Coreopsis

Coreopsis

Also known as: Tickseed

Also known as "Calliopsis", coreopsis is native to North America and is a member of the aster family. The word is from the Greek, meaning "bedbug" – it was named by Linnaeus because of the insect-like look of its seeds. The common name is tickseed. Coreopsis has been around for years and is a favorite in many North American gardens.

With wispy, sprawling leaves and big, bright flowers, coreopsis is known as the "cheerful flower". It comes in many varieties, including several dwarfs. The plant divides well and can be propagated from seed – the best time to do either is in fall or early spring. It can grow from 12-24 inches, depending on the conditions. Coreopsis has a tendency to spread, so maintain vigilant maintenance if you don't want it everywhere. It flowers in the late spring to early summer, with blossoms that range in color from light to dark gold or rarely, pink.

Coreopsis Growing Tips

Coreopsis grows well in full sun and will die if it's planted in cool, moist conditions. The soil should be sandy and well-drained, and the plant should be deadheaded regularly to extend the flowering season and prevent invasive spread. Plant the coreopsis seeds about 12 to 18 inches apart in the spring. Coreopsis prefers a medium wet soil, so water frequently.

Recommended Varieties

Coreopsis has many cultivars, and different types of flowers can be found in this family. Some popular varieties include "Pink Tickseed", which is a rare variety of coreopsis with pale pink blossoms; "Mouse-eared Tickseed", which grows well in rock gardens and borders; and "Thread-leaf Coreopsis", which is an attractive, finely-flowered plant that provides bright clumps of color in an island garden.

Landscape Design Tips

Coreopsis does well planted in a wildflower garden or meadow garden and makes a lovely clumping border plant. If you want to add height to your garden, some varieties of coreopsis will provide this for you.

Gardening Zones

Coreopsis is hardy in zones 3 to 8.

Problems & Pests

Coreopsis occasionally can suffer powdery mildew, fungal spots and blights, bacterial spots, slugs and aster yellows. No serious insect or diseases are normally experienced.