Gloriosa daisy 'Cappuccino' can be a thriller in garden
Share with others:
I'll come right out and admit it -- I am a gloriosa daisy freak, and my predictions are that the new 'Cappuccino' will make you one, too! 'Cappuccino' has been around a couple of years but is still new to most gardeners in the United States. Hopefully its rise on the popularity charts will be rocket-like.
Gloriosa daisies are also known as black-eyed Susans and rudbeckias, but to be honest, gloriosa daises does them more justice as they are without a doubt the showiest plants in the garden this time of the year.
Botanically speaking they are known as Rudbeckia hirta. Varieties such as 'Indian Summer' and 'Prairie Sun' gained legend status as All-America Selections Winners, and then 'Denver Daisy' rocked the world as it made its debut for the 150th anniversary of Denver.
'Cappuccino' is not without honor either as it has garnered the prestigious European Flueroselect Gold Medal. The plants are bushy, reaching 20 inches in height, and absolutely loaded with large 4-inch blossoms. I suspect many are approaching the 5-inch width. The flowers are golden yellow with a rusty crimson or mahogany.
Rudbeckia hirtas have the opportunity to be short lived perennials, but most gardeners treat them as annuals. You'll notice they are good about reseeding, but the subsequent flowers, though showy, may or may not look exactly like the parent. On the other hand you may see some you think are just as showy. But even treated as an annual like a petunia or marigold, rudbeckias still represent one of the best buys for your gardening dollar.
Like all rudbeckias you will find 'Cappuccino' to be a favorite in the pollinator garden or backyard wild habit. Bees and butterflies will be regular visitors, and then you'll notice that songbirds come to feast on any available seeds.
'Cappuccino' is also well suited in designer artistic containers. It will function as a dynamic thriller or center plant. You'll want to partner it with complementary colored flowers such as 'Suncatcher Sapphire' blue petunias or 'Summer Wave' torenias. Add a touch of a grassy element, and you'll have a stunning decorative piece for the porch patio or deck.
Rudbeckias perform best in full sun with fertile well-drained soil. Tight compact clay or soggy soil yields less than satisfactory results. So if you find yourself in this situation incorporate 3 to 4 inches of organic matter such as compost, peat or humus before planting. While many plant shoppers have a tendency toward instant gratification and buy them already in full bloom, you'll find them acclimating to your landscape better if you buy a transplant just comprised of healthy foliage that is still actively growing.
Space your plants 18 to 24 inches apart planting at the same depth they are growing in the container. Because these are tall plants, you'll want to place them to the middle or pack of the border. Plant them in bold drifts versus spot planting. They are the idyllic cottage garden flowers and look great in combination with spiky blue flowers. Some of my favorite partners are the 'Blue Fortune' agastache and the taller 'Mystic Spires' blue salvia. For a shorter partner try the 'Blue Princess' verbena.
I hope you will get on board and include rudbeckias like 'Cappuccino' in your garden!
First Published August 4, 2012 12:00 am