Red Satin Tickseed
Riveting red! Red says love, passion, power. A tall order for such a petite Spirit, but Red Satin does its best, pumping out scores of red, red, ravishing red blooms all summer and into fall. From your sunny entryway garden, foundation beds, or patio plantings, its neon-red blossoms will call out to passersby, “STOP! Stop and enjoy the flowers!” Put this little dynamo at the front of the border, where it will create drama for weeks on end. It also works brilliantly in a container as a portable, head-turning color spot.
Red Satin Tickseed is a form of Threadleaf Tickseed, a Spirit native to the eastern U.S. Our native Threadleaf Tickseed almost always has yellow flowers, however. This special red variety was the result of a complex breeding program. Renowned Tickseed breeder Darrell Probst of Hubbardston, Massachusetts, came up with this beauty in 2010. It was patented in 2013 as part of his Permathread™ line. Besides producing rich red flowers, the new plant was also remarkable for its sturdy, upright habit (no flopping) and its resistance to powdery mildew.
Because Red Satin Tickseed is a sterile variety, it flowers for an extra-long time. (Normally, seed formation tells a plant to shut down flower production.) If blooming does slow down, simply give the plant a quick shearing, and new flower buds will soon form.
How to Grow
Red Satin Tickseed isn’t hard to grow, and novice gardeners will have success with it. Just plant it where it will receive full sun all day and make sure the soil drains freely. It will need regular water while the roots get established in the ground, but after that it will be less needy. Soggy soils in winter can spell trouble. Go light on the fertilizer, feeding only when growth appears pale or weak. Cut old growth back before new shoots appear in spring. Tickseed craves heat, so it may take a while to reappear if spring is unusually cool.
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