I think you will see why I bought Coreopsis 'Limerock Dream'. I have a fondness for perennial coreopsis since they are so easy to grow here in Tennessee. The colors on this variety drew my eyes instantly. It's not plain yellow like my 'Moonbeam' Coreopsis or 'Jethro Tull'. The yellow colors seem to begin in the center of the flower then gradually change to a reddish-maroon tint along the edges. The flowers remind me of autumn colors and would blend well with the Big Sky series of coneflowers. It's also a thread leaf variety which are named for their narrow, needle shaped leaves.
I didn't buy this plant with a location or combination in mind, I bought because I thought it was neat! Often I find myself in the impulse buy mode at the garden center but this year I have been much better. I've bought a few discount plants but so far I've shied away from actual full price plants.
I found my coreopsis 'Limerock Dream' among the perennials nestled in between some salvia, delphiniums, and echinacea but most likely this plant should have been where the less hardy perennials or annuals are located. As I have learned since buying (I incorrectly read the plant tag!) it may not be hardy in our area. Whenever I purchase a new plant I like to check it out online to learn a little more about it and I found a variety of information regarding its cold hardiness. Some sites say zone 6, (I hope so) others say zone 8 or zone 10, who really knows? The patent for this plant (yes plants have patents!) indicates that it was published in August of 2006, three years. Is three years long enough to determine with accuracy its cold hardiness? According to the patent it was tested down to -5 degrees C (23 degrees Fahrenheit) and up to 50 degrees Celsius (or 122 degrees F, if our local temperature ever gets this high I will be worrying about other things than my perennials!). It's the low extreme that has me a little concerned over the longevity of this plant in my garden.
Here's what I'll do to ensure it's survival in my garden:
- Collect Seed. The seed may not come true to the original but it's worth a shot. Who knows something new and interesting may appear.
- Divide in the fall. I'll make a couple divisions in the fall and overwinter them in my garage greenhouse. I've done this with a non hardy verbena successfully over the last two years.
- Take cuttings. I'll take a few cuttings and overwinter them in the garage with the divisions.
- Cover with mulch! I'll put a heavy layer of mulch/compost/shredded leaves over the coreopsis to help insulate it from the cold. I planted it in a garden near the house so there may be some residual heat from the house hat will help keep the soil warm.
- Cross my fingers. All this stuff may not be necessary and it might do very well in its new home. My 'Moonbeam' coreopsis lasted through the winter last year and is thriving while others have had trouble keeping it going. Sometimes gardening is like gambling: you take chances and they are both addictive!
Do you have any other overwintering tips for tender perennials?
Since our night time winter temperatures here in Tennessee can be quite low, sometimes reaching -10 F, gardeners need to be careful about the hardiness of certain plants. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get this new coreopsis to grow through to next year, but then again, I may just be dreaming!
Labels: garden tips, perennial