About Plains Coreopsis: This plant’s blazing brightness and heat-loving, drought tolerant growth has made it one of the most well known native wildflowers, as well as being a popular choice of beginning gardeners and master gardeners alike. Also known as Dye Flower, Native Americans once used its blossoms for making yellow and orange dyes. The genus name Coreopsis, derived from the Greek “koris,” refers to the resemblance of the seeds to bedbugs. The flowers in this family have become especially well loved by the citizens of the state of Florida, who appointed Coreopsis as their official state wildflower in 1991.
Plains Coreopsis Germination: Direct sow in late fall, planting the seed on surface of the soil and compacting it firmly. The seeds will germinate soon and overwinter as a small cluster of leaves, sending up a flowering stalk in the summer. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 30 days before direct sowing. Keep the soil evenly moist until germination, which should occur within 10-15 days. The treated seeds can also be started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost of spring; plant the seeds on the surface of a flat, keeping the moisture consistent and the temperature around 65 degrees F. Transplant seedlings to 15-18” apart. This plant adapts to nearly any soil, including sandy or rocky areas; it is an excellent choice for borders, roadsides, or wildflower plantings.
Growing Plains Coreopsis Seeds: Water the seedlings occasionally until they become established; mature plants prefer well drained soil, but appreciate occasional watering in dry weather. If given too much moisture or rich soil, the plants tend to flop and may need support. If the blooming decreases midseason, cut the plant back by half for new growth and blooms. Regular deadheading also helps prolong the season of blooming. It will self-seed abundantly, though it does not become weedy and will decrease eventually without disturbance of the soil. This plant attracts butterflies and bees as well as resisting rabbits and deer.
Harvesting Plains Coreopsis: For long lasting fresh flowers, cut the stems long and place them in water immediately.
Saving Plains Coreopsis Seeds: Several weeks after the flowers have faded, the seed heads will turn dry and dark brown. Since these seeds are a favorite food of songbirds and rodents, harvest them promptly. Cut the heads from the plant and spread them out to dry completely. Break them apart to remove the seeds, and separate the seeds from the chaff. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Plains Coreopsis Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Annual Coreopsis, Calliopsis, Golden Tickseed Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Summer Height: 24-36 inches Spacing: 15-18 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 90,000 Produces narrow blade-shaped green foliage and 2” daisy-like flowers with scallop-edged yellow petals that turn red near the reddish brown centers.