Joe Pye Weed a beautiful perennial plant with many uses. Discover how to grow, care for and use it for medicinal and other purposes. [LEARN MORE] Spotted Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum) – 100 Seeds•Heirloom•Non-GMO•American grown seeds•US Native Wildflower•Perennial•USDA Zones: 2-8Description:This stunning plant has been cultivated and prized for generations for their stature, ease of cultivation and attractive flowers than can seriously add a massive impact Our Guide to Joe-Pye Weed for everything you will ever need to know! Tips for planting & caring for “Eutrochium Purpureum”
Beautiful Joe Pye Weed – How To Grow And How Useful Is It?
Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) is a ubiquitous perennial plant named after a Native American renowned in his time for using many parts of the plant in creating medicines to cure fevers, typhus, and other illnesses.
This hardy native perennial grows in great abundance across North America, in the eastern US, the New England area and southern Canada. It does well in USDA zones 4 through 9.
It grows enthusiastically in damp settings such as:
- Ditches and along roadsides
- Thickets and woodlands
- Swamps and wetlands
- The banks of streams
- Bogs and swales
- Damp Meadows
It serves as an attractive, cheery, sprawling plant with a number of uses in the landscape. However, plant owners must not allow it to become invasive.
In this article, we will describe the various types of Joe Pye Weed and provide advice for making good use of it in your yard and garden. Read on to learn more.
What Does Joe Pye Weed Look Like?
The plant comes as a member of the aster family. It appears as the tallest perennial herb in North America. Typically, it stands between 4′ feet and 7′ feet tall and measures a spread of approximately 2′ feet.
The USDA lists three species of this plant. They include:
#1 – Eastern Joe Pye Weed
This plant grows 2′-5′ feet high.
Joe Pye weed leaves look quite narrow at the base and widen dramatically toward the center. The stem bears small purple spots, and the flowers show a dusty pink color.
#2 – Spotted Joe Pye Weed
This variety also known as eutrochium maculatum, grows to be 2′- 6′ feet tall and has thick purple or speckled stems. The leaves grow in groups of four or five and are lance shaped with sharp serrated edges. The flowers range from pale lavender to deep purple. You will find this species in moist places that have high lime content in the soil.
#3 – Sweet Scented Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium Purpureum)
This plant is sometimes referred to as “Queen of the Meadow” or “Gravel Root”. It holds green stems with purple leaf nodes. Its vanilla scented leaves grow in groups of three or four and have sharply serrated edges.
On the other hand, its flowers look pale pink or purple. This variety grows naturally in open woods and thickets.
#4 – Hollow Stemmed Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium Fistulosum)
The stems of the eupatorium fistulosum seem purplish and, true to its name, hollow inside. Leaves grow in groups of 4-7 and spread narrowly with softly rounded serrations along the edges.
The flowers resemble berries and look attractive in a bright pinkish-purple shade. This species grows in moist woods and bottomlands in the American Northeast.
#5 – Three-Nerved Joe Pye Weed
The leaves of the joe-pye weed plant hold a pair of large veins rising from the base of the center vein. Stems seem purple speckled. Also, the leaves appear thick, bumpy and oval-shaped and appear in groups of three or four.
Moreover, the joe pyeweed flowers emanate a deep purple color. Anyone can find this smallish variety (3.5′ feet tall) = in moist areas with acidic soil conditions along the Atlantic coast of the US and Canada.
#6 – Steele’s Joe Pye Weed
This variety looks quite a bit like Sweet Joe Pye Weed. However, it possess very broad hairy leaves and stems. This type grows naturally in the woods of the Appalachian Mountains.
All types bear purple, mauve or pink flowers producing copious joe pye weed seeds strewn by the wind. The stems seem sturdy and deep purple or purple flecked. In addition, the foliage generally appears dark green with varying degrees of saw-toothed edging.
When left to grow on its own, this adaptable plant spreads with great abundance and enthusiasm. It also puts on a spectacular show in the mid to late summer and into the early autumn. To grow it successfully in your garden, you need quite a bit of space because of its rapid spread and tendency to sprawl.
