Do you deadhead coreopsis

Growing Coreopsis: How To Care For Coreopsis Flowers

Coreopsis spp. may be just what you need if you’re looking for lasting summer color after most perennial flowers fade from the garden. It is easy to learn how to care for coreopsis flowers, commonly called tickseed or pot of gold. When you’ve learned how to grow coreopsis, you’ll appreciate their sunny blooms throughout the gardening season.

Coreopsis flowers may be annual or perennial and come in a variety of heights. A member of the Asteraceae family, blooms of growing coreopsis are similar to those of the daisy. Colors of petals include red, pink, white and yellow, many with dark brown or maroon centers, which makes an interesting contrast to the petals.

Coreopsis is native to the United States and 33 species are known and listed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service of USDA on their website’s plant database. Coreopsis is the state wildflower of Florida, but many varieties are hardy up to USDA plant hardiness zone 4.

How to Grow Coreopsis Plants

It is equally easy to learn how to grow coreopsis. Simply seed a prepared area of un-amended soil in spring in a full sun location. Seeds of coreopsis plants need light to germinate, so cover lightly with soil or perlite or simply press seeds into moist soil. Keep the seeds of coreopsis plants watered until germination, usually within 21 days. Care of coreopsis may include misting the seeds for moisture. Sowing plants in succession will allow for an abundance of growing coreopsis.

Coreopsis plants may also be started from cuttings from spring to mid-summer.

Care of Coreopsis

Care of coreopsis is simple once flowers are established. Deadhead spent blooms on growing coreopsis often for the production of more flowers. Growing coreopsis may be cut back by one-third in late summer for a continued display of blooms.

As with many native plants, coreopsis care is limited to occasional watering during extreme drought, along with the deadheading and trimming described above.

Fertilization of growing coreopsis is not needed, and too much fertilizer may limit flower production.

Now that you know how to grow coreopsis and the ease of coreopsis care, add some to your garden beds. You’ll enjoy this reliable wildflower for long lasting beauty and the simplicity of how to care for coreopsis flowers.


Because it has so many redeeming qualities, we’re willing to overlook the origin of tickseed’s scientific name, coreopsis.

It comes from combination of two Greek words: “koris,” meaning bedbug, and “opsis,” meaning view.

Paints a pretty picture, doesn’t it? Well, while the etymology may not be lovely, the flower certainly is.

Growing natively throughout the Americas are varieties in bright and pale yellow, white, red, and all sorts of combinations thereof. Most are characterized by attractively toothed petals.

Commercial breeders have extended the color palette of this butterfly favorite by developing varieties that display a rainbow of colors: pink, deep red, orange, purple, and lavender.

Let’s learn more about this prairie and woodland beauty.

We Swear They Don’t Bite

You may have guessed how this aster family member got its common name. Its seeds, small and dark, are said to look like ticks.

Tickseed can be a perennial or an annual, depending on the variety and where it is grown. Various types do well in USDA hardiness zones 4-10, and coreposis prefers warm weather.

This upright plant can grow to be as tall as four feet, but many varieties are about a foot tall. The plant can spread anywhere from 12 to 36 inches.

It sprouts its flowers on wiry stems above the foliage. Different varieties bloom at different times, but in general you can count on this generous plant to produce profuse flowers from early spring until late fall.

But I Want All the Colors!

While there are more than 30 naturally occurring varieties of coreopsis in the United States, commercial breeders have developed numerous fanciful cultivars, much as they have for another native American jewel, echinacea.

C. grandiflora ‘Early Sunrise’ is a particularly attractive cultivar, exhibiting bright yellow, semi-double blooms.

Early Sunrise Coreopsis

You can find Early Sunrise at True Leaf Market.

Floridians — whose state wildflower is coreopsis — may wish to add C. leavenworthii to their gardens.

Leavenworth’s Tickseed Seeds

Purchase this variety from Everwilde Farms via Amazon.

‘Red Elf’ is a stunning dark-red variety that does well in zones 5-9 and grows up to 12 inches tall. It thrives particularly well in containers.

‘Red Elf’ Coreopsis Seeds

You will find Red Elf from Romence Gardens via Amazon.

Plains coreopsis, also known as golden tickseed, is in attractive bi-color variety that can grow as tall as 36 inches.

Plains Coreopsis Seeds

Find plains coreopsis at Seedville, via Amazon.

Sun and Not Much Else

While this attractive bloomer most definitely has a preference for full sun, it is considerably less particular about soil type. It will grow in acidic, slightly alkaline, sandy, or loamy soil, or even clay.

Oddly, it does not do well in highly amended soil. So save your compost for other plants and let coreopsis make do with what’s available.

Plant from nursery seedlings or from seed. Plant seeds no more than one-eighth of an inch deep; they need sunlight to germinate.

Water seedlings or seeds regularly for a couple of weeks — an inch per week. As the plants mature and become established, they will tolerate drought conditions and only need water if it hasn’t rained for 1-14 days.

To keep tickseed flowering, you must deadhead, or cut away spent blooms. But that’s about all the attention you need to pay to these hardy beauties.

Coreopsis do just fine with no fertilizer. If you really feel like you must, scatter half a handful of general purpose, slow-acting granular fertilizer on the soil around the plants in the spring, and call it done.

Neglect these deer-resistant plants and they will still reward you with lavish amounts of attractive flowers. And, as a happy bonus, they reseed quite copiously.

Plagues Be Gone

You will want to keep an eye out for a few diseases that can trouble tickseed.

Aster yellows is one such problem. Caused by bacteria spread by leafhoppers, aster yellows phytoplasma cause plants to be stunted and turn yellow. Coreopsis flowers may develop green or elongated petals.

