Joe Pye Weed

This native perennial attracts lots of pollinators to its large flowers.

Colorful Combinations

Up close, the individual blooms of Joe Pye weed look pretty insignificant. But when viewed as a whole, the large clusters are stunning. Hundreds of tiny thread-like petals on giant stalks create wonderful clouds of blooms in late summer and persist into fall. These blooms are extremely attractive to butterflies and other pollinators, so you'll have lots of activity around your garden 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're 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 a few species grow fine in part sun, most species will begin to flop and can be more susceptible to foliar diseases in the shade. Most commonly, powdery mildew can become a problem. Powdery mildew most likely won't kill the plants; however, it can affect overall plant health and performance.

Given a name like Joe Pye weed, you might assume these plants can become weedy. While this isn't the case for most varieties, some spread by seed. Deadhead spent flowers to keep the spread from happening. Joe Pye weed is also reasonably 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.

New Names

In recent years, Joe Pye weed has had a few name changes. These plants used to be classified in a genus that held a lot of plants, called Eupatorium. Recently, Eupatorium has been broken down into more accurate groups. The new Eutrochium genus, which contains Joe Pye weed, is filled with much more closely related plants.

More Varieties of Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye Weed Overview

Description 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.
Genus Name Eutrochium
Common Name Joe Pye Weed
Plant Type Perennial
Light Part Sun, Sun
Height 3 to 8 feet
Width 2 to 8 feet
Flower Color Pink, Purple, White
Foliage Color Blue/Green
Season Features Fall Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Attracts Birds, Fragrance, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Propagation Division, Seed
Problem Solvers Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Good For Privacy, Groundcover

Joe Pye weed

Joe Pye weed

Eupatorium maculatum is a striking plant for the back of the border, with 10- to 12-inch rosy flower clusters atop 5- to 6-foot-tall burgundy stems. Zones 3-7

'Gateway' Joe Pye weed

'Gateway' Joe Pye weed
Denny Schrock

Eupatorium maculatum 'Gateway' is a selection that is slightly shorter than the species, growing 4 to 5 feet tall. Zones 3-7

'Little Joe' Joe Pye weed

'Little Joe' Joe Pye weed
Jay Wilde

Eupatorium dubium 'Little Joe' is a compact plant that grows 4 feet tall, making it suitable for smaller gardens. Its mauve-purple flowers begin to bloom in midsummer. Zones 3-7

Joe Pye Weed Companion Plants

Miscanthus

'Morning Light' miscanthus
John Reed Forsman

Miscanthus is one of the most prized ornamental grasses. One particular cultivar, 'Morning Light,' is a good example of its appeal: This grass is stunning when backlit by the sun, rising or setting. Statuesque miscanthus makes dense clumps of arching grassy foliage in an assortment of widths, decoration, and fineness, according to variety. Erect, dramatic plumes of flower spikelets rise among the leaves or well above them and last beautifully through the winter. Site miscanthus with good drainage and plenty of space in sun or light shade.

Russian Sage

russian sage silver-leaf plant
Peter Krumhardt

With its tall, wispy wands of lavender or blue flowers and silvery foliage, Russian sage is an essential player in summer and fall gardens. It shows off well against most flowers and provides an elegant look to flower borders. The aromatic leaves are oblong and deeply cut along the edges. Foot-long panicles of flowers bloom for many weeks. Excellent drainage and full sun are ideal, although very light shade is tolerated. Plant close to avoid staking since the tall plants tend to flop.

Feather Reed Grass

feather reed grass
Bryan E. McCay

'Karl Foerster' is the best-known type of feather reedgrass and boasts all the key elements of this beautiful, useful ornamental grass. While other ornamental grasses tend to arch outward, feather reedgrass grows straight and upright, adding an architectural element to the landscape, even in winter. Feather reedgrass produces tiny flowers in early summer. Seed heads mature to golden tan by midsummer and remain attractive into fall. Cut back in late winter or early spring as soon as new growth is detected at the base.

Garden Plans For Joe Pye Weed

Fall Garden Plan Illustration
Illustration by Gill Tomblin

Create a burst of fall color in your landscape with this easy-care garden plan.

Click here to get this garden plan.

Downspout Garden

downspout rain garden plan
Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

This garden is up to the high-moisture challenge of the area around a downspout.

Download this free plan now!

Year-Round Excitement Garden Plan

garden with birdhouse and bench
Janet Loughrey

Use this plan to create a garden that looks great all year long.

Get this garden plan now.

No-Fuss Bird and Butterfly Garden Plan

No-Fuss Bird and Butterfly Garden Plan Illustration
Illustration by Gary Palmer

Plant this collection of beautiful, easy-growing flowers and your yard is sure to be filled with birds and butterflies.

Click here to get this garden plan!

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