Joe Pye (Eupatorium purpureum)


Full sun or light shade


Late Summer to early fall


Widely tolerant


36 to 48 inches


Light purple


Zone 3


Mixed borders or wildflower gardens


Easy to grow




Joe Pye is an exceptional plant for those who enjoy native species and are looking for color in the late summer and fall. It is well suited for either mixed borders or wildflower gardens. In the wild it is most often found in moist swales and ditches but it will adapt well to most garden situations as long as conditions are not droughty. Organic matter additions are especially beneficial. Joe Pye will grow in full sun or light shade.

Plants may reach as tall as 4 feet by the second or third year of growth. They generally flower the first year but do not reach their full height. The blooms, which appear in late summer to early fall are light purple and occur in large clusters at the tips of the stems. They are a favorite of butterflies and bees and perform well as cut flowers. Joe Pye is an easy plant to grow and has virtually no disease or insect problems. Division is generally not needed but can be done in the spring as a means of increase. Winter mulching is not necessary. New plants should be spaced 12 to 18 inches apart.

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