To prevent aster yellows, use diatomaceous earth or insecticidal soap to keep leafhoppers at bay.

Powdery mildew, root rot, blight, and rust can be treated with a fungicide.

If you suspect wilt — your plants will wilt, turn brown, and die — remove infected plants. Don’t plant varieties that are susceptible to this disease in your area.

We Can Overlook the Name

Magnanimous with its daisy-like blooms, easy-care coreopsis is certainly worth considering for a wildflower or prairie garden.

With an artist’s palette of colors to choose from, you’re sure to find a variety that complements your landscape.

Setting aside its queasiness-inducing common name, tickseed is certainly a plant you should consider for your garden.

What do you think about this American native? Willing to try it in your yard? Share your thoughts below, in the comments area.


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Photo photos via Trueleaf Market, Everwilde Farms, Romence Gardens and Seedville. Uncredited photos: .

About Gretchen Heber

A former garden editor for a daily newspaper in Austin, Texas, Gretchen Heber goes through entirely too many pruners and garden gloves in a year’s time. She’s never met a succulent she didn’t like and gets really irritated every 3-4 years when Austin actually has a freeze cold enough to kill them. To Gretchen, nothing is more rewarding than a quick dash to the garden to pluck herbs to season the evening meal. And it’s definitely time for a happy dance when she’s able to beat the squirrels to the peaches, figs, or loquats.

How to grow: Coreopsis

The colour is bright and just what is needed on glaringly sunny days, and they can hold their own in front of the showiest kniphofias, crocosmias, cannas and dahlias. What is more, in recent years, a number have been bred to flower in their first year from seed.

The two most popular species are Coreopsis verticillata and C. grandiflora, and there are also a dozen or so related garden-raised cultivars.

Coreopsis verticillata has divided leaves, so narrow as to be almost thread-like, and branched stems, about 2ft tall, which are topped by golden yellow flowers, which are very attractive to bees, from July to September. This is a reliable and long-lived perennial, with a daintiness that C. grandiflora lacks.

The most commonly grown cultivar is ‘Moonbeam’, which has very attractive, prolifically borne, lemon-yellow flowers and grows to about 20in tall.

‘Grandiflora’ has larger flowers on an upright-growing plant. There is also a compact variety, called ‘Zagreb’ with golden flowers, which is useful for a large container. The close relationship between coreopsis and bidens can be seen most clearly in ‘Zagreb’, with its ferny leaves and short habit.

Coreopsis grandiflora is a sturdier plant, with rather broader, strap-shaped, bright green leaves, and very golden flowers, up to 2½in across. It grows to about 2ft tall and is not generally long-lived. It is often represented in gardens by ‘Mayfield Giant’, which grows to 3ft tall, has a very long flowering season and is excellent for cutting. ‘Astolat’ has single, golden flowers with a brown blotch at the base of the petals.

Among those that will bloom in their first summer, there are the semi-double-flowered, 18in-tall ‘Early Sunrise’, the dwarf double, ‘Sunray’, and the single-flowered ‘Heliot’. ‘Early Sunrise’ and ‘Sunray’ are similar, with large, bobble-head yellow flowers, while ‘Heliot’ is rather more sophisticated, having ragged-edged deep yellow petals, and a ring of mahogany-brown around the centre of the flower.

If you would prefer not to have golden yellow flowers, ‘Limerock Ruby’ is ruby red and C. rosea ‘American Dream’ is pink.

How to Grow

Coreopsis should be planted in late spring. Coreopsis grandiflora likes a soil with some moisture in it, and a sunny aspect, while C. verticillata prefers a light, free-draining soil, preferably in sun.

These perennials flower best and longest if they are deadheaded: shear back the flower stems to side growths or even down to the base rosette in late July or August, and they will flower into the autumn. In late September, cut them right back again.


‘Moonbeam’, ‘Astolat’, ‘Mayfield Giant’ and other cultivars, which are variable if grown from seed, should be propagated either from basal cuttings or divided in spring.

The species can be grown from seed, of course, as can the first-year bloomers. If growing from seed you need to start these off under glass in February. Divide C. grandiflora and its cultivars every two or three years, otherwise you risk losing them in winter.

Good companions

Coreopsis verticillata is particularly well suited to a gravel garden planting, and will associate well with Stipa tenuissima and other grasses, as well as Californian poppies and furry-leaved verbascums. Coreopsis verticillata and ‘Moonbeam’ look good with the blue, summer-flowering nepetas, such as Nepeta nervosa, as well as blue or purple salvias, such as Salvia patens and Salvia ‘Purple Majesty’.

The more robust-looking Coreopsis grandiflora and its varieties can hold their own among the brightest red and yellow crocosmias, brilliant orange and red kniphofia, and the bronze-red helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ or ‘Rubinzwerg’.

Buy Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’ from the Telegraph Gardenshop.

Coreopsis is a pretty, resilient flowering perennial plant available in numerous colors with several interesting petal and leaf features.

Surprisingly, you can easily grow coreopsis in your own garden or landscape.

You may have also heard about this lovely native plant referred to as “tickseed coreopsis” because of the tick-like appearance of its seeds.

There are more than 100 different species of coreopsis, or tickseed flower. Some are annual and some are perennial.

In this article, we will focus mainly on the perennial varieties that are most often used to add color and beauty to the yard and garden.

We will also share vital information on selecting, planting, growing, and caring for coreopsis in your landscape. Read on to learn more about growing coreopsis.

Rugged & Versatile

Available in a variety of colors and heights, it is easy to find coreopsis that will blend in and highlight the best in your landscape.

