Question: I like coreopsis, but the plants seem so unmanageable. What can I do to keep them more tidy?

Answer: You’ve hit the nail on the head. While they’re young and in full bloom, coreopsis are some of our prettiest perennials. However, by mid-season, the plants often start to lean and may look like they’re tumbling over. You’ll need to “dead-head” them periodically, that is, remove all the old flower heads and fruit that forms, to reduce the weight on the tops of the plants. You probably should even shear them back somewhat, to keep them more compact. Some of the newer varieties claim to be more compact, but, in some cases, they don’t last as well from year to year.

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