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New This Week

June 17, 2024

Joe Pye Weed: Pollinator Superhero!

Protector and Guardian! For those who feed on Pollen, Nectar, and Seeds!

It is Pollinator Week!

As we recognize and celebrate the critical importance of pollinators to our ecosystems, we encourage everyone to look to the plants that provide vital support to these essential creatures. While we can hardly choose just one, Joe Pye Weed is a strong contender for one of our favorite pollinator plants!

Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium spp.) is a host plant for the larvae of many moth species, including: Eupatorium Borer Moth, Three Lined Flower Moth, Great Tiger Moth, Red Groundling, and Clymene. 

Joe Pye Weed is also a nectar source for many butterflies, including Monarchs and Swallowtails, as well as bees and other pollinators. Plus in the fall, birds eat the seeds. 

Joe Pye Weed is a perennial plant native to the eastern United States that blooms from mid-summer to autumn. It grows best in full to part sun and moist, evenly-distributed soil but can also tolerate clay soil. In our experience, we have found that if you provide a good foundation of moisture during the first year, it can even withstand drier periods once established. Joe Pye Weed is deer and rabbit resistant, and only requires cutting back to the ground in early spring.

There are four species of Joe Pye Weed at Painters this year, which differ in heights, habits, and color. Find the Pollinator Superhero that works best for you!

Hollow Joe Pye Weed

Eutrochium fistulosum

  • NATIVE perennial (z3-6) 

  • Full sun

  • 4-7' tall, 2-3' wide

  • Fragrant pink blooms summer to fall, wonderful for butterflies and honeybees

  • Thrives in rich, wet soil

  • Spectacular flowering and architectural height for damp gardens or water margins

Sweet Joe Pye Weed (limited stock)

Eutrochium purpureum

  • NATIVE perennial (z4-9) 

  • Full sun-part shade

  • 5-7' tall, 2-4' wide

  • Purple, vanilla-scented blooms summer to fall, beloved by pollinators

  • Thrives in rich, moist, well-drained soil, open woodland conditions

  • Fantastic food source for wildlife, larval host plant for over 40 species of moths and butterflies

Joe Pye Weed 'Gateway'

Eutrochium maculatum 'Gateway'

  • NATIVAR perennial (z3-9) 

  • Full-part sun 

  • 4-6' tall, 1-2' wide

  • More compact than the species, with a bushier habit

  • Huge, fluffy, dusty-pink blooms midsummer to fall, beloved by pollinators; attractive seed heads persist into winter

  • Thrives in consistently moist to wet soil; intolerant of drought

  • These statuesque, big-as-your-head blooms bring the butterflies

Joe Pye Weed 'Little Joe'

Eutrochium dubium 'Little Joe'

  • NATIVAR perennial (z3-10) 

  • Full-part sun 

  • 3-4' tall, 1-3' wide

  • Compact cultivar with better drought tolerance than the species

  • Light purple blooms late summer, fantastic for pollinators

  • Thrives in abundantly moist soil; deer resistant

  • Joe Pye thrives in abundantly moist soil; this cultivar's a bit more drought tolerant that the species

Joe Pye Weed 'Euphoria Ruby'

Eutrochium purpureum 'FLOREUPRE1 Euphoria Ruby'

  • NATIVAR perennial (z4-9) 

  • Full sun

  • 2-3' tall, 2' wide

  • Compact, earlier-flowering, longer-blooming cultivar

  • An ideal choice for smaller pollinator gardens

  • Pink-purple blooms turn to attractive seed heads, which feed birds and add winter interest

  • Deer and rabbit resistant

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