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How to Care for a Joe Pye Weed Plant

If you’re thinking that something called a weed couldn’t possibly look good in your landscape, you may be pleasantly surprised. Contrary to its name, Joe-Pye weed makes a beautiful addition to a flowerbed or large planter. This perennial plant produces masses of colorful blossoms on stalks that reach over 6 feet in height. Joe-Pye weed blossoms from late July through the fall season. The lavender and pink blossoms can attract numerous varieties of butterflies to your yard.

Provide a location with lots of sunshine for your Joe-Pye weed plants. Like many types of garden perennials, these flowering plants can suffer from shade cast by overhanging tree branches. If your nearby trees have grown since you first planted your Joe-Pye weed, prune them back to allow a majority of daytime sunlight to reach your plants. These plants prefer areas of your yard that contain full sunlight to partial shade.

Water your Joe-Pye weed plants regularly. Apply about 1 inch water every three or four days to keep the soil slightly moist around this plant’s roots. Your flowering plant can tolerate damp soils but will not survive in dry conditions for an extended period of time.

Place a few garden stakes near your Joe-Pye weeds. The tall growth of these plants can make them droop and lean. Tie leaning stalks to sturdy stakes to keep them in place. Drive your 5 to 6 feet tall stakes at least 12 inches into the nearby soil to secure them. Use a soft twine, gently attaching the tall stems to your stakes. Staking is especially helpful in windy areas of your landscape.

Prune your dormant plants all the way to the ground. These perennials tend to grow back from the living portions beneath the soil, instead of existing stems and branches. After the first few frosts that cause your plants to wither and wilt, use a sharp pair of pruning shears to cut the dead stalks out of your flowerbeds. Remove the dead vegetation from the area that contains your Joe-Pye weeds. You will notice healthy, new growth in the spring.

Apply a time-release fertilizer to the soil over the roots of your Joe-Pye weed plants. Use a fertilizer formulated for blossoming plants and apply this in the spring, once the soil warms up and this perennial plant begins showing signs of new growth. Follow with another application during the middle of summer when the blossoms begin to appear in earnest.


Add sphagnum moss to your soil when first planting Joe-Pye weed. This substance will help your soil retain moisture and create a loose, well-drained medium for emerging roots.

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