This wildflower is drought tolerant and thrives in most types of soil but a well-drained soil is.

Treated as a bedding flower and provide regular deadheading of the old flowers, you can count on these cheery daisy-like flowers to produce abundant blooms from spring to autumn in zones 3 through 8.

As native perennial plants, coreopsis are considered wildflowers. They do well in different settings and make wonderful additions to border beds, old-fashioned cut flower beds, and even herb and veggie gardens.

Coreopsis is an excellent choice for naturalizing and wild-scaping.

They also make a nice “cover crop” for your bulb garden as they emerge and bloom early in the spring and provide cover and protection for the soil until your bulbs come to fruition.

You may also like the Bidens Plant a Coreopsis Look A Like

They Grow Like Weeds!

If you are new to gardening or if you simply prefer a care-free, set-it-and-forget-it style of garden, you could not make a better choice than coreopsis.

These plants like sandy soil with ample sun exposure. They do very well with little water and little (if any) fertilizer.

Water deeply, occasionally during drought conditions. For the most part, coreopsis does fine with rainfall once it is established.

The main concern is to be certain your soil drains well. Coreopsis are more sensitive to soggy soils than most plants. Waterlogging will inevitably lead to root rot.

You might want to fertilize when you plant your plants, but once they are established, they should do quite well with an occasional mulching using organic compost.

Excessive nutrients in the soil will result in leggy, spindly plants.

As a native plant, coreopsis tends to spread quite readily. It’s a good idea to dig up your plantings every third year to thin them out and separate the roots a bit.

This can be done very early in the springtime, prior to blooming, or late in the autumn after the blooming season is over.

Enjoy Bounteous Blossoms!

For color and beauty throughout the growing season, coreopsis is an excellent choice. It will pop up early in the spring and bloom with great abandon all summer long.

This means you can always count on having plenty of interest and appeal in your landscape, even as your other plants wax and wane.

To encourage more blooms, be sure to deadhead your plants regularly during the spring and early summer months.

You may notice a lessening of blooms in midsummer. If so, you can encourage more blooms and a late autumn bloom with a little dramatic pruning.

Prune off several inches of your coreopsis plants in a uniform manner.

This will leave you with attractive foliage color for a while, but it won’t be long before your plants produce more buds and begin to bloom again.

Coreopsis’ leaves are visually appealing on their own. The foliage usually grows in a lush, bushy clump beneath the blossoms.

The leaves look rather fern-like, and some are variegated or display interesting configurations.

Coreopsis Care: Naturally Hardy

You needn’t worry about diseases or pest problems with coreopsis. Like most native plants, they have strong resistance to illness and predation by insects.

Still, it is a good idea to be vigilant. Examine your plants frequently and take care of problems immediately when they arise.

You may occasionally have some trouble with aphids, but if you catch them early enough, you can just knock them off with a blast from the water hose.

Propagating Coreopsis

If you want to grow your plants from seed, wait until the soil is reliably 70 degrees. With proper care, your plants should prosper; however, you should not expect blooms in the first year if you plant from coreopsis seeds.

It is best to plant from established roots, and indeed, some species must be planted from root stock. For example, this is the only way to plant Moonbeam Coreopsis, which is a sterile hybrid cultivar.

When you plant from roots, you may find yourself rather puzzled as to “which end is up.” If the roots you are working with are difficult to decipher, don’t despair.

Just dig your planting hole wide and shallow and lay the roots down horizontally.

Cover them with about one inch of soil and let them sort it out. Before you know it, you will see your coreopsis plants breaking through the soil surface.

Provide Light, Seasonal Care

Late Autumn

At the end of the growing season, you will want to trim your plants back for the winter. You shouldn’t cut them back all the way, though. A few inches of stem left in place will help protect the root crowns. You can also mulch with chopped leaves and/or a good organic compost to protect the roots of your plants throughout the winter.

You may wish to simply leave the foliage and any coreopsis flowers that remain in place for the winter. The foliage and stems dry in place to a cinnamon color that can be quite attractive. Seed-bearing plants left in place in the autumn help provide food for birds and squirrels in the wintertime.


When springtime comes again, you can cut back your dead stems and foliage and prepare your plants for the new blooming season.

If you have had a dry winter, you may wish to water deeply. This is also a good time to divide your plants and/or add new plants to your garden.

Remember that new plants will need more water than established plants. Keep a close eye on them and provide water the moment you begin to see signs of distress (e.g. wilting).


During the summertime, check your plants every day and remove spent blossoms. Doing this daily will increase the number of blooms your plants create.

Remember to prune back by one-quarter to one-half inch mid-to-late summer to attain more beautiful blossoms in the fall.

Happy Companions

Coreopsis makes an excellent companion plant for most annual and perennial flowering plants. Some very excellent choices include:

  • Coneflowers
  • Delphiniums
  • Day Lilies
  • Alliums

Other native plants and wildflowers naturally do well alongside coreopsis. Some suitable choices include:

  • Mango Meadow Bright
  • False Indigo
  • Echinacea

Your herb garden would also look cheery with a border or backdrop of coreopsis and/or a few pretty specimens scattered throughout.

Coreopsis make natural plant additions for your butterfly garden.

Varieties to Choose From

No matter how large or small your yard or what type of plants you have, there’s sure to be a type of coreopsis that is just perfect for your setting.

From short, compact, bushy varieties to larger sizes that are tall, erect types, to sprawling ground covers, there is no shortage of choice.

Most coreopsis plants grow to be about two feet tall; however, this is just a general rule of thumb.

There is quite a bit of variety, thanks in no small part to the fact that a great number of hybrid varieties have been created.

