Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis Lanceolata ‘Summer Sprite’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata ‘Summer Sprite’)

Lanceleaf coreopsis, scientifically known as Coreopsis lanceolata ‘Summer Sprite’, is a perennial plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. This vibrant and cheerful plant is a popular choice in gardens due to its bright and abundant blooms. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the characteristics, cultivation, and maintenance of lanceleaf coreopsis, with a focus on the ‘Summer Sprite’ variety.

What is Lanceleaf Coreopsis?

Lanceleaf coreopsis is a native North American wildflower that has found its way into domestic gardens, thanks to its striking appearance and low-maintenance nature. This plant is known for its lance-shaped leaves and an abundance of daisy-like flowers in various shades of yellow, from pale buttery tones to deep golden hues. The ‘Summer Sprite’ variety specifically is cherished for its compact form and profusion of blooms, making it a delightful addition to any garden or landscape.

Key Takeaways

Before delving into the specifics of caring for lanceleaf coreopsis, let’s overview the key takeaways for this beautiful plant.

  • Plant Name: Coreopsis lanceolata ‘Summer Sprite’
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Common Names: Lanceleaf coreopsis, tickseed
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Bloom Time: Late spring to early summer
  • Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9
  • Native Habitat: North America
  • Growth Habit: Compact, clump-forming
  • Attracts: Butterflies, pollinators
  • Uses: Borders, containers, wildflower meadows

With these key points in mind, let’s dive deeper into the optimal care and cultivation practices for lanceleaf coreopsis.



Lanceleaf coreopsis, particularly the ‘Summer Sprite’ variety, offers various uses in both formal gardens and wilder landscapes.

Garden Borders

The vibrant blooms and compact nature of ‘Summer Sprite’ make it an excellent choice for garden borders and edging. Its ability to naturalize and create dense, colorful displays adds a charming touch to any garden scheme.


Due to its compact growth habit, lanceleaf coreopsis is well-suited for container plantings. This allows individuals with limited garden space, such as urban dwellers, to enjoy the beauty of this plant on patios, balconies, and other confined areas.

Wildflower Meadows

In more naturalistic settings, lanceleaf coreopsis can be used to create stunning wildflower meadows. These meadows not only serve as visually appealing landscapes but also support pollinators and other wildlife.


Lanceleaf coreopsis is known for its tolerance to drought conditions, making it a resilient plant once established. However, during the initial stages of growth and in periods of prolonged drought, it is essential to provide regular watering to ensure healthy establishment and consistent flowering.


One of the key factors contributing to the success of lanceleaf coreopsis is its requirement for full sun. These plants thrive in bright, direct sunlight and may exhibit reduced flowering if grown in shaded or partially shaded locations.


Lanceleaf coreopsis is a relatively low-maintenance plant and typically thrives without the need for heavy fertilization. However, applying a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring can support healthy growth and abundant flowering throughout the growing season.


Well-draining soil is crucial for lanceleaf coreopsis, as it dislikes sitting in waterlogged conditions. A loamy or sandy soil with good drainage is ideal for this plant. Additionally, the soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.0-7.0) for optimal growth.


Minimal pruning is required for lanceleaf coreopsis, particularly the ‘Summer Sprite’ variety. However, removing spent flowers (deadheading) can prolong the blooming period and encourage the plant to produce additional blooms. In late fall or early spring, a light trim of the foliage can help maintain a tidy appearance.


Lanceleaf coreopsis can be propagated through division, stem cuttings, or seed. Each method has its own requirements and benefits, allowing gardeners to choose the most suitable approach based on their preferences and resources.


Dividing established clumps of lanceleaf coreopsis every few years not only maintains the vigor of the plants but also provides new specimens to expand the planting. This process is best carried out in spring or early fall.

Stem Cuttings

Taking stem cuttings in late spring or early summer from healthy, non-flowering shoots can yield new plants. The cuttings should be rooted in a well-draining potting mix, kept moist, and placed in a warm, brightly lit location.


Collecting seeds from mature lanceleaf coreopsis plants can be an economical way to propagate new individuals. Sowing the seeds in a prepared seedbed or pots in late autumn allows the plants to establish and develop over the winter, ready for flowering the following spring.

