This Coreopsis used to be on every ‘top perennials’ list when I started out gardening some thirty years ago. It has changed alot through breeding efforts, and here is my assessment from how it has fared in my Ohio garden.
The original recommended type, C. verticillata ‘Golden Showers‘ is the plant that I would include in my top perennials list today.
Native to the United States, blooms are arrayed on loose clusters called cymes. The leaves are very finely segmented on strongly vertical stalks. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9, with height of 3 ft. and spread of 2 ft. verticillata translates as “arranged in whorls”
The common name, “Cut and Come Again” refers to the fact that this plant responds to a good haircut every once in awhile. Shearing plants in mid-summer (early August) will result in more golden flowers from a burst of rejuvenated blooming. So cut all you want for bouquets – it makes a very nice cut flower.
Situating the C. verticillata in naturalized areas, wild gardens, or cottage gardens is commendable because of its free blooming and easy care, while it won’t overrun the garden. It has a form and habit that is at home in those informal styles, but is equally useful in more formal landscapes, used as a solid block of longlasting color. I think it is one of the most desirable secondary plants- the only thing that might count against it is the very strong yellow hue, if you want to have a more sublime colored garden. For most people the cheerful yellow is a plus.
Grow it in
- dry to medium wet, well-drained soil
- in full sun
- thrives in poor, sandy or rocky soils with good drainage
- tolerant of heat, humidity and drought
- spreads by rhizomes, but not invasive
I grow this in a sunny, gravelly place, and propagate it from little rooted sections taken from the mother plant. I’ve never had it reseed itself.
I’ve tried growing many of the desirable hybrid types, including ‘Moonbeam’ and ‘Limerock Ruby’. These disappeared for me, and I have wondered whether they are as hardy as the Golden Showers type, or whether they are more susceptible to the wet soils or heaving over winter. So far, they act more like annuals than perennials, and that has been very disappointing. Perhaps I should try them where the ‘Golden Showers’ has done so well in the gravel pocked soil of my driveway.
I do love the colors in these variations, the ‘Moonbeam’ blends beautifully in a pastel themed garden, and the beautiful dusky orange in my driveway planting is going to be sorely missed if I don’t get a replacement.
Coreopsis now comes in an array of colorful hybrids, This photo shows”Limerock Dreams”, which was shorter lived than the golden selections I have grown.