Greater Tickseed (Coreopsis Major)

Plant: Table of Contents

All You Need to Know About Greater Tickseed (Coreopsis major)

Greater Tickseed

Greater tickseed, scientifically known as Coreopsis major, is a stunning flowering plant that adds vibrancy to gardens and landscapes. This article will delve into the various aspects of this wonderful plant, from its cultural requirements to its uses, maintenance, and common diseases and pests. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a novice enthusiast, this comprehensive guide will equip you with all the knowledge you need to cultivate and care for the beautiful greater tickseed.

Table of Contents
1. What is Greater Tickseed (Coreopsis major)?
2. Key Takeaways
3. Culture
4. Uses
5. Water
6. Sunlight
7. Fertilizer
8. Soil
9. Pruning
10. Propagation
11. Container Popularity
12. Container Common Diseases
13. Disease Diagnosis
14. Common Pests
15. Botanist’s Tips
16. Fun Facts
17. Links to External Resources

What is Greater Tickseed (Coreopsis major)?

Greater tickseed, or Coreopsis major, is a perennial flowering plant native to North America. It belongs to the Asteraceae family, commonly known as the aster, daisy, or sunflower family. The genus name “Coreopsis” is derived from the Greek words “kore” meaning “bedbug” and “opsis” meaning “resembling”, which refers to the appearance of the seeds resembling bedbugs.

This plant is characterized by its bright and cheerful yellow blossoms, which resemble daisies with a prominent center. The foliage is generally fine-textured and feathery. Greater tickseed typically grows to a height of 1-3 feet and spreads 1-2 feet wide, making it an excellent choice for borders, containers, and mixed perennial beds.

The botanical features and vibrant display of flowers make greater tickseed a sought-after addition to gardens, contributing to its popularity among horticulturists and garden enthusiasts.

Key Takeaways – Greater Tickseed (Coreopsis major)

Before delving into the detailed aspects of greater tickseed, let’s outline the key takeaways associated with this captivating plant:

  • Scientific Name: Coreopsis major
  • Common Name: Greater Tickseed
  • Flower: Yellow, daisy-like blossoms
  • Growth Habit: Perennial
  • Cultural Requirements: Well-drained soil, full sun
  • Uses: Ornamental landscaping, pollinator attractor
  • Maintenance: Low maintenance, drought tolerant

With these key points in mind, let’s explore the various facets of greater tickseed cultivation and care.



Greater tickseed thrives in full sun, requiring at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. When selecting a site for planting, ensure it receives ample sunshine to encourage robust growth and prolific blooming. In regions with scorching summers, some afternoon shade can be beneficial to prevent the plants from wilting.


While greater tickseed exhibits a high tolerance to drought, it is essential to provide regular watering, particularly during the establishment phase and prolonged dry spells. Adequate moisture is crucial for promoting healthy growth and abundant flowering. It is imperative to strike a balance, avoiding waterlogging as it can lead to root rot and other detrimental effects.


The soil for greater tickseed should be well-drained, preferably sandy or loamy, and moderately fertile. It is essential to ensure good drainage, as waterlogged conditions can result in root damage. Additionally, maintaining a soil pH level between 6.0 and 7.0 is optimal for the plant’s growth and blooming.


Greater tickseed generally thrives in nutrient-poor soils and does not require heavy fertilization. However, applying a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring can support healthy growth and enhance bloom production. It is advisable to avoid excessive nitrogen, as it can promote lush foliage at the expense of flower formation.


Ornamental Landscaping

The striking appearance of greater tickseed, with its vivid yellow flowers and finely textured foliage, makes it an excellent choice for ornamental landscaping. It can be incorporated into various settings, including perennial borders, cottage gardens, and naturalistic landscapes, where it adds a touch of brightness and allure.

Pollinator Attractor

Greater tickseed is highly attractive to pollinators, particularly butterflies and bees. The nectar-rich flowers serve as a valuable food source for these beneficial insects, contributing to the overall biodiversity of the garden. In cultivating greater tickseed, you not only enhance the visual appeal of your outdoor space but also contribute to the support of local pollinator populations.


Pruning greater tickseed is relatively simple and primarily involves deadheading spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming. Regular removal of faded blossoms not only maintains the plant’s aesthetic appeal but also directs its energy into producing new flowers. Additionally, a light trim in late spring can help promote compact growth and prevent the plant from becoming leggy.