Container Popularity

Due to its compact growth and attractive blooms, lanceleaf coreopsis, especially the ‘Summer Sprite’ variety, has gained popularity as a container plant. Its ability to thrive in containers makes it a versatile choice for gardeners with limited space and those looking to create vibrant patio or balcony displays.

Common Diseases

Lanceleaf coreopsis is relatively resistant to diseases, particularly when provided with suitable growing conditions and proper care. However, there are a few diseases that can affect these plants, and being aware of them can aid in prevention and management.

Disease Diagnosis

Some of the common diseases that may afflict lanceleaf coreopsis include:

  • Powdery Mildew: This fungal disease manifests as a powdery white coating on the foliage, leading to distorted growth and reduced vigor.
  • Gray Mold (Botrytis): Gray mold causes brown spots on the leaves and flowers, often leading to a mushy decay of affected plant parts.
  • Root Rot: Excessive moisture, especially in poorly draining soils, can lead to root rot, causing wilting and decline of the plant.

Preventing these diseases through proper cultural practices, such as providing good air circulation, avoiding overhead watering, and maintaining soil drainage, is crucial for keeping lanceleaf coreopsis healthy and disease-free.

Common Pests

While lanceleaf coreopsis is generally resistant to most pests, there are a few that can occasionally cause issues for these plants.


Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects that can congregate on the tender growth of lanceleaf coreopsis, causing distortion and yellowing of the foliage. Regularly inspecting the plants and using a strong blast of water or insecticidal soap can help manage aphid populations.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are not true insects but members of the arachnid family. These tiny pests can cause stippling and webbing on the foliage, leading to reduced plant vigor. Increasing humidity around the plants and using horticultural oils can aid in controlling spider mite infestations.

Botanist’s Tips

To ensure success in growing lanceleaf coreopsis and ‘Summer Sprite’ specifically, consider the following tips:

  • Good Drainage: Provide well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.
  • Full Sun: Plant in a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight for optimal flowering.
  • Air Circulation: Allow for good air movement around the plants to reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
  • Deadheading: Regularly remove spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming and maintain plant vigor.

Fun Facts

  • Lanceleaf coreopsis is the state wildflower of Florida, USA, where it is known as the tickseed.
  • The botanical name “Coreopsis” is derived from the Greek words “koris,” meaning bedbug, and “opsis,” meaning resembling, alluding to the shape of the seeds.

As we continue to explore lanceleaf coreopsis ‘Summer Sprite’, it becomes evident why this plant is a beloved choice among gardeners and landscapers alike.

Links to External Resources

For further information on lanceleaf coreopsis and its ‘Summer Sprite’ variety, consider exploring the following resources:

  1. The American Horticultural Society’s guide to lanceleaf coreopsis
  2. University of Florida’s publication on coreopsis lanceolata
  3. Royal Horticultural Society’s plant selector for Coreopsis lanceolata ‘Summer Sprite’
  4. Missouri Botanical Garden’s plant finder for lanceleaf coreopsis

Now that we have gained a thorough understanding of the cultural requirements, uses, and characteristics of lanceleaf coreopsis ‘Summer Sprite’, let’s delve into some specific tips and considerations for its successful cultivation and maintenance.

Lanceleaf Coreopsis Care Guide

In this comprehensive care guide, we will cover the various aspects of growing and maintaining lanceleaf coreopsis, focusing on the ‘Summer Sprite’ variety. From planting tips to landscape uses, we aim to provide valuable insights for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Lanceleaf Coreopsis Characteristics

Lanceleaf coreopsis, including the ‘Summer Sprite’ cultivar, possesses several distinctive characteristics that contribute to its appeal and practicality in garden settings.

Growth Habits

The ‘Summer Sprite’ variety of lanceleaf coreopsis exhibits a compact, clump-forming growth habit, reaching a height of approximately 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) and spreading to about 12-24 inches (30-60 cm) wide. This moderate size makes it suitable for various planting scenarios, from small garden borders to mixed perennial beds.

Flower colors

The flowers of the ‘Summer Sprite’ coreopsis are typically bright golden-yellow, adding a cheerful and vibrant display to the garden. The abundant blooms are daisy-like in appearance, creating a charming and inviting atmosphere.


