Joe Pye Weed 101 – How & why to grow this native plant?

Joe Pye Weed is a wonderful flower that everyone wants in their garden to attract birds. The large plume of pinkish lavender flowers at the top attracts many species of wildlife. This wildflower grows up to a height of 7 feet. People usually ask different questions about this special flower. Let’s see and answer these questions to help people.

Joe Pye Weed

What is a Joe Pye Weed?

It is a common name of the plants which are in the genus Eutrochium. These plants are natively found in the United States and Canada. This plant is mainly recognized by its large pink flower clusters; it’s a seven-foot-high plant. This plant comes back after year and year. So, you need to plant it for once, and you can enjoy the beauty every summer. The ideal places for the Joe Pye Weed are the edge of the woodlands and wet meadows. In short, to obtain the best results plant it in partial shade.

Five species of wild Eutrochium (Joe Pye Weed) in North America

  • The first one is the Eutrochium Dubium, which is also known as Coastal Plain Joe Pye Weed. It is mostly found in the eastern USA and Canada. The range of this species extends from Nova Scotia to Georgia.
  • The second one is the Eutrochium Fistulosum, referred to as the Hollow Joe Pye Weed, Trumpetweed, or Purple Thoroughwort. Its range is spread across southern Canada to eastern and southern USA, from Maine west to Ontario, Wisconsin, Missouri, and south as far as Texas and Florida.
  • The third one is Eutrochium Maculatum, which is commonly known as Spotted Joe Pye Weed. You can find it throughout the United States and Canada. It is the only species of the Joe Pye, located west of the Great Plains.
  • The next is Eutrochium Purpureum, commonly known as Purple Joe-Pye Weed, Kidney-root, Sweet-scented Joe Pye Weed, and sweet Joe-Pye weed. It’s native to eastern and central North America.
  • The last is Eutrochium Steelie, which is also known as Steele’s Eupatorium. You can only find it in the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

You may don’t found any of the species listed above from the local stores. But many Nurseries have the Gateway, which is a very popular Joe Pye Weed found in local nurseries.

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Why should you grow Joe Pye Weed?

Joe Pye weed has great benefits for you in your garden. It can increase the beauty of your garden in the following aspects.

Attracts birds and Butterflies

The large cluster and tubular flowers of this special plant are important natural food sources for bees, butterflies, and many other beautiful creatures. You can easily see the butterfly species like skippers, fritillaries, and swallowtails in your garden by planting the Joe Pye Weed in your garden. Especially, you can observe the hummingbirds sipping nectar from the flowers. These types of plants are also good to provide shelter, cover, and protection to the birds.

Joe Pye Weeds is native to North America  

Joe Pye Weed is a native plant of North America and a more efficient and eco-friendly choice. It can easily evolve with your local climate and conditions. All the native wildflowers are important food sources for the local birds and insects. Moreover, the native plants don’t need a lot of weeding, watering, and fertilizing like cultivated counterparts.

A beautiful addition to your flower garden

The tall plumes of the Joe Pye Weed are a good stellar backdrop for the other flowers. They bloom in late summer or early fall.  So, it is a beautiful addition to your natural garden.

Joe Pye Weed is Deer Resistant

The deer do not like the Joe Pye Weed; these are usually untouched by the mammals.

Surprising Health Benefits

It is named colonial-era Native American, which has many health benefits. The early colonists use this to treat an outbreak of typhus. If you don’t want to treat typhus, it’s a neat plant if you are a history buff.

How do you grow Joe Pye Weed?

Joye Pye weed is a hardy plant grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 2-9. Partial sun to full shade is the perfect location for the Joe Pye Weed. The most suitable areas for this native plant are moist areas, creeks, drainage ditches, and pond banks. It can also be easily grown in garden beds or along woodlands edges in moist and fertile soil. So let’s how you can easily grow the Joe Pye weed starting from seed.

1. Take the Joe Pye Weed seeds

You can easily start the Joe Pye Weed from seed, and once it’s established, it will spread easily. You need to make sure about the planting site of the seeds. Make sure to keep the soil moist until the ground freezes.

