After a long summer of planting and tending the cut flower garden, I often find myself relieved with the arrival of autumn. The much-welcomed cooler temperatures mean that the completion of the remainder of my garden chores and planting tasks is often more enjoyable. This also marks a time when many of my perennial fall flowering plants will begin to bloom. One plant, the tickseed coreopsis, is especially beautiful at this time of year.
I always enjoy watching as the coreopsis dependably bursts into bloom. Though I have come to see this event as a sure signal that the end of my summer growing season is near, I can’t help but celebrate their cheerful abundance of flowers in the garden. At their peak bloom, the plants are covered with hundreds of late-season honey bees, which are busy gathering nectar and pollen for the winter ahead.
Perennial coreopsis is a sturdy, reliable plant that quickly naturalized in my garden border. Available in both tall and dwarf varieties, tickseed plants make a wonderful addition to any landscape, including containers and pots.
I had originally selected it at a local garden center because of its ability to thrive in less than ideal soil conditions. Upon further research, I found that it may actually perform better in poor soils, rather than those that are well amended. I knew that this robust species would be an ideal candidate for planting in a corner of my yard with hard, unforgivable clay. After only a few growing seasons, I found that the one coreopsis I planted had multiplied quickly.
Though there are many varieties of tickseed, the unnamed cultivar in my own yard produces immense clusters of bright yellow flowers, which seem to float above the plants on thin wiry stems. Soon, I was eager to try growing even more varieties of coreopsis from seed.
While I have not had success using the coreopsis blooms as a cut flower, I cannot deny their beauty and usefulness in the ornamental landscape. Beyond sowing, the tickseed plants in my garden needed very little care. Weekly deadheading easily allowed the flowers to continue to bloom until the first hard frost had arrived. Once the cold weather has settled in and plants have turned black, foliage can be cut back to the ground and removed from the garden.