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Joe Pye Weed

Eupatorium purpureum

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Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) at Valley View Farms

Joe Pye Weed in bloom

Joe Pye Weed in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) at Valley View Farms

Joe Pye Weed flowers

Joe Pye Weed flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 feet

Spacing:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  2b

Other Names:  Gravel Root, Kidney Root, Purple Boneset


A majestic and dominating plant with height for the back of the bed, this plant will fill the right sized space; fluffy plumes of violet flowers, attractive leaves and strong stems; tasty seeds for birds and nectar for butterflies

Ornamental Features

Joe Pye Weed has masses of beautiful plumes of fragrant violet flowers 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 remain forest green in color throughout the season. The burgundy stems can be quite attractive.

Landscape Attributes

Joe Pye Weed is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its wonderfully bold, coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced garden composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, 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.

Joe Pye Weed is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Vertical Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Joe Pye Weed will grow to be about 7 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 3 feet apart. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

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 species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Articulation  Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Texture  Plant Form  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features
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