How to Grow Tickseed Perennial Flowers (Coreopsis)

It’s time to start planning your spring garden. Here is one flower that’s easy to grow and maintain, Tickseed or Coreopsis.

caring for tickseed flowers

Tickseed is one of my favorite flowers. They’re versatile, beautiful, and can grow practically everywhere. If you’re in the market for an easy-to-care-for flower, don’t overlook this option.

This flower blooms in yellow, red, pink, white, and even orange. You may also find it labeled as coreopsis in your local nursery.

Tickseed can light up your garden with its daisy-like blooms all summer long. In some areas, it can even grow into early fall.

Whether you need a splash of color or a flower good for making DIY flower arrangements, tickseed could be for you. Here’s what you should know to grow tickseed:


There are over thirty-three different varieties of tickseed. Therefore, there should be something for everyone with this plant.

It grows in every planting zone and is a great way to invite beneficial insects into your garden. If you’d like to grow this drought-tolerant plant, be sure to provide a few specifics in its growing location.

First, check the variety of tickseed that you’re planting. Some varieties are annuals and others are perennial.

Therefore, if you’re growing a perennial variety, you should plant it where the flowers won’t be disturbed during their dormant period.

Next, tickseed requires full to partial sunlight. The colder the climate, the more sunlight is necessary. If you live in a warmer climate, morning sun with afternoon shade might be your best bet as this will protect the plant from becoming scorched under too much heat or sunlight.

However, tickseed can handle some humidity. It also prefers to grow in temperatures between 70- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit.

The final things which must be considered in a growing space is space and soil. Tickseed can grow to be as tall as two feet in height.

Be sure you check the maximum height of the variety you plant to ensure adequate space between and around the plants as they mature.

You also should plant tickseed in well-draining soil. It’s important that water can reach the roots and then flow away from the plant to avoid oversaturation.

Ensure each of these needs are met in the area you’d like to plant tickseed. If everything is provided, you’re ready to begin the planting process.


Planting tickseed isn’t a complicated process. You can either start the plant indoors from seed, direct sow the seeds, or use a division of a well-established plant.

To start tickseed from seed, start the seeds indoors approximately two months prior to the final spring frost. Fill the seed tray with well-draining soil, and place two seeds in each cell of the tray.

This serves as a germination insurance policy in case one seed fails to germinate properly. You’ll need patience when growing this flower as it can take up to twenty-one days for the seeds to germinate.

Lightly cover the seeds with soil as they require light for germination as well. Spritz the soil with water using a spray bottle, and cover the tray with plastic wrap. This provides a homemade greenhouse effect.

Store the seeds in a warm location and don’t let the soil dry out. Spritz the soil with water as necessary. Once the seeds have sprouted and the plants have formed true leaves, you’re ready to move them to their permanent growing location.

Be sure the space provides all the necessary growing conditions as we discussed above. Leave one foot of space between each plant to ensure the plants have adequate airflow when they’ve reached their mature state.

If you already have tickseed and would like to grow more, you can divide a mature plant. This is best done when a perennial plant has begun decreasing the amount of blooms it produces.

Perennial tickseed only lasts about five years, so this would be a good time to divide mature plants. Dig up the mature plant, divide the entire flower using a trowel, even through the roots.

Once the plants are divided, take the divisions and plant them in new locations which still meet their growing conditions.

It’s also wise to succession plant tickseed throughout a growing season to ensure you have colorful blooms the entire time.

Do this by waiting until all threat of frost is over. Prepare the soil to receive seed by tilling up the ground and ensuring the dirt is draining adequately.

Plant the seeds every six inches. Once the seeds sprout, you can thin them to leave one foot of space between each plant.

As mentioned above, you can plant an entire bed of tickseed at once or only a few rows at a time. If you choose succession planting, sow more rows every two weeks to ensure the plants have a staggered bloom schedule.

Now that you know the multiple ways you can go about planting tickseed, let’s discuss how you can care for these plants once they’re established.


Tickseed needs basic maintenance to ensure these flowers bloom brightly. The first thing they must have is water.

I recommend deep watering your flowers to ensure they receive enough moisture without oversaturating them.

Deeply water tickseed by watering the flowers for longer periods of time but fewer days of the week. At the time of watering, it will reach the roots of the plant.

However, as the days pass and the plant needs more water, the roots will dig even deeper into the soil to retrieve it.

This helps the plant become stronger by developing a deeper root system. Strong root systems typically equate to healthier plants.

Before adding more water, you should test the moisture level in the soil with your finger. If it’s dry to your first knuckle, it’s time to have another watering session. If not, wait a day or two before testing the soil again.

The next thing you should do is mulch around tickseed. Not only does this help control weeds, but it also helps retain moisture around the flowers as well.

Once watering the plants is covered, it’s time to discuss deadheading the blooms. When you notice the blooms are becoming spent, remove them.

This will keep the plant feeling young and vibrant. Therefore, using its energy to produce more blooms instead of caring for aging parts of the plant.

You will also need to apply compost to the soil in the early spring, if you’re growing perennial varieties.

This will provide necessary nutrients as the plants reemerge and begin forming blooms for the new growing season.

However, you won’t need to fertilize tickseed. This can actually cause the plant to bloom less instead of more.

Finally, if you’re growing a larger form of tickseed, prepare to stake the plant. The stems of the plant may not be strong enough to support the blooms. By providing extra support, you could protect the tickseed in its mature state.

This concludes everything tickseed needs from you when growing. By providing adequate care, this flower could add a great deal of beauty to your home.


The final thing you must understand when growing tickseed is how to protect it from harm. Most plants have something in the garden that will try to harm them.

By being alert to such issues and staying ahead of them, you could give your flowers a better chance at survival.

Fortunately, there are no pests which commonly harm tickseed. Only during unusually rainy growing seasons do snails and slugs bother these flowers.

To rid your gardening area of these pests, place coffee grounds and diatomaceous earth around the base of each plant.

This creates a dangerous terrain for the pests to crawl over and should send a strong message to stay away from your flowers.

The only diseases which impact tickseed are fungal based. This typically occurs when tickseed is planted where the soil doesn’t drain properly.

Ensure to grow tickseed where there’s sunlight to warm the soil, the soil drains well to avoid rot, and with enough space between plants to ensure they can breathe. By doing this you are avoiding the ideal breeding conditions for fungal issues.

Your plant’s greatest chance of rebounding from a disease, or never falling victim to it, is taking steps to avoid the issue and staying alert to catch problems early. Do these things and tickseed should stand a greater chance at thriving under your care.

By providing adequate care, this flower should brighten the growing areas around your home and garden. 

Article by Jennifer Poindexter for Gardening Channel

Source: How to Grow Tickseed Perennial Flowers (Coreopsis) – Gardening Channel

Author: Dennis Hickey

There are no limits to success to those who never stop learning. Learning will nourish your personal growth. I hope you enjoy this website and visit often so you too keep learning and growing.

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