Joe Pye Weed
Joe Pye weed makes a wonderful statement piece in any garden. It can reach up to 8 feet tall and wide. As long as you have the space, this native wildflower adds impressive texture to a garden and can even act as a spectacular backdrop for smaller plants. With their deep green foliage and airy purple blooms, these plants are sure to grab a lot of attention in your garden.
Up close, the blooms of Joe Pye weed look fairly insignificant. But when viewed as a whole, the large clusters are stunning. Hundreds of tiny thread-like petals on huge stalks create wonderful clouds of blooms in late summer and persist all the way into fall. These clouds of blooms are extremely attractive to butterflies and other pollinators, so lots of activity around your garden will be a given with Joe Pye weed. Once the blooms begin to fade, the seeds will ripen and puff up even further to add more late-season interest.
Joe Pye Weed Care Must-Knows
Unlike other native wildflowers that are tricky to cultivate outside of their native conditions, Joe Pye weed is at home in any garden setting. Rich, well-drained soils are ideal for Joe Pye weed, but they are generally pretty adaptable to other soils. Many species are native to areas alongside streams, ponds, and marshes. With that in mind, most species of Joe Pye weed prefer consistent moisture throughout the growing season.
As a general rule of thumb, Joe Pye weed prefers full sun. While there are a few species that grow fine in part sun, most species will begin to flop and can be more susceptible to foliar diseases in shade. Most commonly, powdery mildew can become a problem. Powdery mildew will most likely not kill the plants, however it can affect overall plant health and performance.
Given a name like Joe Pye weed, you might assume that these plants can become weedy. While this isn't the case for most varieties, there are some that spread by seed. To prevent this, deadhead spent flowers before they have the chance to spread. Joe Pye weed is also fairly easy to dig up and divide, making it easy to transplant and share with neighbors in the spring when plants are still small. Water newly divided and transplanted plants well until they are established.
Interested in bringing butterflies to your garden? Joe Pye weed's flowers have a light vanilla fragrance, which attracts helpful pollinating creatures, making this plant perfect for a butterfly garden.
In recent years, Joe Pye weed has had a few name changes. These plants used to be classified in a genus which held a lot of plants, called Eupatorium. Recently, Eupatorium has been broken down into more accurate groups. The new Eutrochium genus, which holds Joe Pye weed, is filled with plants that are much more closely related.