Your Guide to Planning, Planting, and Growing Coreopsis
Coreopsis are sun-loving, low maintenance perennials with daisy-like flowers. These North American native plants are drought tolerant, long-blooming and happy to grow in relatively poor soil. Coreopsis are commonly known as tickseed, due to the unusual shape of their seed capsules.
Plan for Success
Coreopsis may be started from seed or you may purchase nursery-grown plants. Longfield Gardens provides bare root plants that usually start producing flowers several months after planting.
Sun and Shade: Coreopsis grow best in full sun. The plants may also be grown in part shade, but will not bloom as prolifically. They tolerate hot sun and high temperatures.
Soil Conditions: Coreopsis prefer well drained soil and don't mind if it's stony and low in nutrients. In some parts of the country, the plants can be found growing in open meadows or along the side of a road. Once established, they are drought tolerant.
Hardiness: Both of the native species, Coreopsis grandiflora and Coreopsis verticillata, are winter hardy in growing zones 4-9. Cultivars of coreopsis that are hardy in zones 4-9 include 'Zagreg', 'Moonbeam', 'Sun Up' and 'Presto.' Some of the newer cultivars are less hardy and may not survive cold winters. In these areas, the plants are typically grown as annuals.
How to Grow Coreopsis
Coreopsis grandiflora and Coreopsis verticillata are native to North America and have yellow or gold daisy-like flowers. The foliage of Coreopsis grandiflora is deeply-lobed and lance-like. Coreopsis verticillata has fine, lacy foliage and is often referred to as threadleaf coreopsis. Both have a mounding growth habit and reach a height of 1 to 2 feet.
In recent years, breeders have introduced many new cultivars of coreopsis with flower colors that include pink, white, peach, red and burgundy, as well as attractive bicolors. These new options include 'Satin and Lace Red Chiffon', 'Lil Bang Enchanted Eve', 'Limerock Ruby', 'Cherry Pie' and 'Mango Punch.'
Bees and butterflies are attracted to coreopsis during the summer, and birds love to snack on the seed heads during fall and winter. Deer generally don’t bother coreopsis.
What to Expect
Coreopsis typically bloom in early summer and then flower on and off until frost. To encourage reblooming, snip off the spent flower heads or simply shear back the entire plant after the first flowering.
Both Coreopsis grandiflora and Coreopsis verticillata spread by rhizomes and are also self-seeding.
In areas where coreopsis is perennial, the plants may need to be divided or replaced every 3 to 5 years.