The Q&A Archives: Inferior Sunrise Coreopsis

Question: Last year my Early Sunrise Coreopsis only produced blooms on half of the plant. This spring I dug plant up and split it in 2 (thinking if I separated it something would happen) and transplanted the half that did not bloom. Now I have 2 and the one is blooming beautifully and the other only produces maybe 1-2 blooms. Both plants look healthy and I have fertilized with a slow release fertilizer along with Miracle Grow when I fertilize my annuals.

Any other suggestions?

Answer: You have me totally stumped. I believe this variety is actually a seed strain, and so there may occasionally be a plant or two that does not present with all of the characteristics of the parents, so perhaps there is a genetic problem at work. It is also conceivable that there were actually two seedlings in the original pot and the non-bloomer "half" was somehow stunted early on and has never recovered. I think I would be tempted to throw out the nonbloomer, then replace it with divisions from the "good" plant. Lanceleafed coreopsis does better if it is rejuvenated and divided fairly often, so it won't do it any harm. Which brings me to my last thought -- sometimes this plant is propagated by division. As with many other perennials, if the older, woodier, less vigorous center parts of a plant are made into divisions often the resulting new plants are inferior to divisions made from the more vigorous outer edges of the mother plant. If you look carefully at the crown and roots, you may find that this is the case with your nonbloomer -- just made from a tired old root.

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