Posted on

sweet joe pye weed seeds

It might be harder to start them from seeds, but it can be done outdoors in fall or in a greenhouse in early spring. The seeds require 30 days of cold stratification (keep in moist medium in the refrigerator). Do not cover them when planting, as they need light to germinate (may take 2-3 weeks for them to sprout) and keep them moist.

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.

Eutrochium maculatum Native Plant Range
USDA, NRCS. 2016. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov)

Starting Joe Pye Weed Seeds – Propagation

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.

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.

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.

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

Seed Saving: Late in the season, these fuzzy flowers will begin to turn dull brown. Snip off entire heads and spread them out in a protected location to prevent the light seed from blowing away. When the heads have completely dried, shake them to remove the seed. The fluff attached to the seeds does not affect germination. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.

Seed Saving: Late in the season, these fuzzy flowers will begin to turn dull brown. Snip off entire heads and spread them out in a protected location to prevent the light seed from blowing away. When the heads have completely dried, shake them to remove the seed. The fluff attached to the seeds does not affect germination. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.

FAST FACTS

Harvesting: For fresh flowers, cut long stems of flowers that have just opened and place them in water immediately; strip the leaves that will fall below the water.

Sunlight: Part Sun, Shade

Germination Ease: Stratify 4 Weeks

Perfect for shady butterfly gardens, Eupatorium purpureum thrives in semi-shaded woodlands, woodland edges, as well as in full sun. The large pink flowers are a favorite nectar source for Monarchs, Swallowtails and many other butterflies …

Perfect for shady butterfly gardens, Eupatorium purpureum thrives in semi-shade and woodland edges, as well as in full sun. The large pink flowers are a favorite nectar source for Monarchs, Swallowtails and many other butterflies. The textured foliage looks good all summer long. “Sweet Joe” is an excellent, well-behaved garden plant with a shallow fibrous root that won’t interfere with other garden perennials. A great contributor whether massed, naturalized or in the border garden.