Growing and Saving the Seed Of Coreopsis
Latin name Coreopsis spp is a genus of native American wildflower. Some are perennial, others short-lived perennials and some even behave like self-seeding annuals. This drought-tolerant, pollinator-attracting native flower is super easy to grow and appreciated as an easygoing landscape plant with many environmental benefits.
Native to North America, east of the Rocky Mountains, and now naturalized across the country. There is a range of traditional uses within various Native American cultures, most commonly as a dye plant. The wild forms of coreopsis can be found growing in prairies and roadsides, although much work has been put into breeding a range of different varieties with bold colors and different growth habits.
- A long-season bloomer for the pollinator garden, wildflower meadows, native garden, or container/raised bed flower.
- Visited by a range of specialized pollinators as well as honeybees.
- Seeds germinate in 21-30 days.
- Light aids seed germination; gently press into soil or surface sow seeds, covering with a very fine layer of starting mix or vermiculite.
- Keep tray consistently lightly moist, but not soaking wet, until germinated. (Some will choose to cover the tray in a clear plastic bag or with plastic wrap to trap moisture until germinated, but this is optional.)
- Ideal germination temperature is 68-77 F.
- Plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil.
- Space plants 12-18 inches apart depending on variety. Plant dwarf varieties can be clustered 12 inches apart and average-sized varieties can be spaced up to 18 inches apart.
- Transplant out to the garden when all chance of frost has passed. Be sure to harden off seedlings and ensure they are well established before transplanting.
- A drought-tolerant plant once established.
- No need to fertilize these plants as this can reduce blooms.
- Cutting back burned-out plants will create another flush of blooms.
- Generally pest and disease-free.
- Crown rot can be caused by excessively wet soil. Aphids can be a very minor pest and easily controlled by blasting plants with a water hose to knock them off.
- Coreopsis are insect-pollinated and there may be some crossing between varieties in the garden. You can enjoy the mixing or use caging techniques and hand pollination to avoid crossing.
- Saving seed from coreopsis is easy: simply allow the heads to brown and dry on plants and collect seeds. Store in a cool, dry, dark place over winter.