Red Rudbeckias – yes, really!

March 30th, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy'

Not the sort of colour we usually expect from rudbeckias, is it?! And you probably think that, when you grow it, it’ll turn out to be more mahogany than red. But no, this really is a red rudbeckia.

The result of fifteen years dedicated breeding and selection, the red colour was lurking there behind the chestnut and the mahogany but it took all those years to select it out.

I grew ‘Cherry Brandy’ for the second or third time last year. It proved prolific and colourful in the garden with tall white antirrhinums behind and with blue annual phlox in front, and was long lasting when cut. The dark-eyed, two-tone red daisies were not all exactly the same colour, they varied a little from plant to plant, but the overall effect was lovely.

The plants needed support, though. I found that a single 60cm split cane set closely behind each individual 45cm plant, with a couple of loops of twine, supported the plants well without them looking too trussed up.

Late in the autumn, after the last flowers had faded, I cut the plants back to about 5cm and left them in the ground to see if they’d survive the winter. I’ve just been out to check on them and, after the two doses of snow, all the plants are developing new green shoots!

I’d suggest ordering seeds or plants of Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ now, before it’s too late.

Leave a Reply

Is one of our best known gardening writers. A graduate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Graham was previously Gardening Correspondent of The Observer.
Read more.

Archives

Shop Online

Graham’s Books