have to add them to my garden next year.

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