How to Separate a Black Eyed Susan Flower


Black-eyed Susan grows wild in fields and ditches across the U.S. Blooming in mid-summer, this hardy perennial is drought resistant and requires little care. Once planted, it spreads to new areas creating a natural planting that attracts both bees and butterflies. Cultivated varieties often produce larger blooms, but the yellow-orange petals and deep brown center remain the same. In the flowerbed, black-eyed Susan returns each year in larger clumps. Lifting and dividing the roots of established plants creates new plants identical to the parent plant.

Step 1

Divide black-eyed Susan in the fall after blooming for best results. If necessary, it can be dividing in early spring, but blooming may be inhibited.

Step 2

Dig around the base of the plant with a garden spade or fork--approximately 6 to 8 inches from the stalk.

Step 3

Slide the blade of the spade under the clump and lift the entire plant free of the soil.

Step 4

Shake gently to remove excess soil.

Step 5

Pull individual sections free of the root ball. Roots may be intertwined. Tease them apart with your hands. Each section should contain one or two shoots of foliage.

Step 6

Dig a hole twice as big as the root ball in the prepared garden bed.

Step 7

Spread the roots over the soil and fill in around the roots with soil. Position the plant to its original planting depth. Firm down to secure the plant.

Step 8

Water thoroughly to saturate the soil to the root level. Keep moist until new growth appears if planting in the spring. Otherwise, observe existing foliage for signs of wilting to determine its watering needs. Watering once every week or two during the fall is generally adequate.

Step 9

Cut dead or dying foliage back to the ground level in late fall. Mulch with a 2 to 3 inch layer of leaves or straw to protect from the harsh winter weather.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden spade/fork
  • Mulch (leaves/straw)


  • Iowa State University; When to Divide Perennials

Who Can Help

  • TAMU Extension: Black-eyed Susan
Keywords: divide black-eyed Susan, separate black-eyed Susan, propagate black-eyed Susan

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.