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Urban Gardening – Growing Coreopsis (Tickseed)

Vegetable gardens sometimes require a lot of attention, so I approach my flower beds with one thing in mind – stick with low maintenance perennials that are pollinator and/or bird friendly.  If I can work in native plants, that’s a bonus!

I have a large (4 ft x 24 ft) raised bed on the south side of my home.  Needless to say, it receives sunlight from sun up to sun down.  That’s a good thing during the cooler times of the year, but summer in my part of the country can have very high temperatures for long periods of time.  So, for this particular flower bed, I look for plants that can withstand hot weather and are tolerant to drier conditions.

One of my favorite flowering plants for this flower bed has become Coreopsis UpTick.  A variety of flower colors are available, and I went with the Gold and Bronze (picture).  This is a hybrid variety suited for growing zones 5a – 9b, so roots should withstand overwintering temperatures of -10 to -20° F.  

My experience has been that Coreopsis UpTick flowers prolificly, beginning in early summer and continues into fall.  I did “deadhead” the flowers throughout the growing season, which may be contributing to the number of flowers produced and the extended flowering time.  At the end of the season, I’ll leave the dying flowers on the plants so the birds can enjoy the seeds!

Recommended growing conditions for Coreopsis UpTick are –

Soil –  Not particular about pH or soil type, but clay soils should be amended for better             drainage 

Light – Full sun to partial shade

Water – Once established, plants are drought tolerant

My first year Coreopsis UpTick are about 12 – 14 inches tall, which matches the hybrid’s descriptions.  With time, each plant “clump” should expand to a 12 – 14 inch mound.  This is the perfect, low maintenance plant for those sunny areas in the urban garden where water loving plants won’t thrive!


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