Mercury Rising Coreopsis
Coreopsis 'Mercury Rising' PPAF
Ever since new colors began to be introduced into the Coreopsis family several years ago, we have been looking for a truly exceptional red: cold-hardy, color-fast, and vigorous. What we didn't expect was to find one that also sports a new habit!
'Mercury Rising' is the latest in breeder Darrell Probst's amazing Big Bang™ series (take a look at 'Cosmic Evolution' and 'Galaxy' to get an idea of the series), and for our money it breaks new ground in a big way. It actually spreads, intertwining with its neighbors beautifully in the border! Just 15 to 18 inches high in bloom, it spreads 2 to 3 feet wide, with fresh green foliage backing the flowers.
Now, about those flowers. They begin about 1½ inches wide and then keep growing as they mature! And they arise all summer, very eye-catching in velvety magenta-claret. The small center is frilly and bright golden-yellow, punctuating the dark, rich petals beautifully. You will be delighted not only with the quality but with the number of these blooms, over a very long season. Prepare to be dazzled!
As summer turns to fall and the weather cools, the flowers may continue, frosty white and cream streaks interrupting the dark red. This adds an entire second look to the display, and it's our favorite time of the season!
'Mercury Rising' is hardy through zone 5 in the north, with excellent vigor and color-fastness. Mildew-free, it attracts butterflies and bees. Make it part of your sunny border this season, and begin enjoying one of the most remarkable new perennials in the world today! Zones 5-9.
|Zone||5 - 9|
|Bloom Season||Early Summer - Early Fall|
|Plant Height||15 in - 18 in|
|Plant Width||24 in - 3 ft|
|Additional Characteristics||Bloom First Year, Butterfly Lovers, Flower, Long Bloomers, Easy Care Plants, Free Bloomer, Repeat Bloomer, Season Extenders|
|Bloom Color||Cream, Magenta, White|
|Foliage Color||Medium Green|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Moisture Requirements||Dry, Moist, well-drained|
|Resistance||Disease Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Heat Tolerant, Humidity Tolerant, Pest Resistant, Powdery Mildew|
|Soil Tolerance||Normal, loamy|
|Restrictions||Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands|
- Butterflies like a lot of sunlight, so locate your garden in a sunny area.
- If you live in a windy location, plant your butterfly-attracting plants near a building, fence, or hedge to protect them.
- Plant a variety of nectar-rich plants, as well as shrubs and evergreens for shelter.
- Since many butterflies and native flowering plants have co-evolved, try to put in some that are native to your area. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center provides lists of plants native to states and regions.
- Certain colors are particularly attracting to butterflies – red, yellow, pink, purple, or orange blooms that are clustered or flat-topped, with a short flower tubes are especially attractive to adult butterflies.
- Avoid using pesticides, especially around nectar-producing plants.
- Provide a shallow source of water – try a birdbath with pebbles lining the bowl.
- Place a rock in a sunny spot for butterfly basking and resting.
- Create a "puddling area" by digging a shallow hole filled with compost or manure where rainwater will collect and release essential salts and minerals.
- If you want butterflies to breed in your garden, put in some caterpillar food plants, such as parsley, milkweeds, asters, thistles, violets, clover, grasses, and Queen Anne’s Lace.
- Since butterflies need nectar throughout the entire adult phase of their lives, try to create a design that will allow for a continuous bloom – when one stops blooming, another starts.
Set plants 10 to 12 inches apart, or more for larger cultivars. Choose a location in full sun or very light shade; any reasonable soil, so long as it is well-drained, will do.
Periodically removing spent flowers will lengthen the blooming season. We recommend a mulch of humus or compost. Dividing every 2 or 3 years as it becomes necessary will induce stronger growth. Otherwise, plants are pest- and disease-free, requiring no special care.
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