Alternatively, you can start the seeds indoors five weeks before the spring temperature consistently a 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a potting mix container and sow the seeds about 1/8 inches deep. Keep the container around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and transplant them when it reaches the 2 inches height with 1 foot apart alignment.

2. Watering

When you plant the Joe Pye Weed, make sure about its proper watering, which is necessary for its thriving. A dry soul for a few days can be damaging for the Joe Pye Weed.  It’s more important during the hot days and when the plants are established. You can be watering at the time of the morning and evening to prevent evaporation.

3. Fertilizing

Joe Pye Weed doesn’t need a lot of fertilizing; you can add compost to your garden before planting to help Joe Pye Weed to thrive.

4. Pruning

Pruning is also essential for any plant, but you can’t cut the plants back to 4-8 inches in the spring. This plant blooms on the new season’s growth, so it will not affect the flowering.

5. Dividing

Joe Pye Weed plants can be divided in the fall season when they go dormant. There are multiple stems on each plant; you can use a sharp shovel to cut the roots in between the stems. After separating, you can plan each piece at the same depth.

What are the common pests and diseases of Joe Pye Weed?

Pests and diseases are very devastating for any garden, but you don’t need to worry about it as the Joe Pye Weed is free of many of these types of issues. However, some fungal diseases affect Joe Pye Weed, which is known as powdery mildew. It can be recognized by the grayish-white splotches on both sides of the plant’s leaves. This disease can be responsible for the leaves drying up. Powdery mildew affects many plant species, which are spread by the spores in the wind. High heat and humidity are the main of powdery mildew thrive. Let’s see how we can deal with this issue.

1. Preventing the powdery mildew

Healthy soil is a good way to prevent powdery mildew. You can use the mulch and add good quality compost to the soil for at least one’s a year to prevent powdery mildew. Good air circulation is also a perfect way to prevent powdery mildew. You need to destroy that plant, which can spread powdery mildew.

2. Powdery mildew treatment

You can also treat your powdery mildew plant before destroying it if you really love it. There are many home remedies and fungicides available that can be used to treat powdery mildew. You can make a milk and water mixture with about 60% of the milk. Take and spray bottle and add the solution to the bottle and spray your plants with this solution once a week. It may work or not in your garden, but the milk interacts with the sun most of the time and creates an antiseptic effect. It can destroy any fungi without destroying the plant. You can use this spray preventatively to get the best results.

Where can I find the Joe Pye Weed?

Whenever you are thinking about planting the Joe Pye Weed, you can choose any place from the three different places.

  • The first one is the online market, especially the online Amazon store. You have a dozen options to buy the Joe Pye Weed seed on Amazon.
  • If you are looking for live plants, the best place is the local nursery or the garden center. There are many online websites are also there which offering the Joe Pye Weed plant. The Joe Pye Weed plant doesn’t bloom until the late summer, so the nurseries don’t carry it until the late summer. So, don’t panic if you don’t find any Joe Pye Weed in the spring season.
  • You can also find some native verities of the Joe Pye Weed growing along the roadsides and wetland areas. So, you can also collect some seeds from wild plants near your home. Many wild species of the Joe Pye Weed can be found, like Sweet Joe Pye Weed, Hollow Joe Pye Weed, and Coastal Plain Joe Pye Weed.

Fun Facts about Joe Pye Weed

  • The Joe Pye Weed flowers somehow resemble the trumpets, so sometimes it’s also referred to as the trumpetweed.
  • It is a part of the genus Eupatorium named for Mithridates VI Eupator 132-63 B.C, king of Pontus.
  • Joe Pye Weed also uses a different type of medical treatment. A book published in 1854 listed it to treat urinary tract pain, incontinence, reproductive issues, and stomach disorder.
  • Today, many herbalists use the Joe Pye Weed to help pass kidney stones as a diuretic.
  • Many varieties of the Joe Pye Weed reach up to 8 feet tall under optimal conditions.


From all the above information, we can conclude that Joe Pye Weed is a good and fun addition to your garden to attract the butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and songbirds in the garden. The interesting facts of the Joe Pye Weed make it unique for your garden.

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