Using Joe Pye Weed In The Landscape
These native perennials grow easily and well. It also makes a marvelous addition to a butterfly, hummingbird, and bee garden. The flowers smell sweet with a scent reminiscent of vanilla and extremely attractive to these beneficial pollinators.
Eupatorium purpureum is especially recommended for those wishing to attract and support Monarch butterflies. Other butterflies, especially those that gets attracted to Joe Pye Weed flowers include black swallowtails and Tiger swallowtails.
Because these plants do grow tall (upwards of 6′ feet) and thick, they also make an excellent spring and summertime privacy screen. Planting them in a hedge along property lines makes a smart use.
Also, this plant provides an excellent backdrop for a perennial garden consisting of shorter types of self seeding annuals and/or a bulb garden.
Because these plants blossom in the late summer and into the fall, they can take up where your early bloomers left off. In this way, you can make sure of having pretty flower heads throughout the growing season.
If you struggle with damp, low spots in your yard, Joe Pye Weed serves as the perfect choice. It prefers average-to-rich soil and consistently moist, and it does quite well in areas of full sunlight to partial shade.
Full sun is definitely preferred because plants may grow excessively leggy and limp in light shade. With the right conditions, you can count on this sturdy survivor to grow well for you and provide both beauty and function.
Is It Really a Weed?
The term weed is open to interpretation. Eupatorium purpureum comes from the wild and one can quickly consider it as a wildflower.
It does grow natively, yet it submits to many positive uses and can make an excellent addition to a typical yard, a flower garden, and as a useful butterfly garden flower.
Joe Pye Weed As Medicine
In natural medicine, you can use Joe Pye Weed in a number of different ways. The roots are considered especially beneficial and are gathered to be dried, ground and brewed as an herbal tea tonic.
The plant holds a long history of use in Native American and backwoods medicine. You can use the roots, leaves, and flowers of all varieties to create teas that are said to address problems as diverse as:
- Respiratory Problems
- Bladder Stones
- Kidney Stones
The plant contains immune boosting polysaccharides, and stimulating the immune system may help the body to overcome fevers and illnesses on its own.
Dry The Flowers, Leaves & Roots
Sweet Joe Pye Weed with its vanilla scented leaves is the best choice for making medicinal and relaxing teas.
To use the leaves and the stems as a medicinal tea, you should harvest them during the summer prior to the opening of the flower buds. Hang them or lay them out in an area that has good air circulation. When completely dry, you can store them for use as a medicinal tea.
To make a pleasant tasting herbal tea, harvest the flowers and dry them separately.
You can also use dried roots to make a medicinal tea. Harvest them in the autumn. Dry them and grind them to steep as tea.
Joe Pye Weed Uses
The foliage and sturdy stems, also known as “purple bone set” repel mosquitoes when burned. It can be gathered and dried and bundled be burned as a natural mosquito repellent.
Because of its deep pigments, the seeds and the flowers also have uses in the creation of natural textile dyes in shades of red and pink.
The pretty flower clusters and sturdy, deep purple stems make a nice addition to cut flower arrangements.
Joe Pye Weed spreads via a rugged and extensive underground rhizomatous root system. It is also self-sowing. If you want and abundant and ever-growing stand of it you need do nothing.
The root system will travel with wild abandon, and when the flowers go to seed, the seeds will scatter on their own. Before you know it, you will find yourself welcoming (or shaking your fist at) abundant new plants!
You can also grow seedlings on your own by gathering and saving the seeds. You can also purchase them at your local nursery or online.
Keep the seeds chilled for approximately a week-to-ten days and then planting them in a light and airy seed starting medium. Cover the seeds lightly and loosely or simply press them into the surface of the soil.
Keep in mind that in nature, they sprout and grow without being covered at all. They need exposure to light in order to sprout properly.
You can also hand-sow the seed directly onto prepared soil early in the spring or late in the autumn. Just make sure the seed maintains good contact with the soil. You may wish to rake over the area lightly to prevent predation by birds.
Propagation by division is also possible. In the early spring, you will notice that the center of older plants may have died back. When you see this, you need to divide the plant.