Best Choices In Coreopsis

  • Snowberry is a cultivar that grows to be about three feet high and two feet wide. It presents a striking color pattern. The flowers are a creamy white and highlight a deep burgundy center.
  • Pinwheel is a cultivar that grows to be nearly three feet high and spreads to a width of two feet. It features novel curved petals that make it look like a pinwheel. The flowers are a pale yellow that provides an attractive appearance in any garden setting.
  • Autumn Blush grows to be about three feet tall and spreads approximately two feet. It has light yellow flowers with deep red centers.
  • Coreopsis Moonbeam flower or Coreopsis verticillata is easy to grow. It is a sterile cultivar that does best in very poor soil. In fact, it is ideal for rocky and sandy soil. It is such an enthusiastic grower that it borders on becoming invasive even in the face of drought, high heat, and oppressive humidity. Moonbeam was voted the Perennial Plant of the year in 1992. It grows to be approximately two feet high and wide. Its foliage is delicate and looks a great deal like ferns. The copious blossoms are pale yellow.
  • Sunray is an excellent choice for an abundance of bloom. The golden yellow flowers are quite large (up to two inches across). They make marvelous cut flowers. This variety is available in semi-double bloom or double bloom variety. This sturdy perennial grows to be 18 inches wide and 18 inches high.
  • Sweet Dreams has lovely pink flowers that display a deep purplish-red center. It grows to be 12-18 inches high. This variety is a real standout with its unusual coloring. It is so stunning that it can be used as a specimen plant or the centerpiece of any focal point in your garden. It makes an excellent container plant, and it also looks spectacular blanketing a field.
  • Crème Brulee has soft yellow flowers. The foliage is a yellowish-green shade. It grows to a height of 12-18 inches. Unlike other types of coreopsis, this plant produces blooms the full length of the stem. Other varieties produce blossoms at the top of the plant on long, thin stems.
  • Tequila Sunrise has bright yellow blossoms and pretty, variegated foliage. This plant reaches both a height and width of 12-16 inches.
  • Little Sundial is a dwarf coreopsis plant that only grows up to 10 inches high and 10 inches wide. Its blooms are a cheery yellow and feature a dark center.
  • Nana is sometimes called “dwarf-eared” or “mouse-eared” because its leaves are small and lobed. This plant spreads like a ground cover and only grows to be two-to-four inches high. It presents a pretty blanket of deep green leaves and abundant yellow flowers from early spring to early fall.
  • Other coreopsis species you may consider having include Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis or lanceleaf tickseed), Coreopsis grandiflora (Large-leaf tickseed), and Coreopsis tinctoria (Golden tickseed plant).

Grow Coreopsis: A Rewarding Addition To Your Yard Or Garden

All-in-all, “tickseed” is a reliable and useful plant in any garden. It is carefree and rewards your little efforts with gorgeous, abundant blooms for nearly half the year.

In addition to the beauty the plants themselves bring to your garden, the flowers of these hardy natives are irresistible to valuable pollinators and beneficial to insects such as butterflies and bees.

Because of its drought tolerance, coreopsis can help you overcome several gardening challenges.

For example, if you need a rugged, yet beautiful, plant to surround your mailbox, coreopsis is your guy! If you want to create a colorful field or a pretty roadside, look no further!

Likewise, if you want a tough, drought-resistant, attractive plant for the planter on your hot, sunny deck, you couldn’t make a finer choice.

If you need off-season color in your bulb garden, plant a cover crop of coreopsis. The uses go on and on and are really limited only by your imagination.

Coreopsis — A Top 10 Favorite

  • By Pat Chadwick
  • /
  • July 2016-Vol.2 No.7
  • /

If asked to name the top 10 perennials likely to be found blooming in my mid-summer ornamental garden, my list would include Coreopsis. Why? There’s something profoundly appealing and upbeat about seeing its masses of yellow blossoms scattered throughout the landscape. Commonly known as tickseed (because the seeds vaguely resemble ticks), this native plant is one of the best-selling perennials in garden centers. Its list of attributes is long: in addition to being very attractive, it tolerates heat, humidity, drought, deer, rabbits, and shallow, rocky soil. Bees and butterflies love its nectar. Goldfinches and other small birds love its seeds. It blooms profusely and has a longer bloom time than most perennials. It makes a great addition to container gardens and is a long-lasting cut flower in floral arrangements.

There’s only one drawback to Coreopsis: It tends to be short-lived and unreliably perennial. Many gardeners complain that it dies out after just two or three years. Other gardeners note that some selections self-seed all over the garden and pop up in unexpected places every spring. Despite these issues, this old favorite continues to be well loved and is widely planted or replanted year after year.

Recognizing both the merits and drawbacks of Coreopsis, renowned plantsman Darryl Probst and others instituted a number of hybridization programs to improve the genus. Results of plant trials, most notably a three-year trial conducted between 2012 and 2014 by the Mt. Cuba Center botanical garden in Delaware, confirm improvements made to the species through these hybridization efforts.

With so many extensively hybridized selections on the market to choose from these days, it helps to step back and gain a basic understanding of Coreopsis types and species.


A member of the Asteraceae (aster or daisy) family, the Coreopsis genus consists of about 100 annual and perennial species. They are either clump forming or rhizomatous. Most Coreopsis species fall into the clump forming category. Unfortunately, these tend to be short lived and some members of this group are best treated as annuals. The rhizomatous species have greater longevity and are more reliably perennial.

