Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

Black-eyed Susan in the garden

Dried Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susans are native to North America and were commonly used among various Native American tribes across the plains for treating colds and healing snake bites. Black-eyed Susans are also a great plant for attracting pollinators and butterflies.

Black-eyed Susans can be directly sown indoors after the last frost, or 10 weeks indoors before the last frost. Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep into soil and thin out seedlings to 6 to 12 inches apart. Keep seedlings moist, but when plant has matured, it can tolerate drought. Black-eyed Susans prefer full sun but can tolerate partial sun.

Flowers, leaves, and stems can be used for dying, however the brightest color is achieved by using gardening shears to cut of the heads of the flowers and using a high concentration of the blossoms to the weight of fabric.

Fabric should be mordanted before dyeing with Black-eyed Susan.

The fresh or dried plants work well with bundle dyeing as well.

Dye concentrate recipe:

12 grams dried Black-eyed Susan

32 ounces water

Simmer mordanted fabric in dyestuff for 1 hour at 140° Fahrenheit.

Let fabric soak in dye bath for 24 hours at room temperature, then strain and rinse.