Plains coreopsis is an annual wildflower native to North America that is commonly found in Canada, from Québec to British-Columbia. Plains coreopsis grows wild in the U.S. and northeastern Mexico, most often found in the Great Plains and in disturbed areas, such as along roadsides, railways and cultivated fields. A popular ornamental flower, Plains Coreopsis has often escaped cultivation and is now naturalized in many other regions around the world.
A fast grower, plains coreopsis will quickly reach a height of one to two feet. The bushy, multi-branched plants will support loads of bi-coloured blooms, bright yellow with a deep-red and maroon central disk. Plains Coreopsis is a resilient wildflower that will thrive in full sun or partial shade, and it can withstand drought and poor soil, although they produce the best results in rich, well-drained and well-watered soil. Great at attracting beneficial pollinators, plains coreopsis is a wonderful addition to native gardens, wildflower mixes and they also make gorgeous cut-flowers.
- Latin Name: Coreopsis tinctoria
- Life Cycle: Annual or short-lived perennial
- Days to Maturity: 60-80
- Planting Depth: Just below the soil surface
- Plant Spacing: 30-60 cm
- Growth Habit: 40-60 cm tall
There are as many varieties as there are good reasons to grow your own coreopsis. These native North American flowers are easy to maintain, drought tolerant and long blooming. The brilliant clumps of daisy-like flowers brighten up any garden space all summer long. Pollinators and birds visit the flowers constantly for the sustenance of their nectar and seeds.
Coreopsis seeds can be started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost, or sown directly when the final frost has passed. Plant seeds 1 cm deep, keeping the soil moist and warm. Germination should occur in 2-3 weeks and seeds can be moved to a sunny window or under grow lights. When temperatures begin to warm up, slowly harden off seedlings to prepare them for transplanting outdoors.
Provide your coreopsis with full sun to maximize their growth and flowering. A little afternoon shade helps during hot summers. Coreopsis will thrive when planted in well-drained, loamy or sandy soil. As long as their roots aren’t constantly soaked, they’re not picky about soil quality. Young plants should be watered regularly until they are established. After that, they become quite tolerant of drought, although the best blooming occurs with regular watering. Water early in the morning to give the soil a chance to drain and dry throughout the day.
The cheery flowers prefer daytime temperatures ranging from 21-27 degrees and evening temperatures between 10-16 degrees. Coreopsis usually won’t require any fertilizer, but compost can be added early in the spring to give poor soils a boost. Tall coreopsis flowers may need some support to keep them from sagging and be sure to leave enough space in between plantings. They’ll need good air circulation and mature plants can grow to be 60 cm wide. Keep up with deadheading the faded flowers to ensure blooming will occur straight through the fall season.
To enjoy a multitude of vividly coloured flowers, try starting your own coreopsis from seed. They grow well just about anywhere, bringing birds, bees and butterflies along with them.
- The Native American Zuni people, of today’s New Mexico and Arizona, have long used the blooms of plains coreopsis to make red yarn. Until the introduction of coffee, coreopsis tincture was a popular hot beverage in that region.
- Plains Coreopsis is also sometimes called ‘’garden tickseed,’’ or ‘’golden tickseed,’’ referring to the seeds that look like ticks.
- Its Latin name, Coreopsis Tinctoria, refers to the petals being traditionally used for dying fabric.
- Coreopsis seeds will remain viable for 3 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!