Common Coreopsis: How to Grow and Care for Coreopsis

This deer-resistant, long-blooming perennial flower — also known as tickseed — attracts butterflies, bees and birds.

May 21, 2020
coreopsis_grandiflora

coreopsis_grandiflora

What Is Coreopsis?

Coreopsis has more than 80 species and is valued for its summer-long golden yellow blooms and its low-maintenance qualities. Also known as tickseed, that common name comes from the seeds' supposed resemblance to ticks.

Coreopsis features cheerful flowers that rise on tall stems above narrow green leaves; single- and double-flowering types are both available.

Coreopsis tinctoria  (04) Bloom

Coreopsis tinctoria (04) Bloom

Coreopsis tinctoria

Coreopsis tinctoria

This short-lived perennial lasts about two to three years in Southern gardens and about four years in the North.

Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Botanical name: Coreopsis grandiflora
USDA Zone: Zones 4 to 9

Coreopsis Uptick Yellow and Red

Coreopsis Uptick Yellow and Red

Coreopsis Uptick yellow and red

Photo by: Darwin Perennials

Darwin Perennials

Coreopsis Uptick yellow and red

How to Grow Coreopsis

Soil

Coreopsis can be grown in moist, well-draining soil. It also does well in dry, rocky and sandy soils.

Light

Plant in full sun but in areas with intense heat, coreopsis may do better with some afternoon shade.

Pruning

Coreopsis must be deadheaded to promote reblooming, but it's well worth the extra effort. Cut back to the base of the flower stem so as to remove unsightly flowerless stems.

Fertilizer

Coreopsis do not require fertilizer to bloom and thrive though adding compost in the spring will keep the plants healthy.

Propagation

Propagated through seed or division. May self-sow in warmer areas.

Pests and Disease

No problems with pests or diseases; may have problems with mildew, especially in coastal areas or areas with high humidity. Deadheading spent flowers helps with disease prevention and invasive self-seeding.

Bloom Time

Blooms from late spring to summer.

Size

Plant size ranges from one to two feet tall and two feet wide.

Plant Positives

CI-Monrovia-tickseed_Coreopsis-Flying-Saucers_s3x4

CI-Monrovia-tickseed_Coreopsis-Flying-Saucers_s3x4

Coreopsis grandiflora 'Walcoreop'/Flying Saucers

©Image courtesy of Monrovia

Image courtesy of Monrovia

Coreopsis grandiflora 'Walcoreop'/Flying Saucers

  • Drought tolerant
  • Deer resistant
  • Low maintenance
  • Attracts birds, butterflied and bees

How to Use Coreopsis in the Landscape

  • In masses (use at least three or five plants in a grouping)
  • As a specimen plant.
  • Use it in a sunny, mixed perennial border.
  • Coreopsis does well in containers.
  • Good contrast to bold-textured foliage plants, such as canna.
  • Cutflower

Special notes: Attracts wildlife, including butterflies. Drought and heat tolerant.

Types of Coreopsis

Coreopsis

Coreopsis

Coreopsis Early Sunrise

Coreopsis, or tickseed, may be ankle-high or knee-high, and bloom colors range from all shades of yellow, to orange, red and maroon. These sun lovers don't mind clay at all.

Photo by: Photo Courtesy of Bailey Nurseries 

Photo Courtesy of Bailey Nurseries 

Coreopsis grandiflora 'Early Sunrise'

'Early Sunrise' is a semi-double flowering cultivar that features yellow blooms earlier in the season.

  • Easily grown from seed.
  • Plant size is 18 inches tall.
  • 1989 All-America Selections Winner.
  • Bloom colors range from all shades of yellow, to orange, red and maroon.
  • These sun lovers don't mind clay at all.
Coreopsis grandiflora ~Sunray~ (01) Bloom

Coreopsis grandiflora ~Sunray~ (01) Bloom

Coreopsis grandiflora 'Sunray'

Coreopsis grandiflora 'Sunray'

Coreopsis grandiflora 'Sunray'

Double-flowering selection that has a compact habit and a long bloom time (two to three months).

Plant size is about two feet tall and wide.

Coreopsis 'Red Shift' starts out with yellow blooms and red centers, but changes to red in cooler weather.

Coreopsis 'Red Shift' starts out with yellow blooms and red centers, but changes to red in cooler weather.

This coreopsis, part of the Big Bang series, is a chameleon. Its flowers are yellow with darker yellow/red centers throughout summer, but when fall comes and temperatures drop, the same flowers turn beautiful shades of red. It is a great accent in the front of a cottage garden. 'Red Shift' is hardy to USDA Zone 5.

Coreopsis 'Red Shift'

This coreopsis, part of the Big Bang series, is a chameleon. Its flowers are yellow with darker yellow/red centers throughout summer, but when fall comes and temperatures drop, the same flowers turn beautiful shades of red. It is a great accent in the front of a cottage garden. 'Red Shift' is hardy to USDA Zone 5.

Native Perennial Prairie Plant

Presto Tickseed (Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Presto’)

Coreopsis grandiflora 'Presto'

Photo by: PerennialResource.com

PerennialResource.com

Coreopsis grandiflora 'Presto'

Coreopsis grandiflora 'Presto'

This coreopsis/tickseed is a native plant, which means it's a snap to grow once it's established. 'Presto' improves upon the true native with 2-inch-wide blooms that are semi- or fully double and make terrific additions to bouquets. Butterflies will definitely visit this perennial, which is hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

 Lanceleaf Coreopsis and Silene Catchfly

Lanceleaf Coreopsis and Silene Catchfly

Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)

Photo by: Roy Doboer/American Meadows

Roy Doboer/American Meadows

Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)

Coreopsis lanceolata Lanceleaf Coreopsis

Lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) is a North American native perennial with golden blooms that open from summer into fall.

  • Attractive to bees, it flourishes in meadows with full sun to part shade and takes dry to average soils.
  • In Zones 3 to 8, it reaches 18 to 36 inches tall.
CI-burpee_perenial-sun-moonbeam-coreopsis_s3x4

CI-burpee_perenial-sun-moonbeam-coreopsis_s3x4

Coreopsis 'Moonbeam'

Coreopsis 'Moonbeam'

Coreopsis Verticillata 'Moonbeam'

This all-around great perennial has creamy lemon-yellow flowers with lacy, fine-textured foliage.

  • Reaches two feet tall.
  • Drought tolerant and low maintenance.
  • 1992 Perennial Plant of the Year.
Coreopsis 'Zagreb' is a bright threadleaf tickseed that looks good at the front of the sunny border.

Coreopsis 'Zagreb' is a bright threadleaf tickseed that looks good at the front of the sunny border.

Easier to grow than C. 'Moonbeam', 'Zagreb' is a taller fern-leaf coreopsis with a brighter bloom. It is easy to grow in well-drained and moderately fertile soil.

Easier to grow than C. 'Moonbeam', 'Zagreb' is a taller fern-leaf coreopsis with a brighter bloom. It is easy to grow in well-drained and moderately fertile soil.

Coreopsis Verticillata 'Zagreb'

Bright yellow flowers are showy on the delicate fine foliage. Surges throughout the summer.

Be advised: Cultivars like 'Moonbeam', are difficult to propagate through seed.

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