Coreopsis

Coreopsis

A small genus of hardy annuals and free flowering perennials that are ideal for the front of a sunny border. The colour range is limited to mainly yellows but red and brown variations can be found.

Family: Asteraceae (aster family)
Botanical Name: Coreopsis
Common Names: Tickseed

Foliage: Deciduous, finely divided, green leaves.

Flowers: Long-stalked daisy-like flowers. In shades of yellow, orange, brown and red (depending on variety). Single, double or semi-double forms are available.

Flowering Period: June to September.

Soil: Moist but well-drained, moderately fertile soil (sand or loam). Any pH.

Conditions: Best in full sun but will tollerate some shade. Plant in an east, west or south facing aspect, in either an exposed or sheltered possition.

Habit: Erect, bushy.

Type: Annual or herbaceous perennial.

Origin: North America

Hardiness: Most varieties are fully hardy in the UK.

Planting and Growing Coreopsis

Easy-to-grow and will succeed in most situations, even in poor soils. Tolerant of chalky soil buy dislikes heavy clay.

Plant in full sun in an open border, in a light well drained soil. Tolerates light shade but needs full sun to really flower well. Drought-tolerant once established.

Ideal for flower beds, patio containers or front of the border. Attracts pollinating insects. Low maintenance and excellent as cut flowers.

Taking Care of Coreopsis

Support taller varieties with twiggy branches as they grow.

Pruning Coreopsis

Regularly deadhead faded blooms to prolong flowering.

Cut old stems of perennials back to the base, once flowering has finished at the end of the season. Discard annuals after flowering.

Pests and Diseases

Susceptible to attack by slugs and snails. Froghoppers ('cuckoo-spit') can also be a problem in some areas. Generally disease free.

Propagating Coreopsis

Sow seed outside in April where they are to flower or sow under glass in March. Gradually thin to required spacing.

Clump forming perennials can be lifted and divided in early autumn or spring.

Basal cuttings of Coreopsis grandiflora can be taken in summer, and rooted in a coldframe or propagator.

Popular Varieties of Coreopsis

A good selection of garden varieties are available. Some perennials can be short lived, however.

Coreopsis 'Cosmic Evolution' produces a low mound of finely-cut foliage, covered in large pink and white striped daisy-like flowers from July through to September. Height to 30in (76cm), spread 24in (60cm). Available from Van Meuwen.

Coreopsis drummondii is a bushy hardy-annual with bright yellow flowers in summer. Height and spread to 18in (45cm). Double flowered forms are available. The popular cultivar 'Golden Crown' produces golden flowers with deep red centres.

Coreopsis 'Cosmic Eye' is a compact and bushy variety that bears attractive flowers with rich burgundy petals with golden edges. Height to 15in (40cm), spread 12in (30cm). Available from Van Meuwen.

Coreopsis 'Fields of Gold' has attractive lush green foliage topped with large golden yellow daisy like blooms. Available from Gardening Express.

Coreopsis 'Full Moon' is a long flowering, hardy perennial with large, daisy-like, yellow flowers from July to September. Height and spread 24in (60cm). Available from Van Meuwen.

Coreopsis grandiflora is a popular short-lived perennial with narrow leaves and bright yellow daisy flowers. Height to 3ft (90cm). Good cultivars include 'Badengold', 'Early Sunrise' (available from Van Meuwen, Gardening Express), 'Golden Joy' (semi-double - available from Van Meuwen), 'Goldfink' (bright yellow, 9in dwarf), 'Mayfield Giant' (deep yellow), and 'Sunray' (double or semi-double yellow flowers, available from Van Meuwen).

Coreopsis lanceolata Sterntaler flowers continuously from May to October with vibrant golden yellow flowers and a bronze inset around the eye. Height to 16in (40cms). Available from Gardening Express.

Coreopsis Moonbeam is a slow spreading perennial plant with fine dark green foliage and a supply of prolific lemony yellow flowers throughout summer in to the autumn. Height to 20in (50cm). Available from Gardening Express.

Coreopsis rosea American Dream produces a flowers in delightful shade of pink with a yellow centre and delicately fine mid-green foliage. Blooms over a long period of time from early summer to autumn. Height to 24in (60cm). Available from Gardening Express.

Coreopsis Sunfire bears bright yellow flowers all summer long with striking burgundy red centres. Available from Gardening Direct.

Coreopsis verticillata is a compact bushy perennial with finely divided leaves and yellow star-shaped flowers. Height to 24in (60cm), spread to 18in (45cm). Cultivar 'Firefly' has yellow and red bicoloured flowers on tall stems. Available from You Garden. The popular cultivar 'Zagreb' (whorled coreopsis) produces masses of single yellow, daisy-like flowers throughout the summer. Height and spread 12in (30cm). Available from Van Meuwen, Gardening Express. The variety 'Moonbeam' has pale lemon flowers. Available from Van Meuwen.