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Tips for Growing Tickseed

Written by Mindy on April 22nd, 2017

What a unique name for a plant, which is commonly known as tickseed or calliopsis. The reason for this common name comes from the seed and is even carried over into the scientific name. Coreopsis roughly translated means “bedbug,” and describes what the seed looks like.

tickseedWhile this plant may be one you have never heard of, the beauty is memorable. A general description of this plant is one that grows one to three feet in height. The plants are topped with bright, daisy like flowers that can range in color from yellow to orange and bright red to burgundy. Some varieties can be found that are bi-colored with dramatic contrasting shades of yellow and red.

Yes, this plant is classified as an annual, there are perennial varieties that are grown as annuals but regardless of what type you pick, propagating tickseed is simple.

When it comes to propagating tickseed, you can either directly seed into the garden space or start indoors. If you want to get a jump on the season then starting them inside six to eight weeks prior to your local frost free date is the way to go. On the other hand, if you do not have the space to propagate inside, directly seed outdoors after your local frost free date.

Regardless of which technique you choose, the planting process is easy. Simply prepare the garden space in a sunny location or clean and sterilize your container. Once the soil or planting medium is prepared, sprinkle the seeds on the soil surface and cover with ¼ inch of soil.

Mist with water and monitor the soil moisture. Add water as needed and in five to seven days, you will see evidence of seed germination.

Continue to monitor the soil moisture until the seedlings have become established.

The standard size of tickseed looks wonderful as a mid border plant. If you are looking to use this colorful annual as a traditional border plant, pick dwarf varieties.

As beautiful as this annual is, it does have a dark side. Once established this plant easily reseeds itself and can become an annual pest in landscape design. To at least reduce the chances of volunteer tickseeds popping up, deadhead the flowers as soon as they are spent or harvest the blooms for floral arrangements.

Regardless of what your landscape needs are tickseed can not only add color but texture to any landscape design without any long term commitment.


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