This plant is not called “weed”. Joe Pye weed can be referred to as a wildflower and attracts many beautiful butterflies to your garden.
Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum) can be planted in your garden, back border or landscape and watch for colorful butterflies to emerge. The tiny white, pink, or purple flowers of this wildflower are attractive to bees and hummingbirds. It is found in the eastern North American forests. Joe Pye Weed is a perennial that blooms from late summer to fall, and often its first year.
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Choosing Which Joe Pye Weed to Grow
Joe Pye Weed is “one those beautiful native wildflowers which doesn’t deserve the name ‘weed’,” Kendall Frost, Content Marketing Manager at American Meadows says.
Joe Pye weed has been called many things over the years. You may see its botanical names as Eupatorium or Eutrochium, or Eupatroiadelphus. Prairie Nursery lists these beautiful, easy-to-grow beauties under the Eupatorium.
|Bright indirect light
|Water twice a week
|Where to grow
|Bright indoor, shaded outdoor
Species, Cultivars and Varieties
Eutrochium purpurem. This plant is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9 and can grow to seven feet tall. The flowers and leaves of Eutrochiumpurpurem smell just like vanilla.
Eutrochium fistulosum. Joe Pye weed is characterized by its green stems and pink or purple flowers. Eutrochium fustulosum can be grown in Zones 4-8.
Eutrochium dubium. This plant is hardy in Zones 3-9. It’s also known as coastal plain Joe Pye or three-nerved Joe Pye. The mauve-purple flowers are followed by seeds that songbirds love.
Eutrochium Maculatum. This wildflower is also known as Joe Pye or spotted Joe Pye. It has flattened clusters pinkish-purplish flowers and stems that have purple speckles. Eutrochium Maculatum is hardy in Zones 4-8. It can grow to three to six feet high.
Eupatorium rugosum. This perennial, commonly known as chocolate Joe Pye Weed is a relative to Eutrochium and has white flowers and dark-purple leaves. The Chocolate Joe Pye Weed is suitable for small spaces and can reach three to four feet in height. Chocolate Joe Pye is hardy in Zones 4-8.
Getting the Planting Site Ready
Clear your planting site of weeds, rocks and other debris and rake the top few inches of soil to loosen and level it. Make sure your site gets full to part sun (part sun is best if you get hot afternoon sun).
Growing and Caring for Joe Pye Weed
While Joe Pye weed plants are easy to grow and maintain, they do need consistently moist soil, especially in the first year. Keep them watered deeply, but don’t let the soil get soggy. Also, don’t let the soil dry out for more than a couple of days during hot spells.
Joe Pye weed does not require fertilizer in its natural environment. Apply slow-release fertilizer to soil that is not in good condition. This will ensure plants grow well into the spring. If you did not add compost at planting time, you can mix it in. When they begin to bloom, feed them again in the middle of summer.
You should be taking your vitamins regularly
Regularly weed your plants to ensure they don’t compete for nutrients, water, and sunlight. To prevent weed seeds sprouting, apply a layer mulch. Mulch can also be used to retain moisture in the soil.
Scout for Health Issues
Joe Pye weed plants are rarely affected by diseases or pests. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can cause problems in hot climates or in plants that are too shaded. The leaves will develop grayish-white spots from powdery mildew. This can be prevented by spacing your plants to ensure they get plenty of air circulation. Mulch can also be used to stop fungal spores from spreading.
Use a fungal spray if powdery mildew is a problem. You should remove any diseased parts of the plant and dispose them. You should not compost them, as this could spread the disease.
Joe Pye plants go dormant after frost. You don’t need to prune your Joe Pye plants, but you can trim them to 4-8 inches in height if desired. Or wait until spring. Joe Pye weed flowers on new growth so you will still get flowers.
How to Use Joe Pye Weed in the Garden
Joe Pye wildflowers can be used for many purposes. The flowers are full of nectar and pollen, and some plants produce ornamental seeds that attract songbirds. For arrangements, you can also dry and cut the flowers.
These tall plants provide shelter and protection to wild animals. They are also eco-friendly because they are native to North America. This means they require less water and fertilizer than other plants.
They are tall enough to be used as a backdrop for smaller flowers. They can be used in a rain garden, cottage garden, meadow or naturalized area.