Tickseed Companion Plants

Long-blooming tickseed, or Coreopsis, is a low-maintenance herbaceous perennial. This plant grows in zones 3 through 9 and produces vibrant daisy-like flowers. Pollinators enjoy the blooms, while birds and small animals often eat the tiny seeds available in the fall and winter.

As a clump-forming plant, the tickseed spreads with time and fills in a bed or border. Tickseed is native to North America and is easy to maintain if it lives in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Established tickseed plants are drought tolerant but bloom longer when they stay hydrated during the growing season. Tickseed is an excellent companion plant for many perennials, annuals, and shrubs, creating a dynamic and vibrant outdoor space.


Shrubs To Plant With Tickseed

Smokebush is a deciduous shrub that boasts purplish-pink feathery flowers from late spring through midsummer. The flowers stand out against the oval-shaped green foliage. The smokebush flowers introduce a unique texture that is certainly eye-catching but also provides a nice contrast against the more traditional-looking tickseed flowers. Mature smokebush shrubs can stand 10 to 15 feet tall, so plant them behind the smaller tickseed plants that often reach 2 to 4 feet high.

Perennials To Plant With Tickseed

Tickseed is known for being low maintenance, and when planted with other perennials, you can enjoy a full and lush bed or border without much work required. Coneflowers are a good companion for tickseed because the flowers look similar. Feature coneflowers alongside a tickseed plant with flowers in similar hues for a coordinated look, or select coneflowers in a drastically different color to create drama.

Daylilies and mountain mint are other herbaceous perennials that complement tickseed. Mountain mint gives the space a meadow-like vibe, while daylilies are more formal. Coneflowers and daylilies may grow shorter or taller than tickseed plants, depending on the variety, and should be planted where all plants will be visible. Mountain mint is usually about the same size as tickseed, so feature these plants side-by-side so both can be admired.


Photo by K M, unmodified, Flickr, copyright CC BY 2.0

Annuals To Plant With Tickseed

The trumpet-shaped flowers of petunias look nice planted around the base of a tickseed plant. The reaching stems will spread and fill empty areas, but prune them back to create more bushy and full growth. Sweet alyssum is another annual with similar care needs to tickseed but does best with afternoon shade, so feature this plant on the north or east side of the larger tickseed to give it a slight break from intense sunlight.

Best Companion Plants For Tickseed in Containers

Feature tickseed in containers to enjoy flexible placement options throughout a yard, deck, or patio. Mix tickseed with black-eyed Susans (rudbeckia) or Russian sage. The daisy-like blooms of rudbeckia are similar to tickseed, but they grow taller, so plant the tickseed around the edge of the container. Russian sage is another pollinator favorite, but the thin stems can grow taller, so plant it on one side or in the center, surrounded by tickseed.

Plants Not To Grow With Tickseed

Tickseed is not a good choice for a low-light area, so a shady spot behind a building or near a large tree will not work. Plants that thrive in partial shade, like hostas and some dogwood cultivars, will not do well with tickseed.

Best Plants To Grow With Tickseed




Black-Eyed Susans



Sun-loving plants that like consistent water but can handle drought conditions are a good match for tickseed. Tickseed blooms in the summer and fall, so pair this plant with spring bloomers to enjoy a long blooming season. Tickseed is easy to grow, so other native plants like coneflowers and smokebushes are good choices.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 09-18-2023