Monday, September 8, 2008

A fickle coreopsis

This "Sterntaler" tickseed coreopsis is really baffling to me.

I have watched it grow to nearly triple in size from when I bought it in late June and it has yet to bloom. The tag from the nursery says it blooms in early to midsummer in full sun. It gets five hours of sunlight a day so I don't think that's the problem. It appears healthy but its blooms are nowhere to be found. I was told that sometimes coreopsis doesn't bloom its first season at all and the next year it'll go nuts. My sister-in-law said she grows this variety as an annual because it won't make it through a winter.

As you can see, it's quite large. I've been wondering if I should just let it be, chuck it or maybe divide it to promote blooms for next year? Any ideas??!!?!?

When we moved in to our current house five years ago, I had picked out this "Angel's Blush" hydrangea. The landscapers planted it on the northside of our house - and we're talking very dense shade. The hydrangea never got taller than 2 feet and never bloomed. I was about ready to toss it in the garbage pile when it occured that maybe moving it would help (and this epiphany came four years later). Duh!

I nursed this hydrangea back to life this summer and by gosh, a pink bloom has appeared - in fact, several of them have. Isn't it pretty? In retrospect, I should have asked more questions when the landscapers came. Then again, I wasn't into gardening back then and probably wouldn't have asked the right questions anyway. So when they said it grows ok in shade - it didn't mean for "my kind" of shade. Only the homeowner knows what kind of sunlight exists in certain locations and it ultimately was my responsibility to speak up and say so. Lesson learned ...

This late-blooming ligularia looks great!

Canna update - they did bloom! At what point do you dig up the bulbs for next season? After the first frost?


ChrisND said...

Glad your hydrangea is now doing well. I guess it depends on how much shade is okay and what growing "ok" meant...good to hear it has a better home.

Susie said...

Beth, That coreopsis looks great! I vote for keeping it unless you have something you want to put in its place.

That hydrangea is a very pretty shade of pink. I guess sometimes they do need just a pink of light.

See, here is where the difference comes in between northern and southern gardening. I don't dig up the canna bulbs. They stay in the ground all winter. I'm not sure when you need to dig yours up. They are really pretty and healthy looking.

Beth said...

Chris - I know - "OK" can mean a lot of things, can't it?!??!

Susie - I probably will keep it because I would feel guilty throwing it away (I need one of your throw away gardens!) The cannas still look good. I think wihin a month or after a good hard freeze is when I'm suppose to dig these up. I think .... er, I don't know!!!! I'll find out :O)

Barbarapc said...

Beth, was lured in by those lovely hydrangeas - just gorgeous! The coreopsis just looks immature - so best to leave it where it is. Don't know how much snow cover you get - but the only time I've lost one is in the spring when there's a shift from warm to really cold again. Providing you have good snow cover and don't get in there too early to do cleanup you shud be ok. And those Cannas - because they're tropicals dig them out before the frost - otherwise they'll just turn into goo. You can leave them to dry in the sun on newspapers before you store them away for a day or two. Enjoyed your blog!

garden girl said...

What a pretty hydrangea Beth! Kudos to you for saving it.

I'd probably leave the coreopsis for now. It might increase it's chances for survival. Sometimes where you're on the edge of a plant's hardiness, it's better to wait until spring before moving it. I hope it survives the winter.

I suspect it might not be getting quite enough sun - coreopsis really do seem to need full sun for best bloom, and that's at least 6 hours a day. Five might not be quite enough for bloom, even though it's clearly enough for vigorous foliage growth.

It's ok to wait to dig the cannas until after the first frost. The frost will kill the foliage but not the corm. If the soil freezes before you dig the corms, they'll turn to mush and die, but frost won't hurt them.

Oswald said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rose said...

I've never grown this variety of coreopsis, but I definitely wouldn't toss it. Since it's growing so much, it may very well bloom next year.
Glad your hydrangeas are finally blooming. I've moved mine a couple times trying to find a better home for them; I think they're very picky about where they live:)
Thanks for visiting my blog and come back any time!

Roses and Lilacs said...

I enjoy reading blogs from other gardeners in cold zones.

The pink hydrangea is very pretty. I have thought about one of the new pink varieties, maybe next season.

You can leave the canna in the ground until after the first frost. You are going to cut off all the foliage and stem anyway. Just don't leave it there when the ground is frozen.

I really like that fern peony in a previous post. I'd like to have one of those.

Beth said...

Hi Barbara - thank you for stopping by. I love visitors!
I am going to keep the coreopsis where it is for over the winter and mulch it really well. We normally get a ton of snow cover but like you, spring sometimes comes really fast and then we get another freeze. That has killed a plant or two for me before. Please stop by again!

Hey Linda - Like mentioned above, I will keep it where it is but that might not be a bad idea to move it to a 6 to 8 hour a day sunny spot. Maybe that will do it. I hope so, the flowers on the tag look so pretty.

Looks like you and Marnie from Roses and Lilacs were on the same page on the cannas - waiting on frost is OK - just not frozen. Got it!!!

Rose - thank you for stopping by! My hydrangeas grow the best on the eastside of the house. It's the perfect amount of sun for them.

Hi Marnie - thanks for leaving a comment. Since this post, the pink hydrangea has turned an even deeper pink - almost a dark magenta. It is soooo pretty! You gotta try the pink!
P.S. I still haven't received my fern peony yet! I think I should be OK to plant it before frost hits!

Northern Shade said...

Your 'Angel's Blush' hydrangea looks good. love the deep pink. I've done a few experiments with how much shade hydrangeas can take too.
My 'Annabelle' which gets less than half an hour of direct light, with some indirect light just above it, had 5 blooms this year. Not a very good show, but I gave it an 'A' for effort in such a shady spot. It was planted last year and is fairly small still, so I'll give it another try next year before I move it.
One of my PG hydrangeas, which gets about an hour or so of direct light is covered in blooms.
By the way, I love the big, puffy blooms in your header.