Dig up the whole clump and remove the dead material from the center. What remains will be new growth, which you can separate and plant in pots or directly into the ground.
You can also purchase Joe Pye Weed potted plants at your local nursery. You’re most likely to find the cultivated version (E. maculatum) which appears a bit bushier and produces more flower heads than the wild variety. It also differs from the native plant in that it does not grow quite as tall.
Taking Care Of Joe Pye Weed
As a native plant, taking care of Joe Pye Weed makes an easy task. If you planted it well in a good location, it will go along merrily growing, blooming and spreading regardless of heat and drought.
It prefers occasional deep watering to sprinkling, and it will appreciate a thick layer of mulch to help hold moisture around the roots.
Preventing Joe Pye Invasion
Although this plant is not officially considered as invasive, it certainly can feel that way. It spreads quickly underground and sows it seed far and wide with the help of the wind.
To prevent Joe Pye Weed plants from overtaking your yard, everyone recommends deadheading the old blooms. This will not only increase the number of blooms you and your beneficial pollinators can enjoy, it will also prevent the development of seeds. Make sure to cut back the blooms completely before they go to seed in the autumn.
You can prevent excessive spread of the rhizomes by digging them up and dividing them regularly to keep them in their place. You can also keep the stray plants under control by simply mowing them down where you don’t want them before they get too big.
Enjoy A Breezy No Care Garden!
If you love the idea of a perennial garden coming back year after year with little or no attention from you, Joe Pye should definitely make it at the top of your plant list.
By combining it with other vigorous, flowering native plants you can create a yard requiring minimal care, attracts beautiful birds, bees and butterflies and presents a luxurious, rampant appearance.
Joe Pye Weed, Spotted (Eupatorium maculatum) – 100 Seeds
This stunning plant has been cultivated and prized for generations for their stature, ease of cultivation and attractive flowers than can seriously add a massive impact to any garden or landscape. This hardy perennial can grow up to 6 foot tall with a crown of bright pink flowers that will definitely draw butterflies and beneficial pollinators into your garden. Named for an 18th century Native American, Joe Pye was used for curing fevers and other sicknesses.
Direct sow in late fall, pressing the seeds into the surface of the soil since they need light to germinate. For spring planting, mix Joe Pye weed wildflower seeds with moist sand and store in the refrigerator for 60 days before direct sowing. To start Eupatorium Maculatum seeds indoors, scatter the seed on the surface of the soil in a flat; compress the soil slightly and keep it lightly moist until germination, which is naturally slow but should take place within 2-3 months. Keep the soil consistently moist, and transplant seedlings as soon as they reach a height of several inches. Keep seedlings watered, since they need even moisture in their first year of development; they may not bloom until their second year of growth. Mature plants can tolerate drought, though they reach their full potential in moist, well-drained soil. This plant may spread by rhizomes and self-seeding, and can be divided after several years of growth. Cut the plant down to the ground after the first frost. This plant attracts butterflies and bees.
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Joe-Pye Weed Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Eutrochium Purpureum”
Eutrochium purpureum is an alluring species of herbaceous flowering plants in the Asteraceae family. This flower goes by many common names including Joe-Pye Weed, Kidney-Root, Sweet-Scented Joe-Pye Weed, Gravel Root, Feverweed, and Trumpet Weed. It is native to several regions of central and eastern North America, with some specimens also occurring in southern areas.
Although many gardeners appreciate Joe-Pye weeds for their colourful appearance, they go beyond their basic ornamental purposes. These plants come along with clusters of vanilla-scented flowers that can mesmerize your senses from mid-summer through early fall. And what can be more relaxing than passing by your fragrant babies when they are in full bloom?
Joe-Pye weeds are versatile plants that look absolutely fabulous near other species of flowering plants or ornamental grasses. The most popular companions for these flowers are Great Blue Lobelia, Indian Grass, New England Aster, Rough Goldenrod, Rudbeckia ‘Autumn Sun’, and Wild Bergamot.
About Joe-Pye Weed
- Their common name “Joe-Pye weed” comes from an Indian healer known as Joe Pye. This healer used E. purpureum to treat various health problems including fever.
