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The Gloriosa Daisy

More commonly called Black-eyed Susan, the Gloriosa Daisy is a prairie weed turned into garden delight. The surprising fact is that they’re not actually daisies!

Closeup of Gloriosa daisy flowers.
The sunny, cheerful Gloriosa daisy.

Their yellow and golden beauty can reliably be spotted wherever they grow year after year—whether wild in meadows across America, or carefully curated in your backyard’s landscaping. Read on to discover more about what makes the Gloriosa Daisy just so special!

History of The Gloriosa Daisy

In the seventeen hundreds, the creator of the plant binomial system, Carl Linneaus, named the genus (the plant categorization between species and family) of the Gloriosa Daisy Rudbeckia in honor of Swedish botanists Olaus Rudbeck. Linneaus then named the species of the Gloriosa Daisy hirta, meaning rough or hairy, undoubtedly for its fuzzy stems and leaves. Thus the Gloriosa Daisy’s latin name is Rudbeckia hirta and it’s actually a sunflower!

The flower is native to northwestern America, and its spread throughout the rest of the continent happened by accident in the early 1830s, when the flower’s seeds were mixed with a delivery of clover and hayseed heading east. The Gloriosa Daisy can now be found throughout North America, and even parts of China.

Mass planting of Gloriosa daisies.

Characteristics of The Gloriosa Daisy

The Gloriosa Daisy is a lovely perennial flower that blooms from summer into early fall. Its flower head resembles that of the typical daisy, with a round center and delicate lance-shaped petals arranged in a rosette. The round center, however, is dark (inspiring the name Black-eyed Susan) and the petals range from bright yellow to a bicolored orange-gold, though the yellow variety is the most dominant.

The entire plant can grow between one to three feet tall, though some dwarf varieties exist that keep it shorter than that. Its leaves are between two and four inches (the lower ones are usually bigger than the top leaves) and the plant spreads across an average of eighteen inches. The Gloriosa Daisy is tolerant to the cold, frost, and is even deer-resistant. It’s an overall hardy and stubborn plant!

The Gloriosa Daisy in Your Home

Why Plant the Gloriosa Daisy?

Besides the splash of color that will liven any garden, the Gloriosa Daisy is a low-commitment plant that is very easy to grow and maintain. Plus, just like other variations of the black-eyed Susan, it will attract pollinators like butterflies and bees.

A honeybee on a Gloriosa daisy.
Gloriosa daisies attract beneficial insects like bees.

Planting and Growing a Gloriosa Daisy

If you plan on planting directly into your garden (rather than in a pot), avoid the edges of lawns, because grass fertilizer might cross contaminate the garden and often contains too much nitrogen for the Gloriosa Daisy. Besides this, the Gloriosa Daisy can grow in many different soil types (didn’t we tell you it’s a stubborn plant?) but definitely prefers wet and moist earth. Make sure there is good drainage!

The Gloriosa Daisy thrives in full sun and consistent warmth, but you can also expect a full bloom in partial shade. To plant, disturb the soil with a hoe or rate, then sprinkle the seeds on top, and cover with a very thin layer of new soil. Keep the soil extra moist before germination. Once planted, you’ll spot its little sprouts in about one to two weeks. They’re fast growers!

Gloriosa daisies.

If you’re a planner and want to get a head start on growing your Gloriosa Daisies before the season is warm enough to plant them outside, you can plant them in pots indoors about six to eight weeks before the last frost of the winter, and then transplant the mature plants. Remember that even if you grow them indoors, they still need lots of sun! Find a sunny, warm spot next to a window.

When transplanting, make sure to dig up a four inch radius around the plant and that the hole where you plan on replanting it is big enough for its roots. We don’t advise keeping the Gloriosa Daisy as a permanent indoor plant. It just grows too big!

The Gloriosa Daisy is very easy to maintain. To encourage more blossoming and avoid self-seeding, you should cut deadheads frequently. The full grown flower is relatively drought resistant, though it will perform best with regular watering. This means you should plant its seeds in early spring so that it has time to grow before the hot weather rolls in.

A Monarch butterfly on a Gloriosa daisy flower.

Pests and Diseases

As mentioned earlier, the Gloriosa Daisy is pretty resistant to insects and disease. Potential pests and diseases, however, could include aphids, goldenglow sawfly, four-lined plant bug, and more. If they occur, you can treat them early with insect repellents and fungicide.

In the fall, you might also spot a new flash of yellow among the flowers of your Gloriosa Daisy! Goldfinches—black and bright yellow birds—are known to eat the flowers’ seeds. Its up to you whether to consider them pests!

Buying Gloriosa Daisy Plants or Seeds

The seeds of this flower are easy to find both in store and online. But if you’d rather save the hassle and buy a mature plant instead of having to plant and grow it yourself, Gloriosa Daisies should be readily available during the appropriate season at your local gardening store or plant nursery. They’re also available for purchase online.

Home Décor with Gloriosa Daisies

Because of its height and sturdy stem, the Gloriosa Daisy is a great choice for cut flower arrangements, and you’ll often spot them in whimsical summer bouquets.

A mixed arrangement of flowers including Gloriosa daisies.
Gloriosa daisies in an informal flower arrangement.

Since they’re technically considered a weed and easily grown just about anywhere, it’s difficult to find a pre-made bouquet with Gloriosa Daisies in stores, but it’s just as easy to make one yourself! Just find a tall vase and sprinkle in other colorful, long-stemmed flowers along with your beautiful Gloriosa Daisies.

Add a Splash of Yellow to Your Garden With Gloriosa Daisies!

Originally from the American Northeast, these prairie weeds have truly turned into a summer garden staple thanks to their simple beauty and easy maintenance. But don’t forget that they’re not actually daisies!

Closeup of Gloriosa daisies.

To find out more about actual daisies, you can read our daisies blog, and explore the rest of our site for great tips on how to grow and maintain a lovely garden.