No products in the cart
How to Grow: Joe Pye Weed
Listen to this podcast about growing and caring for Joe Pye weed perennial flowers.
I love plants with interesting stories. Take Eutrochium purpureum. Don’t know that plant? Well, I’ll tell you a story that will make it much more familiar. Back in colonial times there was always a constant threat of typhoid fever. Luckily there was a Native American medicine man who knew that a tea made from a certain wild plant would help cure the disease. He saved the colonists and the man’s name became synonymous with the plant; Joe Pye Weed.
Joe Pye weed is blooming now in wetlands, gardens and woodland edges. It’s a favorite of bees and butterflies with purple flowers that have a slight vanilla scent. The wild species grows 6 to 7 feet tall. Some selections have different colors such as the white ‘Bartered Bride’ and the pink ‘Carin’. For a variety more manageable, try ‘Little Joe’ that grows 4 to 5 feet tall or ‘Baby Joe’ only grows 2 to 3 feet tall. Another way to reduce the height is to cut back the plant to 2 feet tall in late spring. This will delay flowering and produce smaller sized blooms, but the plant will be significantly dwarfed.
Joe pye weed likes a consistently moist soil. Plant in a compost amended bed and keep well watered or the plant may wilt. That obviously hasn’t been an issue this summer.
Tall Joe pye weed plants can be a beast in the garden. Plant it in back of borders or grouped together with shrubs. It makes an excellent pollinator or butterfly garden plant and a nice addition around a pond or stream’s edge. You’ll learn to appreciate the late summer flowers and hardiness of this native beauty.