Coreopsis (Tickseed)

Bloom all Summer and into Fall

Coreopsis has become one of the most popular perennial plants. Tickseed (Coreopsis) is native to North America and will grow in Zones 2-10. These plants are spread by rhizomes but are also self-seeding. A mature plant can be as tall as two feet and equally as wide. Most coreopsis has thin leaves with the flowers held above the foliage, giving the plant a light and airy feel. Tickseed flowers are daisy-like and while many gardeners think of the bright yellow flowered varieties, coreopsis also comes in shades of pink to magenta, as well as many brilliant bicolored varieties. Some of the newer varieties have larger flowers, up to 3-1/2 inches across.

Coreopsis has an unfortunate common name of tickseed, since the rounded seeds look similar to ticks. Today, most gardeners have known the plant as coreopsis, so the scientific name has evolved to also become its common name.

Once established, the coreopsis plant is very drought tolerant and is often used in xeriscaping. This plant likes well-draining soil. Water your plant once a week to encourage deep roots. Plant coreopsis in full sun and enjoy flowers from early summer and into fall.

This is a very low maintenance plant. There is no need to fertilize these coreopsis unless your soil is very poor. If you feel the plant needs a boost, add a little compost around the plant in spring. The plant can be deadheaded to prevent self-seeding, but most gardeners simply shear the plant. It will soon recover and send up a new flush of flowers for you to enjoy.

Butterflies and other pollinators love coreopsis and will add to the pleasure of these plants. In the winter, the birds will enjoy feasting on the seed heads.