Friday, September 4, 2009

Tick, tick, tick...

With fall setting in and blooming periods winding down, I'm finding myself doing a lot of research on individual plants on our lot. Should I deadhead? Prune? How do I get this plant ready for fall and eventually winter? My most recent research subject is our Moonbeam coreopsis (tickweed or tickseed).

This version of coreopsis is a threadleaf ground cover with tons of small, daisy-like blooms. Coreopsis is a sun-loving plant that works well in borders and poor soil. It is very drought tolerant due to those needle-like leaves. I've read that fertilizing and heavy watering is not necessary and sometimes will lessen the amount of blooms during the season. Just plant it in your bed, mulch and water if the coreopsis show signs of wilting. When pruning spent blooms from this plant, you can shear back the whole plant an inch or two instead of deadheading individual blooms.

I'm going to give our coreopsis such a haircut during this weekend. It has done fairly well, poking up from the ground in the spring and growing throughout the summer. However, I did notice it was less full of blooms than last year. What's the difference? I think last year, it wasn't used as an armrest for the lamb's ear. I think the 2 year-old lamb's ear was so huge and magnificent, it stole a bit of sunlight from the coreopsis. I'll have to be more aware of how these two plants play together next season. If it misbehaves again, the lamb's ear may end up with a panty-hose girdle.

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