Calliopsis (also called coreopsis) is native to the western United States, where it grows in meadows and rocky outcroppings. This wildflower produces airy, daisylike blossoms throughout the summer. It’s a top choice for wildflower mixes and prairie plantings because it attracts pollinators, reseeds freely, and adds splashes of sunshine yellow and deep reddish-brown wherever it grows. Calliopsis is also great for adding texture to the middle of the border, and it makes a charming cut flower.
Maybe best of all, this annual is a problem-solver in the landscape. Do you have a dry, rocky area along a driveway or curbside where other plants won’t grow? Scatter some calliopsis seed over the soil and water them lightly. This tough plant will light take root and bloom a few weeks later.
Garden Plans For Calliopsis
Plant a Meadow
Because calliopsis blooms summer through fall, a large stand makes a colorful anchor for a meadow garden of native annual and perennial bloomers. Perennial favorites include queen of the prairie (Filipendula rubra), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), coneflower (Echinacea), and aster (Aster spp.).
Enrich the meadow garden's habitat qualities by planting native grasses that will provide food and shelter to wildlife species if the plants are allowed to stand tall through winter. Try native grasses such as little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).
Calliopsis Care Must-Knows
Calliopsis is easily grown in full sun and soil that is well-drained. It tolerates dry, sandy soil, as well as loamy soil with medium moisture. This annual grows well in heat, humidity, and some drought. Start seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected spring frost. Or sow seeds directly in the garden after the last frost date. Unless you find it available as established seedlings, plant from seed directly in the ground in spring in rich, well-drained soil. It's not fussy about fertilizer and likes ample water.
Calliopsis freely self-seeds in most growing conditions. Unwanted seedlings are easy to remove, but the chore can be extensive if you have a large stand of self-seeding plants. Encourage a second round of flowering and limit self-seeding by deadheading spent flowers.
Coreopsis grandiflora 'Early Sunrise'
This variety is a compact perennial commonly called large-flowered tickseed. Yellow daisylike semi-double blossoms on slender, erect stems. Zones 4-9
Coreopsis rosea features pink blossoms with yellow centers. It has linear fine-textures leaves with an airy appearance. Zones 3-8.
Plant Calliopsis With:
Like its perennial cousin butterflyweed, bloodflower is one of the best plants to attract butterflies. Monarch larvae love to feast on the leaves, and other butterflies that sip its nectar. A drought-tolerant plant, it's also called Indian root and swallow-wort. It's perfect for planting in sunny naturalistic or wildlife gardens. In midsummer, it covers itself with gorgeous flowers in oranges, reds, and yellows on tall stems. Plant it in spring after all danger of frost has passed. Be careful of the milky sap, which can irritate skin. While it's grown as an annual in most areas, it is a perennial in the tropics.
One of the longest bloomers in the garden, coreopsis produces (usually) sunny yellow daisylike flowers that attract butterflies. Coreopsis, depending on the variety, also bears golden-yellow, pale yellow, pink, or bicolor flowers. It will bloom from early to midsummer or longer as long as it's deadheaded.
Attract butterflies and have fun doing it with big, bold, beautiful Mexican sunflower. Plant it from seed directly in the ground and watch it soar. It can hit up to 5 feet in just weeks with big, lush foliage and smaller but still showy flowers in sunset colors that butterflies love.Put a cluster of these bodacious beauties in the back of the border to give it height and drama. Many of the taller types need staking to keep them upright. Plant them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed in a sunny spot with well-drained soil.