- In traditional medicine, these plants worked as an excellent treatment for typhus outbreaks, urinary tract ailments, or kidney stones. They have tonic, diuretic, astringent, and nervine properties.
- Nowadays, some people harvest the flower stems and leaves of Joe-Pye weeds before the buds open to dry and use them for later. In the past, folks used their stems as straws.
- The ashes of their burnt herbal roots can serve as a nice salty flavour for numerous food recipes. Their crushed fruits result in a pink to reddish textile dye.
- Joe-Pye weeds are very adaptable to most garden conditions. They are ideal ornamentals for wild gardens, coastal gardens, cottage gardens, borders, meadows, or near streams and ponds.
- Thanks to their spectacular clusters of flowers and unique style, they have gained the well-known Award of Garden Merit.
- These plants play a big part in the overall well-being of the ecosystem. Their flowers are very attractive to numerous species of pollinators like butterflies, bees, flies, and moths.
- Joe-Pye weeds are larval hosts to several species of moths, such as Eupatorium borer moth, Three-lined flower moth, Ruby tiger moth, or Red grounding moth. Moreover, the larvae of leaf miner fly usually create blotch-shaped mines on their foliage.
- They are usually pest and disease-free. However, powdery mildew can occur in regions with warm and dry climates or poor air circulation.
Joe-Pye Weed Features: An Overview
- Joe-Pye weeds belong to the Eutrochium genus that contains exactly five species of colorful flowering plants. These species are E. dubium, E. fistulosum, E. maculatum, E. purpureum, and E. steelei.
- They are herbaceous perennials that can reach from 4.9 to 7.9 feet (1.5-2.4 m) in height and up to 4 feet (1.2 m) in width. They are also clump-forming plants and have a fast growth rate.
- Their foliage consists of lance-shaped, deep green, and coarsely-serrated leaves that grow in whorls of 3-4 pieces on erect, thick, and purple-red stems. Their leaves measure about 12 inches (30 cm) in length.
- In general, Joe-Pye weeds bloom from mid-summer through early autumn. During this period, they produce large clusters that grow between 12 and 18 inches (30-45 cm) in diameter.
- Their flowers exhibit a wide range of pink and purplish tints, starting from a whitish-pink colour when in the bud. Once the blossoms open, they come in shades of light pink, dark pink, pink-purple, or mauve.
- After their flowering period, these plants put on display showy seed heads that can last without any problem during the winter months. They are a common food source for birds.
- Their seeds work as a great propagation material if gardeners collect them in spring or autumn, then sow them fresh in containers.
Growing Joe-Pye Weed
Overall, Joe-Pye weeds are probably one of the most easy-going and rewarding flowering plants you can have in your garden. These plants do not need too much effort on your part to grow healthy and happy. Still, this does not mean that you can neglect them entirely and do just fine without your help!
Keep reading to find out more about their particular growing demands and how you can be the best owner out there. With time, we guarantee you will master the art of growing and caring for these beauties!
First things first, the most important factor in the well-being of these plants – their lighting conditions. In general, Joe-Pye weeds grow at their best in locations with full sunlight to partial shade. Be careful, though, as too much shade can limit their growth, make your plants pretty floppy, and more prone to fungal diseases. On the other hand, too much sunlight can result in yellowish leaves. They will require some protection from the harsh afternoon sun, especially during the summer.
Joe-Pye weeds are usually hardy in both freezing and hot, dry conditions. During the cold winter months, these plants can tolerate temperatures that drop to -13 °F (-25 °C). Prolonged frost will cause your babies to dye back to the ground until next spring, but this is not an issue at all. When it comes to humidity, they can thrive anyways as long as their soil remains damp.
Planting Joe-Pye Weed
The best time to plant your new Joe-Pye weed is in spring, but only after the last frost has passed. These plants are adaptable and can grow in a wide range of soils, including clay, loamy, or sandy. Yet, they perform best in well-draining substrates that are fairly rich in nutrients and organic matter.
