With the onset of June come the summer flowers, often cheerier and brighter than their spring counterparts. And what could be more summery than the bright gold of the coreopsis, a member of the sunflower family and one of the easiest of all flowers to grow.
Coreopsis ’Mayfield Giants’ are one the tallest and most robust of all the Coreopsis cultivars. Growing to around 1m (36in) in height, their dazzling display of large 8cm (3in) golden yellow daisy like blooms begins in late spring and continues throughout the summer.
This English selection has unusually glossy foliage that is highly resistant to the powdery mildew that can trouble some grandiflora types. They are very easily grown, are pest resistant and will flower the first year from an early sowing.
For almost any sort of garden, a hardier, more beautiful flower would be difficult to find. They are drought tolerant plants, which will adapt to poor soil, have great durability and perform best in full sun or light shade. When it comes to all out colour Coreopsis is hard to beat, combine it with other big summer bloomers in a hot sunny location. They can hold their own in front of the showiest kniphofias, crocosmias, cannas and dahlias.
Butterflies adore coreopsis (next to purple flowers, butterflies like intensely yellow blooms best), so gardeners wanting to attract butterflies would do well to include coreopsis in their plans.
Deadhead the plants to provide a continual show, at the end of the flowering season, allow seeds to remain for the birds to enjoy.
‘Mayfield Giants’ make a beautiful and enduring cut flower and cutting the blossoms will encourage the plant to bloom even more.
Sowing: Sow in late winter/late spring or late summer/autumn.
Sow at temperatures of around 16 to 21°C (60 to 70°F)
Fill pots or containers with a well draining seed compost, stand the containers in water to moisten thoroughly, then drain.Sow the seed on the surface or the soil, and press them lightly into the soil. Do not cover them, as they need light to germinate. Keep moist. Seed will germinate in 20 to 25 days
When seedlings have their first pair of true leaves and are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots.
For autumn sown seedlings, pot on again and grow on in a cool greenhouse or sheltered part of the garden. Plant outside into their permanent positions in the spring after all risk of frost has passed. Plant 38cm (15in) apart in a sunny spot on light well drained soil.
Coreopsis do not require a highly fertile soil, and feeding them too much makes them tall and floppy. A half-handful of general purpose slow acting granular fertiliser scattered on the soil or worked into the soil around each plant in the spring is plenty for the season.
Trim spent flowers off regularly to promote continuous production of new flowers. If not deadheaded, only naked flower stalks will remain above the foliage. Cut plants back severely after flowering and the new growth will be strong and healthy. Cut back nearly to the ground in the winter. Coreopsis are pest resistant. Leaf spots may be a problem especially in wet years, but they usually don't affect the first bloom.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower Arranging, Flowers Borders and Beds, Gravel Garden
Low Maintenance or Wildlife Gardens
The blossoms of the Coreopsis can be used to make yellow and orange dye.
It yields a bright permanent orange when used with alum.
The name coreopsis is derived from Greek "opsis" meaning "resemble" and "koris," meaning "bedbug."
Its seeds, possessing two horns, might be said to remind one of a bedbug. It is not surprising, then, that a common name for the coreopsis is tickseed, due to some people's opinion that the seeds look like ticks.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 350mg Average Seed Count 175 Seeds Family Asteraceae Genus Coreopsis Species grandiflora Cultivar Mayfield Giants Common Name Bigflower Coreopsis Other Common Names Large flowered Tickseed, Tickseed Coreopsis Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Golden yellow single flowers Natural Flower Time Late spring and continuing throughout summer. Foliage Dark green oval leaves. Height 100cm (36in) Spread 45cm (18in) Position Full Sun or partial shade. Time to Sow Sow in late winter/late spring or late summer/autumn. Germination Seed germinates in 20 to 25 days