Joe pye weed propagation


Eupatorium purpureum ‘BABY JOE’

Joe Pye was an American medicine man travelling from town to town with his medicines. This plant that is known for its curative effect on kidneys and urinary tract was named after him – Joe Pye Weed. It is a tall perennial with deep wine red stems that are slender but tough and do not bend after wind or rain. The flowers are composed in 15-20 cm large, corymb-like, almost flat panicles from midsummer until autumn. They open from purple red buds to dusky pink, hairy flowers that attract butterflies. Leaves are deciduous, broadly lanceolate, serrated at margins, mid to olive green and with some purple hues before the plant starts blooming.
Baby Joe is a compact variety of Joe Pye weed that originated in the Netherlands as a result of a breeding programme made by Hubertus Gerardus Oudshoorn. This variety exhibits much smaller and bushier, more compact habit with stem reaching only about 60 cm. Baby Joe does look like a small shrub but is a true perennial that dies back to the ground autumn and comes back in spring. Patent granted in 2009 under PP20,320.
Joe Pye Weed likes moist sites and when established it takes some level of occasional waterlogging. It thrives in fertile, preferably alkaline soil in full sun or part shade. Its stems are strong enough to take weather caprices so you needn’t find it a sheltered spot. It looks great in the back of a perennial border, or as a large specimen plant, or surrounded by smaller perennials in rounded borders. It is hardy to about -34°C (USDA zone 4).
Last update 11-08-2014

Eupatorium dubium ‘Baby Joe’
(dwarf joe-pye weed)

Eupatorium dubium ‘Baby Joe’ (dwarf joe-pye weed) has umbellifer shaped, rose-pink flowers on sturdy stems, making it a great cut flower. The flower stems of Eupatorium dubium ‘Baby Joe’ rise above the low growing foliage. Eupatorium dubium ‘Baby Joe’ attracts bees, pollinators and butterflies. For sale and grown on-site at Plant Paradise Country Gardens.

  • Light: Full Sun – Part Shade
  • Soil: All types soil
  • Moisture: Average – Dry – Moist – Wet
  • Benefits: Pollinators, Butterflies, Cut-flower, Bees, Easy
  • Height: 36 inches
  • Blooms: August to October
  • Foliage: Green
  • Spacing: 36 inches
  • Growth Habit: clumping
  • Zones: 4-9

Perennial Catalog – 2019

All plant sales are in person at Plant Paradise Country Gardens in Caledon Ontario. As the 2017 Destination Garden Centre of the Year, we have been growing and selling hardy, unique and hard-to-find perennials organically for over 12 years. We are always trialing and testing them in the botanical gardens at Plant Paradise Country Gardens. Our growing practices benefit the whole environment, including the pollinators and beneficial insects.

At Plant Paradise Country Gardens we control every aspect of growing plants on-site. This begins with mixing soil in the potting shed and all the steps in between until the fully grown plants are ready for your garden. This gives us the opportunity to have control over the quality. Our responsibility is to grow healthy plants that are environmentally sustainable. We use only organic gardening methods to grow high quality plants without the use of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers. Our plants are available in one, two or three gallon containers.

We DO NOT use NeoNicotinoids which is a pesticide used by many plant nurseries that sell to garden centres and big box stores. This pesticide is a known cause of the decline in the bee population. Everything a grower uses in plant production is systemically released into the molecular structure of the plant. This becomes a chain reaction in the long-term health and vibrancy of the plant and your growing environment.

By supporting our environmentally sustainable organic perennial nursery u0026amp; garden centre you’ll be a part of the positive change that makes a difference in our environment. We believe you’ll see the difference.