A sampling of the clump forming and rhizomatous species of Coreopsis often found in garden centers throughout the Mid-Atlantic include:

  • C. auriculata (Lobed or Mouse-Eared Coreopsis) – This rhizomatous species has orange-yellow blossoms and oval-shaped leaves. It spreads rapidly by rhizomes as well as seeds and forms creeping clumps that are 2 to 3 feet tall when in bloom. ‘Nana’, a dwarf cultivar, is half that size and considered one of the best of the genus. Two popular C. auriculata cultivars, ‘Jethro Tull’ and ‘Zamphir’, have open-ended, fluted ray flowers.
  • C. grandiflora (Large-flowered Coreopsis) – This clump-forming species blooms early in the season and repeat blooms throughout the summer. Although not reliably perennial, lasting only 2 or 3 years on average, it has a strong tendency to self-seed and may pop up throughout your gardens as a happy surprise.

    Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Baby Sun’

    Great for cottage-style gardens, it pairs well with Echinacea, Gaillardia, Liatris, and other “informal” perennials. Some hybrid selections with C. grandiflora as one of the parents include ‘Early Sunrise’ (which is an All-America Selections Winner), ‘Sunray’, ‘Baby Sun’, and ‘Sundancer’.

  • C. lanceolata (Lanceleaf Coreopsis) – This clump-forming species is very similar to C. grandiflora with its large 2-1/2” golden-yellow flowers, but it is a little shorter and has lance-shaped leaves that appear mostly just at the base of

    Coreopsis lanceolata

    the plant. Although it doesn’t produce as many flowers as C. grandiflora, it is a longer lived species. It blooms in late spring, is more reliably perennial than some of its cousins, and is the most common Coreopsis species found growing wild along roadsides. It readily self-seeds and can form sizable colonies.

  • C. rosea (Pink Coreopsis) – This is the oddball of the Coreopsis family. Whereas its cousins are predominately yellow and prefer average to dry soil, this species has pink flowers with yellow centers and prefers moist soil. Also, it has a rhizomatous growth habit and is reliably perennial in clay-based soils. Like its cousins, it is prone to powdery mildew but the disease is not so obvious on its narrow, ferny leaves. Because of its pink coloration and reliability as a perennial, C .rosea is used extensively by hybridizers to broaden the Coreopsis color palette.
  • C. tripteris (Tall Coreopsis) – Just as its common name suggests, this rhizomatous species is much taller than other members of the genus. Ranging from 4 to 8 feet in height, it produces clear yellow flowers from mid-summer through early fall. It tolerates dry soil but grows taller in moist soil. This aggressive seed sower has a tendency to sprawl and is best used in a wildflower or prairie-style garden setting.
  • C. verticillata (Threadleaf Coreopsis) — Referred to in Armitage’s Garden Perennials as “the tough guy of the group,” this rhizomatous species, also called whorled tickseed, has very fine,

    Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb’

    ferny-looking foliage and strong stems and sports profuse clusters of delicately hued flowers. It typically grows in a dense, bushy 1 to 3 foot tall clump and is reliably perennial even in our clay soils. Award-winning ‘Moonbeam’, ‘Crème Brulee’, and ‘Zagreb’ are included in the long list of cultivars with C. verticillata as a parent.

If you go into any garden center in pursuit of Coreopsis, you’ll likely be confronted with a huge array of hybridized plants that belong to series or sets. A few of the series are described below. Coincidentally, these four were all developed by master Coreopsis breeder Darryl Probst:

  • ‘Big Bang’ Series — The ‘Big Bang’ series sets little, if any, seed. They put all of their energy into producing flowers. Some of the plants belonging to this series grow to 24” or taller, including: ‘Cosmic Evolution’ (creamy white flowers suffused with magenta), ‘Cosmic Eye’ (deep red with golden yellow edges), ‘Mercury Rising’ (large single red flowers), and ‘Galaxy’ (semi-double yellow).
  • Coreopsis Li’l Bang ‘Daybreak’

    ‘Li’l Bang’ Series – This is a sub-series of the Big Bang series and expands the color palette with hues ranging from brilliant white to rosy pink. Members of this series bloom earlier than the Big Bang series.

  • ‘Ka-Pow’ series – This series is similar in appearance to the Big Bang series but more compact (up to 20” tall). The large 2-1/2” flowers change colors with the seasons. ‘Ivory’ (cream color flowers blush with magenta in cooler temperatures), ‘Lemon’ (yellow flowers blush red in fall), and ‘Cerise’ (burgundy flowers with paler edges). All have good resistance to powdery mildew.
  • ‘Leading Lady’ Series – This mildew-resistant series consists of three cultivars: ‘Charlize’, ‘Sophia’, and ‘Lauren’. The blossoms are sterile, which means the plants will bloom all summer on 10” to 12” stems and don’t need to be deadheaded. All three bloom in a color that is more true yellow than the species.

In addition to the perennial form of Coreopsis, there’s an annual form, C. tinctoria, which is commonly known as plains coreopsis or golden tickseed. This is a charming wildflower with yellow and red bicolor flowers. Originally native to the Great Plains and the southern U.S., it has naturalized throughout much of the eastern U.S. and is frequently included in wild flower seed mixes.

Coreopsis tinctoria

Like its perennial cousins, the annual form of Coreopsis has also been hybridized to produce plants that are more compact, floriferous, and colorful than its wild parent. Two particularly charming hybrids are ‘Salsa’, a compact 15” tall selection with yellow and red bicolor flowers, and ‘Jive’, a compact selection with bicolor blossoms that have dark red centers and white edges on the petals.


Coreopsis is a versatile plant suited to beds and borders, cottage gardens, and naturalized areas.

