Joe Pye Weed

LATIN NAME:

Eupatorium species

APPEAL:

Exuberant growth culminating in 7- to 12-inch-wide, nectar- and pollen-rich flower clusters in fall that bees, butterflies and insects crave.

ZONES:

3 to 8

SOIL:

Rich and moist

SIZE:

6 to 8 feet high by 3 feet wide

EXPOSURE:

Full sun

CARE:

Drought-tolerant and adaptable once established, but plants are more vigorous with more moisture. Pinch growth buds (even cut plants back by half) in early summer to make plants stockier with smaller but more abundant flowers. Divide plants in spring shortly after new growth appears or in fall. Easy to grow from seed. Purchase Joe Pye weed seeds on Amazon.

SPECIES AND VARIETIES:

E. purpureum, sweet Joe Pye weed, grows in the eastern U.S. It has purple flowers, mostly green stems and a vanilla scent to crushed leaves. ‘Bartered Bride’ is white form. E. purpureum ssp. maculatum, spotted Joe Pye weed is similar to E. purpureum. ‘Gateway’ is shorter. ‘Atropurpureum’ has wine colored stems and dusky rose flowers.

Spotted Joe Pye Weed, Maculatum
Garden Design
Calimesa, CA

E. purpureum ssp. maculatum, spotted Joe Pye weed.
Photo by: Alan and Linda Detrick.

LEGEND:

Joe Pye was an Indian medicine man in New England who cured typhus with E. purpureum. E. perfoliatum, boneset, is said to have relieved symptoms of break-bone (dengue) fever.

REASONS TO LOVE JOE PYE WEED:

  1. Easy to grow
  2. Low-maintenance
  3. Attracts pollinators
  4. Deer-resistant
  5. Late season bloomer
  6. No serious insect or disease problems

While there are plenty of reasons to love this plant, there are a few drawbacks. First, it is not well suited for small spaces, as it needs plenty of room to grow. Second, Joe Pye weed does not tolerate dry sites, its leaves have even been known to scorch.

DESIGN IDEAS:

perennial meadow

Photo by: Philippe Perdereau.

Incorporate into a perennial meadow.

Dutch designer Piet Oudolf grows Joe Pye weed on his own property alongside other perennials and grasses in a random fashion that appears natural.

See more of Piet Oudolf’s garden.

Joe Pye weed

Photo by: Andrew Lawson.

Add spontaneity to a modern garden.

British designer Christopher Bradley-Hole used Joe Pye weed, drifts of grasses and other perennials to flank a grid of steel-edged garden paths.

See more of Bradley-Hole’s designs.

Eupatorium fistulosum“><img alt="Eupatorium fistulosum” data-companylocation=”Landenberg, PA” data-companyname=”Rick Darke LLC” height=”330″ itemprop=”url” src=”http://www.gardendesign.com/pictures/images/350x330Exact_60x0/site_3/monarch-butterfly-joe-pye-weed-rick-darke-llc_11048.JPG” width=”350″>

Photo by: Rick Darke.

Sit back and enjoy the butterflies.

A monarch enjoys the nectar of Eupatorium fistulosum (Joe pye weed) in Rick Darke’s garden. Place a bench or chairs nearby so you can watch the show.

See more of Rick Darke’s garden.

More Tips:

  • Joe Pye weed’s height makes it a good option for the back of the border
  • It also works well in cottage gardens for extending the season—get ideas for an enticing cottage garden
  • Great for planting in or near rain gardens, as Joe Pye weed will tolerate wet soil

WHAT TO PLANT WITH JOE PYE WEED:

  • Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ (feather reed grass)
  • Echinacea (coneflower)
  • Helenium (sneezeweed)
  • Monarda bradburiana (Eastern bee balm)
  • Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)
  • Persicaria (knotweed)
  • Pycnanthemum muticum (mountain mint)
  • Vernonia (ironweed)

RELATED:

Late Blooming Plants
Butterfly Garden Plants

SOURCE:http://www.gardendesign.com/plants/joe-pye-weed.html