How to care for coreopsis flower?
Coreopsis is one of the most popular houseplants. It’s easy to grow and it produces beautiful flowers. They are very tolerant of poor lighting conditions and they will thrive even under harsh sunlight.
But what if your plant suddenly starts losing its leaves or developing other symptoms? What if you see the petals turn brown?
If you’re like many others, then you’ve probably experienced these problems with your own plants!
The first thing you need to know is that there are several possible causes of the petal loss. Some of them may not seem so serious, but they could be fatal. So before you panic, take some time to learn more about the root cause of your problem.
You might have noticed that the petals are not fully developed yet. That means that they haven’t completely opened up their stomata (the tiny holes at the top of each leaf where water vapor enters). These openings allow air to enter and out of the flower, which is why they look “fresh” and vibrant.
When this happens, the petals will eventually fall off. You’ll notice that your plant won’t lose any leaves during this time either.
The easiest way to fix this is to provide the plant with more light and temperature. You can easily do this by moving it closer to a window, but not in direct sunlight. If that doesn’t work, try setting up grow lights above the plant or in the case of a during winter, keep it near a heater.
If you see new petals forming after a week or two of these changes, you’re all set. Otherwise, move on to the next step.
The most common cause of this condition is a build up of salts around the roots. These can be naturally occurring or from water that is too “hard”. This means that it has a high mineral content (which can be caused by hard water, for example).
In any case, these salts will eventually rise to the surface of the soil and surround the roots. When this happens, it prevents water from penetrating into the soil, which eventually leads to dehydration. You may also notice that the soil has become crusty or hardened.
To fix this problem, start by removing the plant from the container and scrape off some of the hardened soil (throw it away). Next, fill a container (such as a bucket) with water and add two tablespoons of bleach. Stir well so that the bleach dissolves.
Then, take a clean cloth (such as an old T-shirt) and dip it into the bleach water. Wring out the cloth so that it’s dripping but not sopping wet. Use the cloth to wipe off the top inch of soil from the pot. Be sure that you don’t damage the roots in the process.
After you’ve cleaned off the top layer, fill your container with plain water and let it stand for at least four hours. Overnight is even better. After the soaking process, empty the container and put in fresh soil.
Make sure you’re using a soil mix that doesn’t contain any fertilizers or other additives. From here, you can replant your Coreopsis and place it where it gets sufficient light. If everything goes well, the plant should rebound within a few weeks.
You may have noticed small, round bumps on some of the leaves of your plant. At first glance they may look like tiny drops of water, but upon closer inspection you’ll see that they’re actually tiny white bugs! These are mealy bugs and they love warm, moist environments.
If you thought that treating the root disease was difficult, wait until you tackle this one.
Mealy bugs are nearly immune to traditional insecticides (in fact, it’s rare to find an insecticide that specifically targets them). Start by removing as many mealy bugs as you can by hand. It may take a while since they tend to hide in the folds of the leaves.
If you find any of these white, waxy shells (exoskeletons), don’t throw them away! Keep them and place them in the area where you’re seeing the most mealy bug activity. This is because mealy bugs release a pheromone that attracts other mealy bugs. By placing the exoskeletons around, you’ll be attracting more of them to that area and catching them all at once.
After you’ve gotten all of the mealy bugs that you can by hand, take a Q-tip and dip it into isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Wipe off the top layer of skin on all of the leaves so that it’s shiny. You’re trying to remove their protective coating so that they dehydrate and die.
Since you’re going to be doing this to all of the leaves, it’s going to take a while (especially if your plant is large). Be sure to throw away the Q-tip after each wipe since you don’t want any mealy bugs taking refuge in the cotton swab. When you’ve done this to all of the leaves, place the pot in a dark, dry place for twelve hours. This will further dehydrate the mealy bugs and end up killing them. It’s also a good idea to place the plant in direct sunlight for a few hours as well. The heat will also help kill off any remaining pests.
When you’re all done, make sure that you throw away (or recycle) the top layer of soil. You don’t want to run the risk of re-infesting your potted plant!
Continue taking care of the plant in the same manner and it should recover.
How long will this take?
It really depends on how many mealy bugs were living in your container. If you’re really concerned about your plant, you can always take it to a local garden center or nursery for some extra help.
Always make sure that you quarantine any new plants or flowers before adding them to your list of decorations! It will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Best of luck to you and your Coreopsis!
Sources & references used in this article:
Hepatoprotective effect of Coreopsis tinctoria flowers against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in mice by JC Tsai, CS Chiu, YC Chen, M Lee, XY Hao… – … and alternative medicine, 2017 – Springer
The effect of growing season length and water level fluctuations on growth and survival of two rare and at risk Atlantic Coastal Plain flora species, Coreopsis rosea and … by JM Lusk, EG Reekie – Botany, 2007 – NRC Research Press
Screening of the active fractions from the Coreopsis tinctoria Nutt. Flower on diabetic endothelial protection and determination of the underlying mechanism by Y Li, C Huang, W Fu, H Zhang, Y Lao, H Zhou… – Journal of …, 2020 – Elsevier
Chemical composition, N-nitrosamine inhibition and antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of essential oil from Coreopsis tinctoria flowering tops by X Yao, X Wang, C Gu, H Zeng, W Chen… – Natural Product …, 2016 – Taylor & Francis
Flavonoids furom Coreopsis tinctoria adjust lipid metabolism in hyperlipidemia animals by down-regulating adipose differentiation-related protein by Y Li, X Chen, J Xue, J Liu, X Chen… – Lipids in Health and …, 2014 – Springer
Transcriptome analysis reveals the mechanism of the effect of flower tea Coreopsis tinctoria on hepatic insulin resistance by B Jiang, Q Lv, W Wan, L Le, L Xu, K Hu, P Xiao – Food & function, 2018 – pubs.rsc.org
Effect of Temperature on Time to Flower of Coreopsis grandiflora, Chrysanthemum superbum, Gaillardia grandiflora, and Rudbeckia fulgida by M Yuan, WH Carlson, RD Heins, AC Cameron – HortScience, 1995 – journals.ashs.org
Establishment limitations and population recovery of giant coreopsis (Coreopsis gigantea) on the California Channel Islands by CA Schwemm – 2008 – faculty.csuci.edu