Coreopsis are wonderful perennials that provide continuous vibrant color in the sunny garden all summer long and into the fall. This popular plant is very easy to grow, long-blooming, drought tolerant, tough, and deer resistant. What more could you ask for?
They are native to the U.S. and most are hardy in Zones 3-9.
Coreopsis can fill many roles in the perennial garden. They are a wonderful addition to the dry perennial border, to a wildflower garden or cut flower garden. They combine well with other perennials in a mixed border and their bright flowers attract butterflies all summer and fall.
These versatile bloomers are also excellent for naturalizing. They can thrive unattended in fields or on sunny banks where they will bloom profusely and fill the area with long lasting color. If left to go to seed, they will attract many hungry seed-eating birds, such as finches, buntings, and sparrows.
There are many different species and cultivars of Coreopsis to choose from.
The light and airy Coreopsis verticillata has narrow, needle-like foliage that creates a lacy, see-through effect in the garden. The popular cultivar 'Moonbeam' forms open, rounded clumps covered with bright lemon yellow flowers and 'Zagreb' grows more upright with a profusion of golden-yellow daisy-like flowers.
'Autumn Blush' is a beautiful cultivar with light, peachy-yellow flowers with a red eye. The flowers take on a wine-red blush in the fall! 'Sienna Sunset' has unusual but gorgeous orange blooms. There are even cultivars like 'Red Satin' which have vibrant ruby-red flowers. The pink blooming Coreopsis rosea forms an airy mound 18" tall which is covered with beautiful pink blooms. There are even some unusual bicolored forms like Coreopsis rosea 'Sweet Dreams' which has large white flowers with a bright raspberry-red central ring and 'Snowberry' which is creamy white with a raspberry-red eye.
Coreopsis grandiflora is a lovely mounding species that has broader foliage than the verticillata-types. 'Sunfire' has stunning golden-yellow blooms with burgundy centers. 'Early Sunrise' has attractive semi-double, golden-yellow blooms. These compact cultivars are excellent additions to the mixed border and make wonderful cut flowers in fresh arrangements.
Coreopsis grows well in full sun. It tolerates a wide range of soils, even poor soils, as long as they are well drained. Take care not to over-fertilize these plants. Feed each spring and fall with Espoma Plant-tone.
Deadheading or shearing back after blooming can encourage a late season bloom, so while you are in the garden, pick a few for fresh indoor arrangements!
To rejuvenate a Coreopsis clump and keep it blooming well, divide it every 3-4 years in the spring.
Coreopsis are perfect companions for the brightly colored Echinacea and the steadfast Rudbeckia. Combine with Liatris which will add a striking vertical effect to the sunny border or wildflower garden. Shasta daisies, Salvia, and Scabiosa 'Pink Mist' or 'Butterfly Blue' also combine well with Coreopsis.