Lanceleaf coreopsis, including the ‘Summer Sprite’ variety, is relatively low-maintenance once established. Its tolerance to drought and resilience against pests and diseases make it an ideal choice for those seeking a fuss-free and rewarding garden plant.

Lanceleaf Coreopsis Planting Tips

To ensure the successful establishment and ongoing health of lanceleaf coreopsis ‘Summer Sprite’, it is essential to consider several planting tips and best practices.

Soil Preferences

Lanceleaf coreopsis thrives in a well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A loamy or sandy soil with good drainage properties is ideal for these plants. Moreover, it is beneficial to amend the soil with compost or organic matter before planting to improve its structure and fertility.

Watering Needs

While lanceleaf coreopsis is known for its drought tolerance, regular watering is crucial during the initial stages of growth and establishment. Once the plants are well-rooted, they can withstand periods of dryness, making them suitable for water-wise gardening and xeriscaping.

Sun Requirements

Full sun is non-negotiable for lanceleaf coreopsis, including the ‘Summer Sprite’ variety. Ensure that the planting location receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily to promote vigorous growth and profuse flowering.

Fertilization Tips

As previously mentioned, lanceleaf coreopsis generally does not require heavy fertilization. However, an application of a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring can support healthy growth and flowering. It is imperative not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive foliage at the expense of blooms.

Seasonal Blooms

The peak flowering period for lanceleaf coreopsis, including ‘Summer Sprite’, typically occurs from late spring through early summer. During this time, the plants are adorned with an abundance of sunny yellow blooms, creating a delightful show in the garden.

Lanceleaf Coreopsis Landscape Uses

The versatility and visual appeal of lanceleaf coreopsis make it a valuable plant for various landscape uses and designs.

Garden Maintenance

Due to its low-maintenance nature, lanceleaf coreopsis is an asset in garden maintenance, requiring minimal intervention to thrive. Deadheading spent flowers, light pruning, and division every few years are the primary maintenance tasks for this plant.

Landscape Ideas

In landscape design, lanceleaf coreopsis can be utilized in numerous ways, including:

  • Mixed Borders: The vibrant blooms of ‘Summer Sprite’ are a welcome addition to mixed perennial borders, providing a pop of color and attracting pollinators.
  • Wildflower Meadows: Planting lanceleaf coreopsis in drifts or patches creates enchanting wildflower meadows, adding a naturalistic and biodiverse element to the landscape.
  • Container Gardening: The ‘Summer Sprite’ variety’s compact size makes it suitable for container plantings, enhancing patios, balconies, and other confined spaces with its cheerful blooms.

Wildlife Habitat

Lanceleaf coreopsis, particularly when grown in abundance, serves as a valuable habitat and food source for pollinators, including bees and butterflies. This ecological contribution enhances the overall biodiversity and health of the garden.


In conclusion, lanceleaf coreopsis, specifically the ‘Summer Sprite’ variety, is a delightful and versatile plant that enriches gardens and landscapes with its vibrant blooms and easy-going nature. From its compact growth habit to its low-maintenance requirements, this perennial plant has much to offer to both novice and experienced gardeners. By providing the optimal growing conditions, such as full sun, well-draining soil, and minimal fertilizer, gardeners can enjoy the profusion of golden-yellow flowers and the ecological benefits that this plant brings.

As we embrace sustainable and wildlife-friendly gardening practices, the appeal of lanceleaf coreopsis grows even stronger due to its resilience to drought, contribution to pollinator habitats, and ease of maintenance. Therefore, whether it’s adorning a garden border, embellishing a container display, or naturalizing in a wildflower meadow, lanceleaf coreopsis ‘Summer Sprite’ deserves a place in diverse garden settings.

With proper care, appreciation for its vivid blooms, and its ecological significance, lanceleaf coreopsis continues to be a beloved choice – not just for its appearance, but also for its role in enhancing the natural world around us.

In this comprehensive blog post, the cultivation, characteristics, uses, and maintenance of lanceleaf coreopsis ‘Summer Sprite’ have been thoroughly explored, incorporating detailed information to provide valuable insights for plant enthusiasts and gardeners. Whether it’s the care guide, landscaping ideas, or botanist’s tips, this content serves as a robust resource for understanding and appreciating the beauty of lanceleaf coreopsis and its ‘Summer Sprite’ variety.

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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.