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Winter Care for a Coreopsis

ruby-red wet coreopsis, isolated image by Tamara Kulikova from

Coreopsis is a perennial flowering herb, prized for its delicate fern-like foliage, showy summertime color display and ease of cultivation. Coreopsis is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 4 through 9, but blooms more prolifically in the cooler zones. Coreopsis is often used as a border plant, spreading to create a lush and colorful ground cover. With proper care and protection, this hardy perennial can last for years in your garden.

Provide regular feed and water to the coreopsis until the flowering season has ended and the stems are drying and turning brown. After the first killing freeze, discontinue food and water to the plant.

Cut the stems of the coreopsis to 1 to 2 inches above the ground. Cover the cut stems with 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch to hold in heat and to prevent evaporative cooling from drying the roots excessively. Coreopsis plants grown in climates where the ground freezes for long periods will require a thicker layer of mulch.

Remove the mulch from the plants when there is no longer danger of frost. If the flower bed has become crowded, use a pitchfork to gently lift the roots and remove plants to thin the bed. This will inhibit pathogens such as mildew from infesting and destroying the plant. Apply granulated organic fertilizer. Reapply mulch and water to assist the plant in beginning its foliage and flower-production cycles.

Care For Coreopsis Grandiflora

Plant this flowering perennial in an area with full sun exposure and well-draining soil. It does not like shady conditions and develops crown rot in areas with too much soil moisture. Drive 3-foot-tall bamboo stakes into the soil with a mallet next to the flower clump. This prevents the stalks from falling over with the weight of the heavy blooms. This breaks the stem and ends the flowering season. Snip off the flowers with pruning shears. This perennial can become weedy if the seeds are allowed to form and scatter. Carefully separate the large parent plant into smaller clumps and replant 12 inches apart.

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