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.
Coreopsis is a group of plants we love for its ease of use in nearly all 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 practically 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.
Related: 6 Long-Blooming Perennials
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.
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
'Creme Brule' coreopsis
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.
'Early Sunrise' coreopsis
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
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
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
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
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
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
Coreopsis Companion Plants
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.
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.
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.