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Moonbeam Tickseed

Great band name: Moonbeam Tickseed and the Rhythm Aces. Nope. It’s Coreopsis verticillata. We have some in the canoe garden. The seeds are apparently sterile but the plants can be divided after a couple years if they last. Had I researched instead of buying on impulse, I would have bought any other Coreopsis. I don’t mind a short-lived perennial if the things self-seed some. On the plus side, they’re light and airy and colourful. Happy plants.

1 Comment so far

  1. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    My coreopsis of choice has always been the variety ‘brown eyes’ . Coreopsis is one of the favorite plants for nursery folks to lie about ranking right up there with tomatoes which require a 12 foot stepladder to harvest and a half ton truck to haul the harvest back to the kitchen from a single plant. They are called perennials but generally that is a long long way from the truth. For us Brown Eyes lasted about 20 years in the garden until we got smug and didnt manually spread it around for a couple of years and it finally died out and its attempts to self seed failed. The secret to keeping these plants going is to be very aggressive in dividing it and spreading it around. When it comes up in the spring you will see a clump of uniform sized leaves emerge from the ground if it survived winter. If the clump was big enough to get more than 2 clumps of about 3 inches in diameter we would dig it up and divide it into as many 3 inch clumps as we could and move the pieces around in the garden. The smaller varieties make nice neat colorful plants that can be tucked into any little vacant spot. Divide them really early when the leaves are no more than a couple of inches tall. Once you get a bunch divisions established you can start to leave bigger 6 inch clumps behind. The thing is that it is the young divisions that have the best survival rate so you dont want to say hey great I have 5 clumps that are a foot across now they are doing great so I will just leave them alone. it is those bigger clumps that winterkill. Even a small division of 3-4 inches should develop into a nice plant over the course of spring and summer and the idea is to get enough of them around the garden that it becomes unlikely that they will all die out at once. We have tried several coreopsis over the years and found that the taller ones like moonbeam seemed to die out faster than the shorter varieties but all of them were pretty nice.

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