Boasting cheery, daisy-like yellow flowers, coreopsis brings sunny color to the summer garden.
Add it to butterfly and border gardens, or put it in containers or small rock gardens where its compact habit is attractive. This undemanding plant needs only occasional deadheading to encourage continual blooming, but otherwise is maintenance-free. Look for newer cultivars with interesting color variations and semi-double flowers.
Common name: Tickseed
Botanical name: Coreopsis spp.
Plant type: Annual or perennial, depending on species
Height: Varies by species
Zones: 3 to 9, depending on cultivar
Family: Asteraceae (Composite)
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Soil: Well-drained, average to poor, sandy soil
Mulch: Apply a thin layer of organic mulch to deter weeds.
Fertilizer: If needed, apply a balanced fertilizer in spring.
Pruning: Deadhead to encourage more flowering.
Species and cultivars
Coreopsis ‘Autumn Blush' (pictured) is a 2006 introduction. It has daisy-like, light yellow petals with dark red centers. It grows 26 inches tall and is hardy in Zones 4 to 9.
C. ‘Crème Brulee' has lemon-yellow blooms. It grows 20 in. tall and is hardy in Zones 5 to 8.
C. grandiflora ‘Early Sunrise' is often grown as an annual and has semi-double, yellow flowers. It grows 18 inches tall.
C. lanceolata likes poor, sandy, or rocky soils with good drainage. Because it tolerates heat and drought, it's a good choice for wildflower gardens. It grows 2 feet tall and is hardy in Zones 4 to 9.
C. ‘Moonbeam', a perennial Plant of the Year, has lemon-yellow flowers from early summer to fall. Because of its fine-textured foliage and long bloom period, this tickseed is good for summertime containers. It grows 18 inches tall and is hardy in Zones 4 to 8.
Coreopsis rosea is the only tickseed with pink rays. It needs more consistently moist soil than other species and performs poorly in heavy clay soils. In optimum growing conditions it can be invasive. It grows 1 to 2 feet tall and is hardy in Zones 3 to 8.
C. ‘Sweet Dreams', a hybrid of C. rosea, has petals with dark pink centers and lighter pink edges. It grows 15 inches tall and is hardy in Zones 5 to 9.
C. verticillata has yellow flowers and grows 18 to 36 inches tall. Zones 3 to 9.
Combine with dianthus, chrysanthemums, bellflowers (Campanula carpatica), and blanket flowers (Gaillardia spp.) for season-long color.
If foliage sprawls during the growing season, prune foliage and flower stems to encourage new growth.
Under optimum growing conditions, coreopsis may reseed and become aggressive. Deadhead spent flowers to discourage excessive spreading.
Slugs and snails feed on plants occasionally.
Powdery mildew, Botrytis flower blight, and fungal spots occur.
Crown rot may develop in poorly drained soils.
Sow seeds of annuals in spring to early summer.
Divide perennials in early spring.
All in the family
The Asteraceae family is one of the largest, with more than 20,000 species. Common perennials and annuals in this family include yarrow (Achillea spp.), golden Marguerite (Anthemis tinctoria), aster (Aster spp.), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), marigold (Tagetes spp), and zinnia (Zinnia elegans).