Why plant Audubon® Native Prairie Tickseed?
Pollinator pit stop! Prairie Coreopsis is a chipper wildflower Spirit with sunny, buttercup-like flowers that pollinators adore. Eager customers include many native bees, such as leaf-cutter bees, cuckoo bees, digger bees, and sweat bees, as well as butterflies, beetles, and beneficial wasps and flies. One species of solitary ground-dwelling bee, in particular, depends on Coreopsis pollen to feed its young, and Prairie Coreopsis can fill that role. Wildlife appeal does not stop there, as the seeds that follow are appealing to finches, sparrows, and juncos. This is a spreading perennial for natural spaces. Use it in wildflower meadows, restoration projects, and wildlife-friendly plantings of all types.
Prairie Coreopsis is a relic of the vast tallgrass prairies that once graced our central states. Its native range encompasses a rough triangle bordered by Minnesota, Indiana, and Oklahoma/Arkansas, which is also exactly where the tallgrass prairie stood. At no more than 30 inches tall, Prairie Coreopsis was at a disadvantage when growing next to giants like Big Bluestem and Sunflowers. It competed successfully by blooming earlier than other wildflowers (in late spring and early summer). It also coped by developing a tolerance for poorer, shallower soils, where prairie giants don’t generally thrive.
How to use Audubon® Native Prairie Tickseed in the landscape?
“Coreopsis” comes from the Greek words for “looks like a bug.” Another common name for Coreopsis is Tickseed. These names actually refer to Beggars Tick, a plant that used to be classified as a Coreopsis. Its seeds have two sharp prongs that enable them to latch on to animal fur, like a tick. Another name for Prairie Coreopsis is Stiff Tickseed, because its straight, unbranching stems are rigid in appearance.
Hardiness Zone: 3-8
How To Plant Audubon® Native Prairie Tickseed
Grow Prairie Coreopsis in full sun for best results, in soils of average moisture or a little on the dry side. Too much water or fertilizer will encourage floppy stems, so don’t overdo it once plants are established. Prairie Coreopsis spreads steadily by rhizomes (underground, rootlike stems); plant it where it can roam. Clumps may get overcrowded in time and will benefit from being dug up and divided every few years. Powdery mildew can be an issue with this species, especially when circulation is poor or when plants don’t receive enough sun or soil moisture. This is generally only a cosmetic issue and won’t kill the plant.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.