Richard C. Bogren, Huffstickler, Kyle, Gill, Daniel J., Owings, Allen D.
Many coreopsis are available for our landscapes in Louisiana. Coreopsis, sometimes called tickseed, are herbaceous perennial flowers. Sometimes we treat these as annuals in Louisiana, and sometimes we treat them as perennials. The larger-flowered varieties are usually most popular with home gardeners.
Popular coreopsis varieties on the market include Jethro Tull, Sunfire, Early Sunrise, Rising Sun, Corey Yellow and Sunray. Flowers on all of these are some shade of golden yellow. Some varieties have more of a semi-double to double flower form, which is characteristic of the Early Sunrise variety. A variegated form of Early Sunrise is called Tequila Sunrise.
These plants do well in a sunny, well-drained landscape bed. They do best planted in late winter through early spring or even in fall. You can often find a nice selection of coreopsis in bloom at garden centers in late spring. Their typical peak blooming times are May through July, but they still provide some additional flowers through late summer and fall.
Plants prefer limited irrigation and perform best when we have less-than-average rainfall. Over-watering or excessive rainfall can lead to root rot and other disease problems, so we recommend preparing beds to maximize drainage.
Fertilize at planting with a slow-release fertilizer. You also can use liquid feed as needed during the growing season to keep plants at their best. Plants can be divided every two to three years. This is best done early when new growth begins in early spring or when growth slows later in the fall.
For best flowering, you can lightly remove old flowers as they fade. This will bring on additional blooms and slow seed pod development. Sometimes coreopsis will lightly reseed themselves in a landscape bed.
Anytime your coreopsis totally finishes a flowering cycle, cut the entire plant back one-third to one-half. A new flower cycle should commence in three to four weeks if growing conditions are favorable.
Coreopsis have few insect problems. They are a nectar and larval plant for butterflies, so they’re recommended for butterfly gardens.
Coreopsis have long been favorites with gardeners across the South. Use them combined with annual warm-season flowers or in a perennial planting with buddleia, rudbeckias, salvia, coneflowers, lantanas, shasta daisies, verbenas or other hardy favorites.
Visit LaHouse in Baton Rouge to see sustainable landscape practices in action. The home and landscape resource center is near the intersection of Burbank Drive and Nicholson Drive (Louisiana Highway 30) in Baton Rouge, across the street from the LSU baseball stadium. For more information, go to www.lsuagcenter.com/lahouse or www.lsuagcenter.com/lyn.Rick Bogren