Tickseed (Coreopsis Pubescens)

Plant: Table of Contents

Plant Scientist Blog: All About Tickseed (Coreopsis Pubescens)

Welcome to the wonderful world of plants! In this article, we will explore the intriguing plant known as tickseed (Coreopsis pubescens). As a plant scientist, I am excited to share with you the cultural significance, uses, care requirements, propagation techniques, common diseases, and so much more about this fascinating plant. So, let’s dive in and discover the beauty and benefits of tickseed.

What is Tickseed (Coreopsis Pubescens)?

Tickseed (Coreopsis pubescens) is a native North American perennial plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. This charming wildflower is often found in prairies, open woodlands, and along roadsides, adding a burst of color with its bright yellow flowers. The name “tickseed” is derived from the appearance of the tiny dark seed heads, resembling ticks.

Key Takeaways – Tickseed (Coreopsis Pubescens)

Before we delve deeper, let’s take a quick look at the key takeaways about tickseed (Coreopsis pubescens):

  • Tickseed plant belongs to the Asteraceae family.
  • It is a native North American perennial plant.
  • Tickseed flowers are vibrant yellow and have a distinct appearance.
  • The plant is commonly known for its uses in landscaping and gardening.
  • It is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in various conditions.
  • Tickseed has both ecological and ornamental significance.

Tickseed Culture


Tickseed plants prefer moderate watering. It is essential to water the plants deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Over-watering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the plant to wilt and underperform.


Tickseed thrives in full sun to partial shade. It is important to provide the plant with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, ensuring the best flower production and overall health.


Tickseed plants are not heavy feeders. A balanced fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content can be applied in early spring to promote robust flowering. Be cautious not to over-fertilize as this can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers.


Tickseed thrives in well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Amending the soil with organic matter such as compost can enhance its fertility and structure, ensuring optimal growth conditions for the plant.

Pruning Tickseed

Pruning tickseed plants is essential to encourage blooming and maintain a tidy appearance. Deadheading, the removal of faded flowers, promotes continuous blooming throughout the growing season. In late fall or early spring, a light overall trim can help rejuvenate the plant and prepare it for the upcoming growing season.


Tickseed can be propagated through division or by collecting and germinating its seeds. Division can be conducted in early spring or fall, while collecting seeds should be done when the seed heads have matured and turned brown. Sow the seeds in a prepared seedbed for natural stratification or simulate the natural conditions by refrigerating them for a few weeks before sowing.

Tickseed in Containers

Tickseed can thrive in container gardens, adding vibrant colors to patios, balconies, and small outdoor spaces. When growing tickseed in containers, ensure the pots have adequate drainage and use a well-draining potting mix. Water regularly and provide sufficient sunlight for optimal growth and blooming.

Tickseed Popularity

Tickseed is a popular choice among gardeners and landscapers for several reasons:

  • It offers a long blooming period, providing continuous color throughout the summer months.
  • The plant is relatively low-maintenance, making it suitable for both beginner and experienced gardeners.
  • Its ecological significance in supporting pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, adds to its appeal in garden landscapes.
  • The diverse variety of tickseed cultivars and species allows for a range of options in garden design and landscaping.

Tickseed Uses

Ornamental Use

Tickseed is primarily used for ornamental purposes in gardens, borders, and naturalistic landscapes. Its vibrant yellow flowers and delicate foliage add a touch of natural beauty to any setting. Additionally, tickseed is often employed in pollinator gardens, where it attracts and supports various beneficial insects.

Ecological Significance

In its native habitats, tickseed plays a crucial role in supporting native pollinators and wildlife. The nectar-rich flowers are a valuable food source for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, contributing to the biodiversity and ecological balance of natural ecosystems.

Common Diseases of Tickseed

Like any other plant, tickseed is susceptible to certain diseases, including:

  • Powdery Mildew: A fungal disease that appears as a white powdery substance on the leaves. It can be controlled through proper spacing and good air circulation.
  • Crown Rot: This disease affects the base of the plant and is often caused by overly moist or poorly-drained soil. Prevention includes proper watering and soil management.

Disease Diagnosis

To diagnose diseases in tickseed plants, it is crucial to inspect the plant regularly for any signs of discoloration, wilting, or unusual growth patterns. Prompt action, including proper sanitation, targeted treatments, and improving growing conditions, can help manage and prevent the spread of diseases.

Common Pests

Tickseed plants may also face challenges from certain pests, including:

  • Aphids: These small insects can cluster on new growth, sucking sap from the plant. They can be managed through natural predators, insecticidal soaps, or horticultural oils.
  • Spider Mites: These tiny arachnids can cause stippling on the leaves and webs on the plant. Regularly spraying the plant with water can help deter them, and predatory mites can provide biological control.

Botanist’s Tips for Tickseed

As a plant scientist, I recommend the following tips for successfully growing and enjoying tickseed in your garden:

  • Choose tickseed varieties that are well-suited to your climate and growing conditions for optimal performance.
  • Provide adequate spacing between plants to allow for good air circulation and minimize the risk of disease.
  • Incorporate tickseed in mixed plantings to create attractive and diverse landscapes with complementary colors and textures.

Fun Facts about Tickseed

  • The generic name “Coreopsis” is derived from the Greek words “koris,” meaning bedbug, and “opsis,” meaning view, referring to the appearance of the seeds.
  • Tickseed flowers are known for their attractiveness to pollinators, particularly butterflies, making them a delightful addition to butterfly gardens.
  • Tickseed plants are considered deer-resistant, making them a suitable choice for landscapes where deer browsing is a concern.

Links to External Resources

For further information about tickseed (Coreopsis pubescens) and related topics, consider exploring the following external resources:

In conclusion, tickseed (Coreopsis pubescens) is a delightful plant with a rich tapestry of uses, cultural significance, and ecological value. Whether grown for its ornamental beauty, ecological contributions, or both, tickseed’s vibrant flowers and low-maintenance nature make it a captivating addition to any garden or landscape. I hope this comprehensive guide has provided valuable insights into the world of tickseed and inspires you to explore the wonders of this remarkable plant.

Happy gardening!

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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.