Below is our catalogue for 2019. Click the + sign next to the letter to open up the list of perennials we have available this year. ( * represents new for 2019 )

Acanthus hungaricus
Achillea Cloth of Gold *
Achillea Peter Cottontail *
Achillea Sassy Summer Sangria *
Achillea Saucy Seduction
Achillea Sunny Seduction
Actaea Hillside Black Beauty
Actaea racemosa
Agastache Blue Fortune
Agastache foeniculum
Agastache Morello
Alcea r. Fiesta Time *
Alchemilla mollis
Allium Lavender Bubbles *
Allium Millenium
Amsonia Blue Ice
Amsonia Storm Cloud
Anemone Pamina
Anemonopsis macrophylla *
Angelica gigas (biennial)
Aquilegia Blue Barlow
Artemisia lactiflora Guizhou
Artemisia Mori’s Strain
Aruncus Chantilly Lace
Aruncus dioicus
Aruncus dioicus aethusifolius
Asclepias tuberosa
Aster Purple Dome
Astrantia Burgundy Manor
Astrantia Moulin Rouge *
Astrantia Roma
Astrantia Sparkling Stars

Baptisia Pink Lemonade
Baptisia Blueberry Sundae
Baptisia Twilite Prairie Blues
Brunnera Jack Frost
Brunnera Silver Heart
Brunnera Sterling Silver *
Buddleia Grand Cascade *
Buddleia Orchid Annie
Buddleia Prince Charming

Calendula Orange Porcupine (annual) *
Calamintha Marvelette Blue *
Campanula Sarastro
Campanula Blue Waterfall
Campanula g. Freya
Campanula Pearl Deep Blue
Campanula Takion Series –White
Centranthus ruber coccineus *
Clematis Blue Ribbons
Clematis Pink Mink
Clematis Stand by Me
Clematis Violet Stardust
Cleome Cherry Queen (annual)
Cosmos Rubenza (annual) *
Coreopsis Early Sunrise
Coreopsis verticillata
Coreopsis Sunkiss
Crocosmia Red Lucifer

Delphinium e. Cobalt Dreams New Millenium
Delphinium e. Purple Passion New Millenium
Dianthus carthusianorum
Dianthus Classic Coral
Dianthus g. Firewitch
Dianthus Scarlet Fever
Dicentra Goldheart
Dictamnus a. Albiflorus
Dictamnus albus Purpureus
Digitalis Freckled Rose Princess (biennial)

Echinacea Cranberry Cupcake
Echinacea Glowing Dream
Echinacea Green Twister *
Echinacea KISMET Intense Orange *
Echinacea KISMET Raspberry
Echinacea KISMET Red
Echiancea KISMET Yellow
Echinacea Hot Papaya
Echinacea Julia
Echinacea Magnus
Echinacea PASO DOBLE Fuchsia *
Echinacea PowWow White
Echinacea PowWow Wildberry
Echinacea Sensation Pink
Echinacea Supreme Elegance
Echinacea tennesseensis
Echinops Blue Glow
Echium amoenum Red Feathers
Echium vulgare
Epimedium g. Lilafee
Epimedium Pink Champagne
Eryngium abelii Big Blue
Eryngium a. Blue Star *
Eryngium p. Blue Glitter
Eryngium maritimum *
Eryngium yuccifolium
Eupatorium d. Baby Joe
Eupatorium maculatum Gateway
Eupatorium Ivory Towers *
Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow
Euphorbia Bonfire

Fern – Athyrium Burgundy Lace
Fern – Athyrium Dre’s Dagger
French Marigold (Tagetes patula) (annual)

Gaillardia Sunset Celebration
Galium oderatum
Geranium Rozanne
Gillenia trifoliata
Geum Totally Tangerine
Grass – Andropogon Indian Warrior
Grass – Calamagrostis brachytricha
Grass – Hakonechloa macra Aureola
Grass – Miscanthus s. giganteus
Grass – Miscanthus s. Malepartus
Grass – Miscanthus s. Morning Light
Grass – Miscanthus s. Strictus
Grass – Pennisetum a. Red Head
Grass – Pennisetum a. Desert Plains
Grass – Schizachyrium Blue Paradise
Grass – Schizachyrium scoparium Prairie Blues
Grass –Panicum virgatum Thundercloud
Grass – Sporobolus Gone with the Wind
Grass – Sporobolus heterolepis *
Gypsophila Summer Sparkles

Helenium Mardi Gras
Helenium Salsa
Helianthus Lemon Queen
Heliopsis Bleeding Hearts
Heliopsis h. Burning Hearts
Heliopsis Summer Sun
Heliopsis Sunstruck *
Heliopsis Tuscan Gold
Helleborus Blushing Bridesmaid
Helleborus Confetti Cake
Helleborus Dark and Handsome
Helleborus First Dance
Helleborus French Kiss *
Helleborus Rio Carnival
Helleborus Spanish Flare
Helleborus Tropical Sunset *
Helleborus Winter Jewels Red Sapphire
Hemerocallis Bela Lugosi
Hemerocallis Crimson Shadows
Hemerocallis Destined to See
Hemerocallis El Desperado
Hemerocallis Elegant Candy
Hemerocallis Handwriting on the Wall *
Hemerocallis Honeymoon Suite
Hemerocallis Innwood
Hemerocallis Lavender Blue Baby
Hemerocallis Patrician Splendour
Hemerocallis Peach Magnolia
Hemerocallis Romantic Returns
Hemerocallis Siloam Peony Display
Hemerocallis Storm Shelter
Hemerocallis Strawberry Candy
Heuchera Forever Purple
Heuchera Forever Red
Heuchera Marmalade
Heuchera Midnight Rose
Heuchera Northern Exposure Red
Heuchera Paris
Heucherella Catching Fire
Heucherella Pink Fizz
Heucherella Pumpkin Spice
Hosta Abiqua Drinking Gourd
Hosta Captain Kirk
Hosta Dream Weaver
Hosta Earth Angel
Hosta Firn Line
Hosta Grand Prize
Hosta Great Expectations
Hosta Hudson Bay *
Hosta Inniswood
Hosta June
Hosta Kiwi Full Monty
Hosta Krossa Regal
Hosta Liberty
Hosta Maui Buttercups
Hosta Paradigm
Hosta Paul’s Glory
Hosta Regal Splendor
Hosta Revolution
Hosta Stained Glass
Hosta Thunderbolt
Hosta Touch of Class
Hosta Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
Hydrangea arborescens Haas Halo
Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball (PW)
Hydrangea paniculata Confetti
Hydrangea paniculata Fire Light
Hydrangea paniculata Limelight

Inula helenium
Iris germanica Mother Earth
Iris versicolour

Kalmeris Blue Star
Kirengeshoma palmata *

Lavendula a. Essence Purple
Lavendula Hidcote
Lavendula a. Munstead
Lavendula Phenomenal
Leucanthemum Coconut
Leucanthemum Daisy May – Amazing Daisies
Leucanthemum Banana Cream – Amazing Daisies
Leucanthemum Victorian Secret
Leucanthemum x superbum Goldfinch
Liatris Kobold Original
Liatris Floristan Violet
Liatris ligulistylis *
Lychnis c. Rauhrieif (white)
Lychnis c. Red Cross
Lysimachia clethroides

Malva sylvestris mauritiana *
Marigold (French) (Targetes patula) annual
Meconopsis x sheldonii Lingholm Blue Ice (blue poppy)
Monarda Blue Moon
Monarda Bubblegum Blast
Monarda Cherry Pops
Moanrda Electric Neon Pink *
Monarda d. Grand Marshall
Monarda d. Jacob Cline
Monarda d. Pardon My Purple
Monarda d. Purple Rooster
Monarda Grape Gumball
Monarda Raspberry Wine
Monarda Rockin Raspberry
Monarda punctata Bergamo (biennial) Dotted Mint
Myrrhis odorata

Nasturtium Cherries Jubilee annual (mounding)
Nepeta Cat’s Meow
Nepeta Kitten Around
Nepeta f. Purrsian Blue

Packera obovata
Paeonia ITOH Bartzella
Paeonia ITOH Berry Garcia
Paeonia ITOH Callies Memory
Paeonia ITOH Cora Louise
Paeonia ITOH First Arrival
Paeonia ITOH Hillary
Paeonia ITOH Julia Rose
Paeonia ITOH Lollipop
Paeonia ITOH Pastel Splendor
Paeonia ITOH Pink Double Dandy
Paeonia ITOH Scarlet Heaven
Paeonia ITOH Scrumdidleumptious
Paeonia ITOH Singing in the Rain
Paeonia ITOH Yankee Doodle Dandy
Paeonia Yachiyotsubaki (tree peony)
Papaver Orientale Beauty of Livermere *
Penstemon strictus Rocky Mountain
Perovskia a. Denin’n Lace (PW)
Persicaria amplexicaulis var. Pendula
Persicaria bistorta Superba
Persicaria polymorpha
Phlox divaricata Blue Moon
Phlox Cloudburst
Phlox p. Bright Eyes
Phlox p. David
Phlox p. Flame Series Coral
Phlox p. Flame Series Pink
Phlox p. Flame Series Purple
Phlox p. Flame Series Red
Phlox p. Flame Series White Eye
Phlox p. Glamour Girl
Phlox p. Laura
Phlox p. Nicky
Phlox p. Red Riding Hood
Physostegia virginiana Vivid
Polyganatum commutatum (Great Solomon Seal)
Pulmonaria Raspberry Splash
Pulmonaria Silver Bouquet
Pulsatilla vulgaris Rose bells

Rosa At Last (PW)
Rudbeckia subtomentosa

Salix integra Hakuro-nishiki (shrub)
Salvia n. May Night
Salvia Midnight Model
Salvia Perfect Profusion *
Sanguinaria f. multiplex (Double Bloodroot)
Sanguisorba menziesii
Sanguisorba officinalis Pink Tanna
Sarracena purpurea *
Scabiosa c. Butterfly Blue
Sedum Atlantis *
Sedum Class Act
Sedum Dazzleberry *
Sedum Desert Black
Sedum Mr. Goodbud
Sedum Night Embers *
Sedum sieboldii
Sempervivum Peggy
Silene asterias *
Stachys monieri Hummelo
Stachys officinalis Pink Cotton Candy
Stylophorum diphyllum (wood Poppy)

Tanacetum parthenium Double White
Thalictrum flavum ssp. glaucom
Thalictrum rochebrunianum
Thalictrum Splendide
Tiarella cordifolia
Tiarella Sugar and Spice
Tiarella Spring Symphony

Verbascum olympicum (Yellow)
Verbascum phoeniceum Rosetta
Verbascum Plum Smokey
Verbena bonariensis (annual) *
Vernonia novaboracensis
Veronica Aspire
Veronica Blue Skywalker
Veroncia Enchanted Indigo
Veronica Hocus Pocus
Veronica Lavender Lightsaber *
Veronica longifolia Blue Shades
Veronica longifolia Pink Shades
Veronica Magic Show White Wands PW
Veronica Mona Lisa Smile
Veronica Royal Candles
Veronica Venture Blue
Veronica Very Van Gogh
Veronicastrum virginicum
Viburnum lentago (Nannyberry) *

Weigela Spilled Wine
Wisteria marcrostachya Blue Moon

Zinnia Raspberry Sorbet (annual) *
Zizia aurea *

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 grow in great abundance in the eastern US 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 to 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 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.

Joe Pye Weed 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 flowers 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 sun 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.

Related Reading – Salvia Plant: How To Care For The Perennial Meadow Sage

Is It Really a Weed?

The term weed is open to interpretation. Joe Pye Weed 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
  • Rheumatism
  • Impotence
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Gout

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 flowers 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 flowers 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.

Native Wildflowers: Container Production of Joe-Pye Weed from Seed1

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Joe Pye Weed

Grow these statuesque and showy native wildflowers By Michael MacCaskey


Eutrochium fistulosum f. albidum ‘Bartered Bride’.
Photo by: Rob Cardillo.


Eutrochium purpureum (formerly Eupatorium purpureum)


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


3 to 8


Rich and moist


Grows to 6 to 8 feet high by 3 feet wide. It is not well suited for small spaces, as it needs plenty of room to grow.


Full sun


Plants are most vigorous when they have more moisture; however, once established they will survive brief periods of drought (but may experience some leaf scorching). 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.


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

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


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


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


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.

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.

Photo by: Rick Darke.

Sit back and enjoy the butterflies.

A monarch enjoys the nectar of Eutrochium 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


  • 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)


Late Blooming Plants
Butterfly Garden Plants

Joe-Pye Weed Care – Growing Joe-Pye Weed Flowers And When To Plant Joe-Pye Weed

Eupatorium purpureum, or Joe-pye weed as most people know it, is far from an unwanted weed to me. This attractive plant produces pale pink-purple flowers that last from mid-summer through fall. It’s a great addition to nearly any garden and a must have for wildlife lovers, attracting a multitude of butterflies with its sweet nectar. Growing Joe-pye weed flowers is a wonderful way to bring a little bit of nature to your backyard.

What are Joe-Pye Weed Flowers?

Joe-pye weed flowers were named after a New England man that used the plant medicinally for helping people with typhus fever. In addition to its medicinal properties, both the flowers and seeds have been used in producing pink or red dye for textiles.

In their native environment, these plants can be found in thickets and woodlands throughout the eastern half of North America. The plants are hardy from USDA Zones 4-9. They reach heights of anywhere between 3 and 12 feet, offering great focal interest when using Joe-pye weeds in the garden. In addition, the flowers have a light vanilla fragrance that becomes more intense when crushed.

Growing Joe-Pye Weed

Joe-pye weeds in the garden prefer full sun to partial shade. They also like to be kept somewhat moist in average to rich soil. Growing Joe-pye weed will even tolerate wet soil conditions but not overly dry sites. Therefore, in areas with hot, dry summers, plant these ornamental beauties in partially shaded locales.

Spring or fall is the most suitable time for when to plant Joe-pye weed. Due to the large size of Joe-pye weed, it makes a great background plant but also needs plenty of room to grow. In fact, they are best planted on 24-inch (2 foot) centers as they will eventually form large clumps. When growing Joe-pye weed in the garden, group it with similar woodland plants and ornamental grasses.

For those that don’t have this wildflower presently growing on your property, you can usually find them in nurseries and garden centers. However, many of these Joe-pye weed plants are sold as E. maculatum. This type has more foliage and the flower heads as its wild counterpart. ‘Gateway’ is a popular cultivar for home gardens as it is a somewhat shorter variety.

Joe-Pye Weed Care

There’s little maintenance involved with Joe-pye weed care. The plant does enjoy regular, deep watering and will withstand heat and drought fairly well when the soil is kept moist or shade is provided. A layer of mulch will help retain moisture levels too.

Older plants can be divided and replanted in the early spring as new growth starts or fall. When the center dies out of Joe-pye weeds in the garden, then it’s time for division. You need to dig up the entire clump, cutting away and discarding the dead center material. You can then replant the divided clumps.

Plants die back to the ground in late fall. This dead growth can be cut back or left over winter and cut in spring.

Although it’s not the most recommended form of propagation, Joe-pye weed plants can be grown from seeds. They require stratification for about 10 days at 40°F. (4 C.). Do not cover the seeds as they require light for germination, which on average takes about two to three weeks. Root cuttings can also be taken in the spring.


Loose branching rounded clusters made up of dozens to hundreds of very pale pink to purplish flower heads. A head is made up of about 6 petal-less disk flowers, each with 2 long stringy styles and 5 tiny lobes. The bracts are green to purplish and in 2 layers, the outer ones usually hairy.

Leaves and stems:

Leaves are whorled in groups of 3 to 5, most often 4. Leaves are up to 10 inches long, 1 to 4 inches wide, coarsely toothed and pointed on both ends with short stalks, and are variously hairy.

Stems are mostly green, rarely purple tinged, but usually dark purple at the leaf nodes and flower stalk nodes. The lower stem is hairless; the upper stem may be covered in glandular hairs.


The flower heads turn into a mass of brown seed, each with a tuft of light brown hair to carry them off in the wind.

Seeds are slender, 4 to 5 millimeters long, 5-sided.


Very similar species is Spotted Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum), which has solid purple or purple spotted stems, usually a flatter flower cluster and a preference for full sun, where Sweet Scented Joe Pye Weed prefers part shade. Sweet Scented Joe Pye Weed often goes by Latin name Eupatorium purpureum but the accepted name in Minnesota is Eutrochium purpureum. There are 2 varieties in Minnesota, var. purpureum is mostly hairless on the underside of the leaf except along the veins; var. holzingeri is densely hairy on the underside surface.

Eupatorium maculatum ‘Snowball’ (Joe-pye weed ‘Snowball’)

Botanical name

Eupatorium maculatum ‘Snowball’

Other names

Joe-pye weed ‘Snowball’


Eupatorium Eupatorium

Variety or Cultivar

‘Snowball’ _ ‘Snowball’ is a vigorous, upright, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial with sturdy stems bearing whorled, elliptic to lance-shaped, dark green leaves and terminal clusters of small, creamy-white flowers from midsummer to early autumn.