If you manage to simulate their native fertile environment, Joe-Pye weeds will not need extra fertilizing. In poor growing mediums, however, your plants will benefit from a slow-release granular fertilizer designed for flowering plants applied in spring. When their blossoms begin to appear, typically in mid-summer, you must provide them with fertilizer again. You can also amend their soil with a bit of compost in spring to improve its quality.
Due to their fast-growing pace, Joe-Pye weeds will require regular pruning if you want to maintain them at a certain size or shape. This process consists of cutting half of their stems back in early spring (June) to promote new growth and a bushy overall look. Also, your plants will bloom profusely on the new stems.
When the weather starts to get cooler, usually in late autumn, Joe-Pye weeds go dormant and die back until next spring. During this period, you should prune the damaged or dead foliage of your plants at about 4 to 8 inches (10-20 cm) off the ground.
Watering Joe-Pye Weed
What makes Joe-Pye weeds a must-have, especially for beginner gardeners, is the low complexity in their watering routine. The only time when these plants demand a little attention is during their first growing season after planting. Once your flowers have settled in their new environment, they even become tolerant of drought for short periods.
Joe-Pye weeds do well when their soil is constantly damp, but you should avoid soggy conditions or waterlogging. In general, these flowers need water only once every few days, but the frequency of watering may vary depending on the environmental conditions.
To adopt a suitable watering technique, make sure you always check the soil in-between waterings. When the substrate feels dry at the top one inch (2.5 cm) of soil, this is the perfect time to spoil your Joe-Pye weeds with another round of water.
- Sweet Joe Pye Weed, A butterfly favorite! || FREE SHIPPING || NON GMO
- These TINY seeds grow into large 4-7 foot, beautiful plants.
- Sweet Joe Pye Weed is easily grown from seed, its numerous tiny, vanilla scented, pinkish/purple flowers are grouped into huge, dome-shaped umbels that act like magnets for Monarchs, Swallowtails and many other butterflies! Its textured leaves are attractive all season long. Eupatorium purpureum is an excellent plant for the garden!
- Colour: Pink/Red Blooms: Mid to Late Summer Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Height: 3′ – 6′ Soil: Sand to Clay Water: Medium to Moist
- Cold, moist stratification can help increase germination success, but isn’t a must. These seeds can be fall or spring planted. Seeds can be planted about (1/8 inch) deep in pots. Keep moist but not soggy and very warm (21 C – 70 F). When seedlings are (2 inches) tall, transplant into the garden spaced 1 foot apart.
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- Requires Fall -Midwinter planting and Moist soil year-round
Propagating Joe-Pye Weed
Although there are multiple ways to propagate Joe-Pye weeds, the easiest and most common method is division. And once you see how efficient propagation can be, it will be very hard to resist the temptation of repeating it year after year. If the space in your home or garden is a problem, no worries! They can also make lovely gifts for your family members or friends that secretly love a few flowering plants around!
The division method consists of cutting directly into the soil with a sharp shovel in-between your Joe-Pye weeds’ stems. There is no point to dig out the entire mother plants because they are already pretty big and hard to handle. The best time to divide your plants is in early spring when they are most vigorous and receptive to change.
After this process, dig up the stems with their attached roots carefully and remove the extra soil. You can replant the divided Joe-Pye weeds anywhere you want to, whether it is in the garden or their own pots. Make sure you plant them at the same depth as they were before and provide them with water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch.
Heaven is where your beloved plants are, and Joe-Pye weeds will quickly gain a special place in your heart! Not only do Joe-Pye weeds look and smell amazing, but they are also very easy to grow, care for, and propagate. If you are not the happy owner of these flowers already, undoubtedly you must be in the future!
Are you growing Eutrochium purpureum a.k.a. ‘Joe-Pye Weed’ in your garden? Share your experience in the comments below!
Miruna is an experienced content writer with a passion for gardening. She is the proud owner of an outdoor rose garden and an indoor collection of tiny succulents. She bought her first succulent 10 years ago – an adorable Echeveria Setosa. Now she owns more than 100 succulents and cacti of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Miruna is a versatile writer and, as you might have guessed, her favorite topic is gardening. Contact [email protected]