  • Scatter them throughout the ornamental garden for bright punctuations of color.
  • Team them with the spikier shapes of Veronica, Liatris, and Salvia to add texture to your landscape.
  • Pair the bright, cheerful yellow selections with contrasting blues or purples for a classic color combination.
  • Combine with Echinacea (coneflower), Hemerocallis (daylily), Monarda (beebalm), Achillea (yarrow), and Gaillardia (blanket flower) in an informal meadow setting.
  • Plant in masses or drifts for blocks of color.
  • Use the airy threadleaf species to soften the appearance of bold-leaved plants.
  • Combine the annual species with tall spiky accent plants and trailing “spillers” in a seasonal container garden.
  • Plant in butterfly gardens to attract skippers, buckeyes, painted ladies and the occasional monarch.


  • Light: Coreopsis prefers full sun (six or more hours of direct sun per day). While it can thrive in part shade, it won’t flower as well.
  • Water requirements: Keep newly planted Coreopsis watered while it is getting established. Once established, it is drought tolerant although it will appreciate a drink of water during really hot, dry weather. C. rosea is an exception, preferring consistently moist soil.
  • Fertilizer: Fertilizer is generally not required and, in fact, may cause the plant to look spindly. If you fertilize at all, apply a light application of a balanced granular 10-10-10 formula in early spring.
  • Soil Preparation: Research indicates that a sandy, well-drained soil is ideal for Coreopsis. However, it will tolerate most soil conditions as long as the soil is well drained. This is absolutely critical in winter when our heavy, clay-based Virginia soils retains moisture. To solve the problem, add compost to flower beds to improve drainage and slightly mound the planting site so that the soil will drain faster.
  • Deadheading: Deadheading may not be your preferred way to spend your spare time, but the practice does promote more Coreopsis blooms well into the growing season. It also helps prevent the plant from expending all its energy into setting seeds. As you deadhead, remove both the spent flower and the flower stalk. By cutting the stalks back to the foliage, you will have a much tidier looking plant.
  • Shearing: As flowering slows down in mid-summer, shear the plants by 25% to 50% to encourage re-blooming. Shearing will sacrifice some of the flowers and buds in addition to spent blooms, but the plant should be in full bloom again within a couple of weeks.
  • Dividing: To maintain vigor, divide every two or three years in spring or early fall. Water newly transplanted specimens regularly until they become established.
  • Late Summer Care: Coreopsis produces so many flowers that it simply wears itself out. To help prevent this, cut the plants back by half or more in late summer. This may help improve its chances of surviving winter.
  • End of Season Care: The lazy gardener will be glad to know that it’s not necessary to cut Coreopsis back in the fall. In fact, the stems help protect the crowns in the winter. If, on the other hand, you like your garden nice and tidy, then cut the stems back part way, but leave 6 to 8 inches of stems in place. Clean dead leaves and other debris that can harbor pests away from the crown and apply a layer of compost around the plant. A light layer of mulch applied in late fall around but not over the crown will help protect the roots from extremes in winter temperature.


Coreopsis may be propagated by seed, division and cuttings.

  • Seed — Most species Coreopsis may be grown easily from seed, which germinates quickly and results in plants that are generally true to type. Many of the hybrids are sterile and do not produce seed. Coreopsis selections with sterile flowers must be propagated vegetatively (either by division or by cuttings) in order to obtain plants that are true to type.
  • Division — Divide plants in early spring before the foliage emerges. This method works for both the straight species and for cultivars.
  • Cuttings — C. grandiflora selections may be propagated vegetatively by stem cuttings. They are easy to root, provided you can get enough of the plant material to do a stem cutting.


In ideal growing conditions (full sun and well-drained soil), Coreopsis is mostly trouble free. Powdery mildew is its biggest problem, though it is often not serious enough to warrant treatment. Consistently damp weather may cause a variety of problems for this plant, including slug or snail damage and fungal spots in addition to powdery mildew. Poor drainage can cause crown and root rot.


Accept the fact that, for the most part, Coreopsis tends to be a short-lived species. This is particularly true of C. grandiflora. However, many promising new hybrids have been developed with the goal of improving its reliability. Also, changing the conditions under which we grow this plant can prolong its life and prepare it for winter survivability. These include amending and slightly mounding soil to improve drainage, deadheading regularly, dividing the plant every two or three years, and leaving the foliage in place over winter to protect the crown from freezing temperatures. In addition, keep in mind that rhizomatous species are generally better adapted to withstand extremes in soil moisture than clumping species.


Armitage’s Garden Perennials, Second Edition (Armitage, Allan M., 2011)

“Coreopsis for the Mid-Atlantic Region,”

Flora of Virginia (Weakley, Alan S., Ludwig, J. Christopher, Townsend, John F., 2012)

Herbaceous Perennial Plants, A Treatise on their Identification, Culture, and Garden Attributes, Third Edition, (Armitage, Allan M., 2008)

Lady Bird Johnson Wild Flower Center, The University of Texas at Austin, Native Plants Database,

The Perennial Care Manual (Ondra, Nancy J., 2009)

The Well-Tended Perennial Garden (DiSabato-Aust, Tracy, 2006)

USDA Native Plants Database,



Coreopsis has a lot going for it. People like it for its sunny, long-lasting blooms. Birds love it for the tasty seeds it provides. Butterflies and other pollinators enjoy its tasty nectar. We adore it for everything it brings to a garden.

genus name
  • Coreopsis
  • Sun
plant type
  • Perennial
  • Under 6 inches,
  • 6 to 12 inches,
  • 1 to 3 feet,
  • 3 to 8 feet
  • 1-3 feet wide
flower color
  • Red,
  • Orange,
  • Pink,
  • Yellow
foliage color
  • Blue/Green,
  • Chartreuse/Gold
season features
  • Fall Bloom,
  • Summer Bloom
problem solvers
  • Deer Resistant,
  • Drought Tolerant
special features
  • Low Maintenance,
  • Attracts Birds,
  • Good for Containers,
  • Cut Flowers
  • 3,
  • 4,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7,
  • 8,
  • 9
  • Division,
  • Seed,
  • Stem Cuttings

Colorful Combinations

Coreopsis is a group of plants we love for its ease of use in so many garden settings. Especially in the realm of tender perennial and annual coreopsis, there are now so many different colors and patterns to choose from. With their bright and cheery little blossoms, coreopsis can be great companion plants to ornamental grasses and other tough annuals and perennials, especially in containers.

