Life in the OFS Pollinator Habitat has blossomed since we last did a blog post about it! The warm weather and rain have brought purple and yellow flowers out to bloom, including Coreopsis lanceolata (Tickseed)…

Coreopsis lanceolata

and Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan… 

Rudbeckia hirta

… and our Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed) has recently bloomed and is a wonderful bright orange color! 

Asclepias tuberosa

Flower buds getting ready to open include Allium stellatum (Prairie Onion)…

Allium stellatum

…Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)…

Echinacea purpurea

...and Monarda fistulosa (Bee Balm).

Monarda fistulosa

To celebrate the success of the pollinator garden the Office for Sustainability is giving away 8 Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata) plants. They’re ready to be planted immediately! And if you live in an apartment and have a full-sun patio or balcony, they can thrive in large containers. These native plants grow to a height of 3 feet, so plan for their mature size by using a large container like a 5-gallon bucket with drainage holes. Drainage is important as Tickseed don’t like wet feet, and the handle makes the plant more portable. Use a good quality potting soil with low (if any) fertilizer. Native wildflowers tend to produce more leaves and fewer flowers when over-fertilized. Place the plant in full sun and keep moist.  After blooms have faded, you can remove them for more blooms.  In the fall, let the seed head pods dry and collect the seeds to plant next year.  

If you would like one of the Tickseed plants, just come by our office (next to Harmon Parking Garage)! Send us a DM on Instagram or Twitter to let us know when you’re coming by, or email us at We only have 8 plants, so first come, first served!

By Jan Partain