Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Coreopsis~Shift To Red!

early summer 2013
I've been thinking about how much I like Coreopsis. I mean really like them. They're dependable, have a long bloom period, are easy to grow and are usually trouble free and who doesn't like their colorful, daisy like flowers? 
Goldfinches enjoy Coreopsis tripteris seeds
Apparently, I didn't! At least for a while! I'm not exactly sure why I stopped planting them at Clay and Limestone. Maybe, it was that "too much of a yellow thing" I have going on with all the yellow composite flowers or it could have been that I thought they needed more sun and better drainage. Whatever! I reversed course and want more in the garden.
My favorite right now is Coreopsis 'Redshift'. The name is apt, the first blooms in early summer are a lovely buttery yellow that shifts to red as the summer turns into Autumn and the evenings cool. 'Redshift' is a hybrid (a complicated hybrid with many crosses)* and I appreciate the work that has gone into making this pretty flower that has survived the drought and deluge that is the hallmark of my Middle Tennessee garden.
Green metallic bee
 'Redshift' will rebloom all summer, often till the first frost, if regularly deadheaded. It forms a nice clump with its daisy flower dancing on sturdy stems above the foliage.
Bumbles visit it, too
'Redshift' was the first hybrid Coreopsis I added to my garden and I've been pleased with its performance for the past several years. Although, not a host plant for critters native to my garden, it does provide nectar to the many that visit it. (Go here for a post about this: The Flower and The Bee)
  But, seriously, I am loving the color change and almost constant bloom.

No two flowers are identical
'Redshift' has been such a success that I decided to try another Coreopsis hybrid.

Meet Coreopsis 'Garnet', a low-growing mounding plant (10 in. by 20 in.) with garnet-colored flowers.

Doesn't that color make your heart beat faster! So far the small bees love it.Keep your fingers crossed that it likes my garden, too.


*Coreopsis, 'Redshift' is also the result of 8 years of intensive breeding work and the crossing of 8 species of Coreopsis by hybridizer Darrell Probst. 

Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.


  1. They are beautiful!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  2. I just love these hybrids. I haven't been able to get one to take in my garden. I have the old reliable thread leafed coreopsis though. It blooms all summer. Seeing your hybrids makes me want to try again.

    1. Lisa, I planted it in a container and in the ground~Try the container, it won't die off in the winter rains or snows.

  3. I love this plant too. I have Moonbeam as well, but I need more of the red ones. I think we all got one at the Seattle Fling, and when a bunch of people left on the last day, I inherited theirs, so I have a nice swath of them.

  4. I think mine reverted to plain yellow.

  5. Thanks for these photos. I just saw some 'Redshift' yesterday in VanDusen Gardens here in Vancouver and fell in love. Coreopsis are excellent flowers for native bees. Coreopsis tinctoria is also lovely. And they are such well-behaved perennials!

  6. Yes, they're lovely--especially in a mass grouping like yours. You sure have a way with waves of planting, Gail. Very pleasing to the eye!

  7. Coreopsis Big Bang'Redshift' is one of the stars of my garden on the left coast right now too. My only complaint: they turn their lovely faces toward the morning sun, which means turning their backs on me and my garden visitors. Still, I'm also planning to try other varieties in different areas to see if they'll be better behaved.

  8. I agree that coreopsis are dependable bloomers all summer long. These two are beauties--I'm really taken by the red-tinged leaves of 'Redshift.' It looks especially lovely in front of the Joe-Pye weed!

  9. I agree that coreopsis are dependable bloomers all summer long. These two are beauties--I'm really taken by the red-tinged leaves of 'Redshift.' It looks especially lovely in front of the Joe-Pye weed!

  10. Heidi/IN Woodland GardenerAugust 21, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Please don't tease us.....tell where you and we can get seeds/plants of this coreopsis! LOL You did an awesome job selling this plant and now I MUST have it, too! LOL

  11. Oooh, 'Garnet' is a pretty thing. I grow 'Redshift' and 'Route 66' found along the mother road. I like both of them. Both are very nice. 'Route 66' has returned for three or four years now. I'll look for 'Garnet.'

  12. Both are wonderful and yes, the pulse was a bit more rapid at the sight of these.

  13. There is quite a lot of yellow in most gardens. Still, coreopsis is worth it. Lovely.

  14. The question I have to ask myself after reading this is - why don't I have ANY coreopsis in my garden. Note to self: Get some.

  15. I love those coreopsis but they don't tend to grow well for us. Too much heat & humidity, I guess.

  16. Oh Gail, you temptress. Just when I've resigned myself to thinking - lovely yes, but not for me. I'm thinking, when's the last time I was at Sheridan (our local nursery), and I wonder if there might be a coreopsis that would be perfect for me. (Really loved the shot of the bumbler stomping away! Gorgeous.)

  17. I have Moonbeam and Full Moon, but perhaps I need to try some different varieties too!

  18. I have several hybrid coreopsis and they are all wonderful..one I have that I love is the apricot colored hybrid...there are a couple of different ones. Red Shift is new for me this year and it has performed beautifully.


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson