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joe pye weed seed pods

A quick search on Amazon shows dozens of options for buying Joe Pye Weed seeds.

Many native wildflowers (and their cultivated varieties) are important food sources for local birds and insects.

Please don’t let the fact that ‘weed’ appears in the name scare you away. Joe Pye Weed is definitely a flower you WANT in your backyard!

Treating Powdery Mildew

Eutrochium purpureum: This species is native to eastern and central North America. It’s commonly known as Purple Joe-Pye Weed, Kidney-root, Sweetscented Joe Pye Weed, and Sweet Joe Pye Weed.

Powdery mildew can affect many plant species. It overwinters in the soil, and the spores spread to other plants in the wind. Powdery mildew thrives in high heat and humidity and shady areas with poor air circulation.

While pruning isn’t essential, you can cut the plants back to 4-8 inches in the spring. Joe Pye Weed blooms on the new season’s growth, so this won’t affect its flowering.

Joe Pye Weed is the common name for plants that are in the genus Eutrochium. These flowering plants are NATIVE to the United States and Canada, which means they are highly recommended to plant in your yard! This large plant grows up to seven feet tall and is recognizable by its large pink flower clusters at the end of long stems.

Joe Pye Weed can be divided in early spring or fall.

Eutrochium maculatum is a herbaceous perennial from the Ateraceae family. Formerly, it was known as Eupatorium maculatum and you will often see this name in place of Eutrochium.

This is a impressive plant that could be used to add focal interest to many different gardens. Even though it carries “weed” in its name, it is far from being unwanted! It produces beautiful flowers attracting butterflies such as: Monarchs, Swallowtails, Varigated and Gulf Fritillaries, Skippers, Little Glasswings, Red Admirals, Red Spotted Purples, American Ladies and more. Joe Pye Weed (also known as Spotted Joe Pye Weed) is found naturally in thickets, woodlands, marshy areas and pond edges throughout Eastern North America, from Maine to Michigan, south to central Florida and Texas. This variety is hardy in USDA zone 3-9.

Which Eutrochium to Plant?

Eutrochium maculatum Native Plant Range
USDA, NRCS. 2016. The PLANTS Database (

If you would love to grow the Spotted Joe Pye Weed, but don’t have a sunny enough spot for it, then you have the option of switching to the Sweet Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) which grows in partial to full shade. Both varieties are related to Boneset and they have very similar characteristics. Sweet Joe does not have the purple spotted stems, but it does have deep purple hue at the leaf and flower stem nodules. Also, this one might grow taller and its flower heads are more flat (instead of domed) and vanilla scented.

This plant is extravagant with its bundles of mauve/pink, showy, lightly fragrant blooms. In general, they are large (3-6″ across), domed of flat-topped clusters of little tubular disks of flowers. Smaller bunches of flowerheads may develop below on different stems. Typical blooming time is from July to September. The florets are replaced by achenes with tiny tufts of bristly hair that assists them to get scattered by the wind. Plants usually grow from 4-7′ tall or even taller if favorable growing conditions are present. They could be trimmed in spring if it’s desired for them to be to be shorter and bushier, but it might be at the expense of lesser, smaller blooms. Their stems are branched, purple-speckled with notched, lance-shaped, medium green leaves (8-10″ long) that are present in swirls of 3-6. The roots systems are fibrous and rhizomatous.

It should be planted in full sun to part shade, in somewhat moist, average to rich soil. If in areas of hot, dry summers, it should be planted in partial shade. Also, it is recommended to add a layer of mulch around the plant to help it maintain moisture. It enjoys regular, deep watering and it will withstand heat and drought fairly well when the soil is kept moist or some shade is provided. Joe Pye Weed dies down in late fall. It can be cut back or left over winter and cut in spring.When the center of mature specimens die out, they should be divided (during early spring or fall). The whole root ball should be dug up, then cut and discard the dead center and replant the divided clumps.