Coreopsis Care Must-Knows

A popular North American native prairie plant, coreopsis can take a lot of beatings and withstand deer. They grow in less-than-ideal conditions, like roadsides and ditches, and open prairies where they have to compete with other plants for resources. Compared to those situations, our gardens are practicallly ideal conditions, even pretty crummy garden soil. These drought-tolerant plants prefer to be left a little on the dry side and in all the sun they can get. (In shade, it won’t bloom as well and becomes leggy and prone to foliar diseases like powdery mildew.)

Blooms of coreopsis tend to begin in early summer and can last a while. Less-hardy varieties tend to be longer blooming, especially when deadheaded regularly to encourage new blossoms. As their bloom season progresses, be sure to leave a few flowers on the plants so birds can dine on the tasty seeds.

Some varieties, like verticillata, can spread by creeping rhizomes and will create dense stands of the plant. In some cases, they can be a little aggressive in a garden setting, but can easily be dug up and divided.

See more long-blooming perennials.

New Innovations

Breeding of coreopsis has been going on for quite some time, producing some amazing results. By breeding many of the more annual and tender perennial varieties with hardy varieties, there have been many advancements in the colors available in coreopsis. It has also created some wonderful annual varieties that can bloom nonstop summer through fall, with no deadheading needed. This means you have a great option to the common chrysanthemum for late-summer and fall plantings. The popularity has also brought many other species to market as novelty plants.

More Varieties of Coreopsis

Coreopsis grandiflora

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Coreopsis grandiflora grows to 2-1/2 feet tall, with 2-inch-wide golden-yellow flowers. Zones 3-8

‘Creme Brule’ coreopsis

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Coreopsis ‘Creme Brule’ is a more vigorous version of ‘Moonbeam’ coreopsis. It is hardy in Zones 5-9 and produces larger flowers all along its stem, giving the plant a fuller appearance.

‘Domino’ coreopsis

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Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Domino’ forms a lovely 15- to 18-inch-tall mound with spectacular gold daisies with a maroon center. Zones 4-9

‘Early Sunrise’ coreopsis

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Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Early Sunrise’ is a dwarf form that grows only 15 inches tall and blooms the first year from seed. It tends to be short-lived. Zones 4-9

Lanceleaf coreopsis

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Coreopsis lanceolata is hardy in Zones 3-8 and bears bright yellow daisies in May and June on plants to 2 feet tall.

‘Limerock Dream’ coreopsis

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Coreopsis ‘Limerock Dream’ is usually grown as an annual, even though it is hardy in Zones 6-9. It produces two-tone pink daisies on feathery plants. It requires good soil drainage over winter.

‘Limerock Ruby’ coreopsis

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Coreopsis ‘Limerock Ruby’ produces deep pink daisies on feathery foliage that resembles that of threadleaf coreopsis. It’s usually grown as an annual but is hardy in Zones 7-9.

‘Moonbeam’ threadleaf coreopsis

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Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’ is a stalwart in the sunny perennial border. It is self-cleaning and has a long season of pale yellow daisies. Zones 4-9

Pink coreopsis

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Coreopsis rosea is the oddball of the family. It has pink flowers instead of yellow and prefers more moisture. Divide the spreading clumps yearly to keep it growing vigorously. Zones 3-8

‘Zagreb’ threadleaf coreopsis

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Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb’ grows to 18 inches tall and bears brilliant gold daisies on ferny medium green foliage. Zones 4-9

Plant Coreopsis With:

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There are hundreds of different types of salvias, commonly called sage, but they all tend to share beautiful, tall flower spikes and attractive, often gray-green leaves. Countless sages (including the herb used in cooking) are available to decorate ornamental gardens, and new selections appear annually. They are valued for their long season of bloom, right up until frost. Not all are hardy in cold climates, but they are easy to grow as annuals. It sets loose spires of tubular flowers in bright blues, violets, yellow, pinks, and red that mix well with other perennials in beds and borders. Provide full sun or very light shade and well-drained average soil.

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Easy and undemanding, veronicas catch the eye in sunny gardens over many months. Some have mats with loose clusters of saucer-shape flowers; others group star or tubular flowers tightly on erect spikes. A few veronicas bring elusive blue to the garden, but more often the flowers are purplish or violet blue, rosy pink, or white. Provide full sun and average well-drained soil. Regular deadheading extends bloom time.

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Yarrow is one of those plants that give a wildflower look to any garden. In fact, it is indeed a native plant and, predictably, it’s easy to care for. In some gardens, it will thrive with almost no care, making it a good candidate for naturalistic plantings in open areas and along the edges of wooded or other wild places. Its colorful, flat-top blooms rise above clusters of ferny foliage. The tough plants resist drought, are rarely eaten by deer and rabbits, and spread moderately quickly, making yarrow a good choice for massing in borders or as a groundcover. If deadheaded after its first flush of blooms fade, yarrow will rebloom. If left to dry on the plant, flower clusters of some types provide winter interest. Flowers of yarrow are excellent either in fresh or dried arrangements.

