Coreopsis

The flowers may look dainty, but don't be fooled: Coreopsis is one tough plant.

Colorful Combinations

Coreopsis is a highly adaptable group of plants, easy to use in nearly all garden settings. You'll discover a stunning array of colors and patterns, especially amongst the tender perennial and annual coreopsis. With their bright and cheery little blossoms, coreopsis can make great companion plants for ornamental grasses and other tough annuals and perennials, especially in containers.

Coreopsis Care Must-Knows

A popular North American native prairie plant, coreopsis can withstand deer and survive in less-than-ideal conditions, including open prairies where they have to compete with other plants for resources. They're also known to thrive along roadsides and in ditches. Comparatively, our gardens provide practically ideal conditions, even if you have pretty crummy garden soil. These drought-tolerant plants prefer to be left a little on the dry side and require lots of sun. (In shade, coreopsis won't bloom as well, becomes leggy, and is more prone to foliar diseases like powdery mildew.) Coreopsis height varies by type, with dwarf varieties remaining under two feet tall, while others can become towering.

Coreopsis typically begins blooming in early summer, and the blossoms 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 extend creeping rhizomes, creating dense stands of the plant. Although these can become a little aggressive in a garden setting, they can easily be dug up and divided.

New Innovations

Breeding of coreopsis has been going on for quite some time, producing some amazing results. Combining both annual and tender perennial coreopsis with hardy varieties has widened the array of available colors and has also yielded some beautiful annuals that bloom nonstop summer through fall—no deadheading needed. These make a great alternative to the common chrysanthemum for late-summer and fall plantings. The popularity of coreopsis has brought many other species to market as novelty plants.

More Varieties of Coreopsis

Coreopsis Overview

Genus Name Coreopsis
Common Name Coreopsis
Plant Type Perennial
Light Sun
Height 6 to 6 inches
Width 1 to 3 feet
Flower Color Orange, Pink, Red, Yellow
Foliage Color Blue/Green, Chartreuse/Gold
Season Features Fall Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Attracts Birds, Cut Flowers, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Propagation Division, Seed, Stem Cuttings
Problem Solvers Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant

'Creme Brulee' coreopsis

vigorous coreopsis 'creme brulee' version of 'moonbeam'
Marty Ross

'Creme Brulee' is a more vigorous version of 'Moonbeam' coreopsis. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9, it produces large flowers all along its stem, giving the plant a fuller-than-average appearance.

'Early Sunrise' coreopsis

yellow coreopsis grandiflora' early sunrise'
Bert Klassen

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

Lanceleaf coreopsis

single yellow coreopsis lanceolata bloom
Marty Baldwin

Coreopsis lanceolata is hardy in Zones 3 to 8 and bears bright yellow daisies in May and June. It grows to about 2 feet tall.

'Limerock Dream' coreopsis

two-tone coreopsis 'limerock dream' blooms
Jay Wilde

'Limerock Dream' is usually grown as an annual but is hardy in Zones 6 to 9. It produces two-tone pink flowers with feathery leaves. This variety requires good soil drainage over winter.

'Limerock Ruby' coreopsis

pink coreopsis 'limerock ruby' daisies detail
Peter Krumhardt

'Limerock Ruby' stuns with deep pink daisies on feathery foliage that resembles the greenery of the threadleaf coreopsis. It's generally grown as an annual but is hardy in Zones 7 to 9.

'Moonbeam' threadleaf coreopsis

yellow coreopsis verticillata 'moonbeam'
'Moonbeam' coreopsis is a more compact cultivar of a native plant. Mark Kane

'Moonbeam'—or Coreopsis verticillata—is a stalwart in the sunny perennial border. It is self-cleaning and has a long season of pale yellow daisies. Plant this beauty in Zones 4 to 9.

Pink coreopsis

pink coreopsis rosea blossoms
Susan Gilmore

Coreopsis rosea is one of the oddballs of the family. It has pink flowers instead of the usual yellow and prefers more moisture than other varieties. Divide the spreading clumps yearly to keep it growing vigorously. It's suited for Zones 3 to 8.

'Zagreb' threadleaf coreopsis

yellow coreopsis verticillata 'zagreb'
Peter Krumhardt

'Zagreb'—or Coreopsis verticillata—grows to 18 inches tall and bears brilliant gold daisies on ferny medium green foliage. This is a reliable pick for Zones 4 to 9.

Coreopsis Companion Plants

Salvia

May Night Salvia deep purple and yellow flowers
Stephen Cridland

There are hundreds of different types of salvias, commonly called sage (including the herb used in cooking), and new selections for ornamental gardens appear annually. What most have in common are beautiful, tall flower spikes and attractive, often gray-green leaves. They're valued for their long bloom season, which extends right up until frost. Although not all are hardy in cold climates, salvias are easy to grow as annuals; they like full sun or very light shade with well-drained, average soil. The loose spires of tubular flowers in bright blues, violets, yellow, pinks, and red mix well with other perennials in beds and borders.

Veronica

Purple Veronicas in garden
Marty Baldwin

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 straight-up 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, and extend bloom time with regular deadheading.

Yarrow

detail of yarrow yarrow and purle penstemon
Tim Murphy

Yarrow lends a wildflower look to any garden. Perhaps predictably, it's easy to care for. In some gardens, it will thrive with almost no attention, 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 the first flush of blooms fade, yarrow will rebloom. If left to dry on the plant, flower clusters of some types provide winter interest.

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