Native to

Garden origin




Clump-forming, Upright

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Cream, White in Summer; White, Cream in Autumn

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for


Generally pest-free.


Generally disease-free.

General care


Pruning group 8. Support stems if needed.

Propagation methods

Division, Seed

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Where to grow

Eupatorium maculatum ‘Snowball’ (Joe-pye weed ‘Snowball’) will reach a height of 1.4m and a spread of 1m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Prairie planting, Cottage/Informal, Beds and borders, Architectural, Wildlife


Plant in any moist, moderately fertile soil in full sun to partial shade. Water during dry periods until the plant is established.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral


Partial Shade, Full Sun


South, East, West


Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4

Defra’s Risk register #1

Plant name

Eupatorium maculatum ‘Snowball’ (Joe-pye weed ‘Snowball’)

Common pest name

Scientific pest name

Coleosporium eupatorii



Current status in UK


Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

Impact (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

General biosecurity comments

A rust affecting Pinus spp. Pathway for entry mitigated by EU regulation of bonsai imports. The trade of pines and other hosts need to be monitored.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read “Don’t risk it” advice here

Suspected outbreak?

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit:

Eupatorium maculatum (Spotted Joe-Pye Weed)

Appreciated for their stature, ease of cultivation and attractive flowers, Eupatorium maculatum, commonly known as Joe Pye Weed, are strong growing perennials that provide a wonderful garden presence. Native to North America, they are noted for their erect, purple-stained stems (therefore “maculata”) that are branched with flat-topped, 4-5 in. (10-12 cm) clusters of eye-catching rose-purple to mauve flowers. Often fragrant, their blossoms are attractive to bees and butterflies in search of nectar.

  • Hardy, Eupatorium maculatum blooms profusely from midsummer to fall and remains extremely attractive throughout winter thanks to its ornamental seed heads that persist and provide food for the birds. They are particularly striking when covered in hoar frost or snow.
  • This upright perennial elegantly rises up to 5- 8 ft. (150-240 cm) and spreads 4-5 ft. wide (120-150 cm).
  • Combines beautifully in striking color combinations with other perennial plants such as Asters, Helianthus or ornamental grasses. Very useful and adaptable in the garden, this is an excellent choice as an accent plant, or for borders, cottage gardens, meadows, wild gardens, rain gardens. Good as cut flowers too!
  • Low maintenance and trouble-free, Joe Pye Weed performs best in full sun to part shade. It thrives in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Fertile, moist soils are preferred.

  • Deer, rabbit, clay and wet soil tolerant.
  • Spreads quickly, but is not invasive. Seeds freely but not too prolifically. Cut to the ground in late winter.

Main Eupatorium maculatum varieties:

  • Eupatorium maculatum ‘Gateway’ – a popular cultivar with large flower heads – up to 8 in. wide (20 cm). Purple-pink blossoms atop dark green, lance-shaped foliage. May reach up to 6 ft. (180 cm)
  • Eupatorium maculatum ‘Glutball’ – magnificent with large flower heads – up to 8 in. wide (20 cm). Purple-pink blossoms atop dark green, lance-shaped foliage. May reach up to 6 ft. (180 cm)
  • Eupatorium maculatum ‘Orchard Dene’ – Upright, imposing with mid green lanceolate and serrate leaves, foliage, dusty pink flower heads with contrasting green stems with dark purplish-red dashes. Up to 8 ft. tall (240 cm) and 5 ft. wide (150 cm). AGM award (2006).
  • Eupatorium maculatum ‘Purple Bush’ – Upright, bushy, compact with dark green lanceolate leaves, dusty pink flower heads and lovely green stems with dark purplish-red dashes. Up to 7 ft. tall (210 cm) and 5 ft. wide (150 cm). AGM award (2006).
  • Eupatorium maculatum ‘Riesenschirm’ – statuesque presence with dark green foliage, huge flower heads in shades of grayish-pink and lovely dark purple stems. Up to 5 ft tall (150 cm) and 4 ft. wide (120 cm). AGM award (2006).

Baby Joe Joe Pye Weed flowers

Baby Joe Joe Pye Weed flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Baby Joe Joe Pye Weed in bloom

Baby Joe Joe Pye Weed in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 30 inches

Spacing: 24 inches


Hardiness Zone: 4a

Other Names: Boneset


Compact growth habit compared to the species, ideal for smaller gardens; features fluffy plumes of lilac-pink flowers, attractive leaves and strong stems; tasty seeds for birds and nectar for butterflies

Ornamental Features

Baby Joe Joe Pye Weed has masses of beautiful plumes of lightly-scented pink flowers with lilac purple overtones at the ends of the stems from mid summer to early fall, which emerge from distinctive fuchsia flower buds, and which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its serrated narrow leaves emerge dark green in spring, turning forest green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The burgundy stems can be quite attractive.

Landscape Attributes

Baby Joe Joe Pye Weed is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other garden plants with finer foliage.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Baby Joe Joe Pye Weed is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Baby Joe Joe Pye Weed will grow to be about 30 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 24 inches apart. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Gertens Sizes and Prices

#1/7″ container – $10.99
* Sizes and availability are subject to change. Please check with the store for specific details.

Eupatorium dubium ‘Baby Joe’ (Joe-pye weed ‘Baby Joe’)

Eupatorium dubium ‘Baby Joe’

Joe-pye weed ‘Baby Joe’, Dwarf joe-pye weed ‘Baby Joe’, Eupatorium ‘Baby Joe’, Eutrochium dubium ‘Baby Joe’

Eupatorium Eupatorium

‘Baby Joe’ _ ‘Baby Joe’ is a compact, upright, bushy, herbaceous perennial bearing elliptic to lance-shaped, toothed, dark green leaves and domed panicles of purple-pink flowers from midsummer into autumn.

Garden origin


Upright, Clump-forming, Bushy

Purplish-pink in Summer; Purplish-pink in Autumn

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer

Generally pest-free.

Generally disease-free.

Cut back in late autumn.

Division, Seed

Eupatorium dubium ‘Baby Joe’ (Joe-pye weed ‘Baby Joe’) will reach a height of 0.7m and a spread of 0.6m after 2-5 years.

Architectural, Cottage/Informal, Beds and borders, Prairie planting

Plant in any moist, moderately fertile soil in full sun to partial shade. Water during dry periods until the plant becomes established. Divide every 3-4 years.

Clay, Loamy

Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Partial Shade, Full Sun

North, South, East, West

Exposed, Sheltered

Hardy (H4)

Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4

Joe-Pye Weed

Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum var. purpureum) in full bloom growing in a roadside ditch in late August.
Joey Williamson, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension

Joe-Pye weeds (Eutrochium spp.) are early fall blooming wildflowers that colonize roadside ditches in sunny, moist sites. These native perennial plants grow to 4 – 6 feet tall and bloom along with goldenrods (Solidago spp.), ironweeds (Veronica fasciculata), and our native grasses to make a beautiful autumn display. The flowers are mildly fragrant and very attractive to butterflies and other beneficial insects.

Joe-Pye weed was originally classified in the genus Eupatorium but was recently (2000) placed into the genus Eutrochium. Five species of Eutrochium naturally occur in the Southeast, and all are referred to as Joe-Pye weeds:

  • E. dubium – Three nerved Joe-Pye weed. (common in the lower portion of SC and uncommon in the Upstate),
  • E. fistulosum – Hollow stem Joe-Pye weed (common in the Upstate of SC, but uncommon in the lower half of the state),
  • E. maculatum var. maculatum Spotted Joe-Pye weed (does not naturally occur in SC),
  • E. purpureum var. carolinianum – Carolina Joe-Pye weed (occurs rarely in the Upstate of SC),
  • E. purpureum var. purpureum – Purple node Joe-Pye weed (common in the Upstate of South Carolina, but uncommon in the lower half of the state),
  • E. steelei – Appalachian Joe-Pye weed (does not naturally occur in SC).

Although not all Eutrochium species are naturally found in South Carolina, all of these species should grow well over the majority of the state, and improved cultivars of the first four species listed are also found in the nursery trade. Joe-Pye weeds are cold hardy plants and grow well in USDA Zones 4 to 8.

Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum var. purpureum) flowers are fragrant and attract many pollinating insects, especially butterflies.
Joey Williamson, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension


There are a number of cultivars of the various Eutrochium species, where many are shorter than the original species, have better powdery mildew resistance on the foliage, and have better flower production. Approximately 13 cultivars of E. dubium, E. maculatum, and E. fistulosum are currently on the market. The six cultivars below were rated highest1 for best green leaf color, stem color (often purple), superior flower production and color, powdery mildew resistance, winter hardiness, and attractive growth habit (such as, compactness and stiffer upright form).

  • E. dubium ‘Baby Joe’ PP#20,320; plant trial size: 60 x 54”; good powdery mildew resistance; excellent flower production & light purple flower color.
  • E. dubium ‘Little Joe’ PP#16,122; plant trial size: 60 x 36”; excellent powdery mildew resistance; excellent flower production & purple flower color.
  • E. fistulosum ‘Carin’; plant trial size: 80 x 42”; good powdery mildew resistance; excellent flower production & pale pink flowers.
  • E, fistulosum ‘Bartered Bride’; plant trial size: 90 x 43”; good powdery mildew resistance; excellent flower production & white flowers.
  • E. maculatum ‘Phantom’; plant trial size: 54 x 64”; good powdery mildew resistance; excellent flower production & purplish-pink flowers.
  • E. maculatum ‘Purple Bush’; plant size: 64 x 50”; good powdery mildew resistance; excellent flower production & purple flowers.

The ultimate height of these cultivars is directly influenced by the amount of sunlight received, how consistent the soil moisture is, and the degree of soil fertility. For example, in a trial study ‘Baby Joe’ Joe-Pye weed grew to 5 feet tall, but nursery descriptions of this cultivar’s height are often listed as 3 – 5 feet, 3 – 4 feet, or as low as 2 – 3 feet tall. The same is true for the other cultivars. However, if a Joe-Pye weed species or cultivar grows too large for a specific landscape plan, the stems can be cut halfway down by mid-June. The plant will then re-sprout and be shorter, but more full and with more flower heads.

Landscape Use

Joe-Pye weeds need a soil that is consistently moist the first year for establishment and that contains at least some organic matter. They can tolerate more drought in subsequent years, but do thrive in drainage ditches that are more moist than the typical surrounding soils. Joe-Pye weeds are generally tall plants and most effectively are planted toward the rear of landscape gardens. They combine well with ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata), which is also equally tall and with dark purple flowers; goldenrods (Solidago spp.), with golden yellow blooms; and native asters (Aster novae-angliae and A. laevis), with lavender petals and yellow centers.

Seed: Joe-Pye seed heads can be collected in late September. Cut a seed head, place it upside down in a large, brown paper bag, and hang the bag in a well-ventilated room for the seeds to finish maturing and drop into the bag. The seeds can be planted directly in the soil during the fall, or they can be stored in a sealed bag or jar in the refrigerator until sown. If planted in the fall, young plants will appear in the spring. Keep seedbed moist for both germination and growth of seedlings, which will flower the second season.

Division: Mature plants are best divided in the fall after they go dormant. Each plant will have numerous stems arising from a wide crown with a fibrous root system. To divide the crown, place a sharp shovel between the stems and force it downward to cut, and then separate pieces of stems along with their portion of the crown and roots. Replant the separated piece at the same depth as it was originally, and then mulch and water to settle the soil.


Powdery mildew (the grayish-white fungal coating on the foliage) is a common problem on many Joe-Pye weeds, such as on this roadside Eutrochium purpureum var. purpureum.
Joey Williamson, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension

Joe-Pye weeds are relatively free of disease or insect pest problems, except for powdery mildew on the foliage. This is especially more of a problem on the straight species, i.e., when it is not an improved cultivar. Powdery mildew reduces the photosynthetic ability of the foliage (i.e., the ability to manufacture carbohydrates), as well as causes the leaves to desiccate (i.e., to dry up and die). Several fungicides will control powdery mildew on Joe-Pye weed, as well as on other perennials. For examples of both cultural controls that reduce disease incidence and fungicides with specific products, please see HGIC 2049, Powdery Mildew.

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