King’s Your Complete Garden Center

Need a reason to get outside with mother nature? Colorful plants and flowers can brighten much more than your landscape – gardening is good for the soul, local wildlife, honeybees, and the planet. Whether it’s designing your flower bed or artistic placement of statuary, gardening offers an outlet for the artist in you. Here at King’s Garden Center we have everything you need: Annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, planting materials and tools, pottery, expert assistance with your design and plant selection. Our goal is to provide the very best service and top products for the best price. We are experts in our field. We train our employees to give our customers the most accurate information about gardening that we can. Come and visit us and you’ll find friendly and helpful staff all wearing a smile.
Located at 524 Stallings Road, Stallings, NC 28104
(704) 821-7507
Winter Hours
9:00am to 5:00pm – Monday thru Friday
8:30am to 5:00pm – Saturday
Closed – Sunday and Closed Monday at Noon Dec 23rd and reopen Jan 2 , 2020 at 9:00am

Locally Owned and Grown

To insure the finest selection of high-quality plants, we grow them ourselves at our local growing range.

Gift Shop

The gift shop features a regularly changing array of seasonal decor, indoor pottery including Orchid, Bonsai and self-watering African Violet pots, and plant supplies. We also offer wonderfully melodic Woodstock wind chimes & charming containers.

Design Services

Looking to create that something extraordinary in your yard? Is container gardening your thing? We have everything you need. Our expert staff can help you visualize it, plan it, assemble the ingredients, get planting advice.

Soils, Fertilizers, Mixes & Amendments

Our native clay soils can be challenging for new plantings and gardeners alike! Successful gardeners start their plants off right with the best soil amendments, and fertilizers. We carry everything you need to be successful gardeners.

Sunray Coreopsis

Tips For Growing Coreopsis (Tickseed)

Coreopsis (Tickseed) are long-blooming native wildflowers that are easy-to-grow and provide ample nectar for butterflies. They’re resistant to browsing rabbits and deer. Coreopsis can be divided into two groups that have different growing requirements: Coreopsis grandiflora and Coreopsis verticiliata (Threadleaf Tickseed) cultivars and hybrids.

1. Coreopsis grandiflora types (Tickseed) – these cultivars are generally grown from seed and are a short-lived perennial (3 to 4 years).

Preferred growing conditions:

  • Needs sandy/gravely and sandy loam type soils. Avoid clay.
  • Does best with gravel mulches.
  • After their second growing season, only requires deep but infrequent watering. Too much water makes them floppy and shortens their lifespan.
  • Plant in full hot sun.
  • Adding just a few handfuls of compost and Yum Yum Mix in the planting hole is enough. Don’t plant into a rich, highly-amended soil.

Special comments

  • Deadhead plants to prolong bloom. Leave a few seed pods on the plants to encourage re-seeding.

2. Coreopsis verticillata (Threadleaf tickseed) and hybrids – These are long-lived perennials that spread by rhizomes to form wide, dense growing clumps.

Preferred growing conditions:

  • These species grow in a wide range of soil types including clay. Avoid very alkaline soils as they may get chlorotic (yellow foliage) due to unavailability of iron and other trace minerals.
  • These plants don’t need mulching except in hot climates.
  • These are moisture-loving perennials and do best in moderately moist soil conditions.
  • Plant in full sun areas.
  • They like compost-enriched soils at planting time.

Special comments

Threadleaf tickseed plants are often late to wake in spring from dormancy, so don’t worry when other neighboring perennials wake up first.

Garden care for all types of Coreopsis:

  • Fertilize Coreopsis just once in fall with Yum Yum Mix and Planters II. In addition, for C. verticillata types, green sand is recommended for alkaline soils to correct or prevent chlorosis.
  • Plants can be divided in mid-spring when clumps die-out in the center or become too large for their place in the garden.
  • Leave all Coreopsis varieties standing over the winter and cut back to 1-2″ inches above the soil in mid-spring when the plants begin to wake up.

Coreopsis (Perennial)

Several coreopsis species are perennials popular in the garden, all of them sporting bright daisylike flowers on wiry stems. Height varies with species and cultivar, ranging between nine inches and three feet. These perennial flowers bloom in shades of yellow, orange, and pink, with lance-shaped, oval, or threadlike leaves.

How to grow: Coreopsis species are happy in almost any well-drained garden soil in full sun. They are drought-resistant and an outstanding choice for hot, difficult places. Deadheading and frequent division keep plants going strong.


Propagation: By division in spring or from seed.

Uses: Excellent for wild gardens, containers, and in garden beds, these flowers are also popular for cutting. The smaller types look great in hanging baskets and as edging plants.

Related species: Coreopsis grandiflora Sunray bears double golden-yellow flowers on two-foot stems. C. lanceolata Brown Eyes has big yellow daisies with brown splotches on plants over two feet tall. C. verticillata Moonbeam has primrose yellow daisies in low-growing carpet and is a landscaping favorite. C. rosea is similar in form to Moonbeam but has pink flowers. It is not as strong a grower.

Scientific name: Coreopsis species

Want more information? Try these:

  • Perennial Flowers. Fill your garden with beautiful perennial flowers. They are organized by height, soil type, sunlight, and color.
  • Perennials. There’s more to a perennials garden than gorgeous flowers. Learn about all of the perennials that can complete your garden.
  • Annual Flowers. Complement your perennials with these great annual flowers. We’ve organized them by color, sunlight, soil type, and height to make it easy to plan your garden.

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