Greater tickseed can be propagated through various methods, including division, seed sowing, and stem cuttings. Each technique offers its own advantages and considerations, allowing gardeners to select the most suitable approach based on their preferences and resources.

  • Division: Divide mature plants in early spring or late summer to create new clumps. This method helps rejuvenate older plants and expand the population of greater tickseed in the garden.
  • Seed Sowing: Collect seeds from mature plants and sow them in well-prepared soil in the desired location. While it may take longer to establish compared to division, seed sowing offers the opportunity for diverse genetic variations.
  • Stem Cuttings: Take 4-6 inch stem cuttings from healthy, non-flowering shoots and root them in a well-draining medium. This technique can result in exact genetic replicas of the parent plant and is an efficient method for propagation.

Container Popularity

Greater tickseed can be successfully grown in containers, making it a versatile option for gardening in limited spaces, such as balconies, patios, and small urban gardens. When selecting a container, ensure it provides adequate drainage to prevent waterlogging, and use a quality potting mix to support healthy growth. Additionally, placing the container in a spot that receives ample sunlight is essential for the plant’s wellbeing.

Container Common Diseases

When cultivating greater tickseed in containers, it is important to be mindful of potential diseases that can affect the plant. Common container diseases include root rot, powdery mildew, and fungal leaf spots. These conditions often arise from overwatering, poor air circulation, or using contaminated soil or potting mix.

Disease Diagnosis

Diagnosing diseases in greater tickseed involves careful observation of the plant’s symptoms, such as wilting, yellowing or spotted leaves, and stunted growth. Additionally, inspecting the roots for signs of rot and examining the foliage for powdery or spotted lesions can aid in identifying the specific disease affecting the plant. Once diagnosed, appropriate measures, such as adjusting watering practices, improving air circulation, or applying targeted fungicides, can be implemented to mitigate the issue.

Common Pests

Greater tickseed is relatively resistant to pest infestations; however, it may occasionally encounter pest issues such as aphids, spider mites, and thrips. These pests can cause damage to the foliage and reduce the plant’s vigor if left unaddressed. Implementing preventative measures, such as regular monitoring and maintaining a healthy growing environment, can help mitigate pest pressures effectively.

Botanist’s Tips

To ensure optimal growth and flowering of greater tickseed, consider the following botanist’s tips:

  • Regular deadheading promotes prolonged blooming and prevents self-seeding.
  • Avoid excessive soil moisture to prevent root rot and related issues.
  • Apply a thin layer of mulch around the base of the plant to conserve soil moisture and suppress weed growth.
  • Maintain good air circulation to reduce the risk of fungal diseases.

Fun Facts

  • The name “tickseed” is derived from the resemblance of the plant’s seeds to small ticks.
  • Greater tickseed is native to various regions of North America, including parts of the United States and Canada.
  • The vibrant yellow flowers of greater tickseed serve as an excellent source of nectar for butterflies, supporting their conservation.

Links to External Resources

To further enrich your knowledge and understanding of greater tickseed, explore the following external resources:

  1. Growing Coreopsis Plants
  2. Tickseed Plant Care and Collection
  3. Perennial Tickseed
  4. Division and Propagation of Coreopsis
  5. Controlling Diseases in Container Gardens
  6. Identifying and Managing Common Pests

By leveraging these resources, you can gain valuable insights, tips, and techniques to enhance your greater tickseed cultivation and care practices.

In conclusion, greater tickseed (Coreopsis major) is a magnificent perennial plant with a wealth of ornamental and ecological value. Its vibrant blooms, ease of maintenance, and versatility make it a prized addition to gardens and landscapes. By adhering to the cultural requirements, implementing appropriate maintenance practices, and addressing potential issues promptly, you can cultivate flourishing greater tickseed plants that enrich your outdoor spaces and support local biodiversity.

Remember, every blossom of greater tickseed not only adds beauty to your garden but also contributes to the conservation of pollinators, making it a truly rewarding plant to cultivate.

Takeaways Summary
Scientific Name: Coreopsis major
Common Name: Greater Tickseed
Flower: Yellow, daisy-like blossoms
Growth Habit: Perennial
Cultural Requirements: Well-drained soil, full sun
Uses: Ornamental landscaping, pollinator attractor
Maintenance: Low maintenance, drought tolerant

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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.