Why plant Audubon® Native Joe Pye Weed?
In the dog days of summer, when the garden is frankly looking a little tired (and we are, too), Coastal Plain Joe Pye Weed is fresh as a daisy. Mid- to late summer is when this chipper Spirit opens its cloudlike, mauve-pink flowers. Butterflies are quick to find their nectar, and they linger on the blooms on warm, lazy afternoons. Tiger swallowtails and monarchs are the most conspicuous and frequent visitors, but you may also spot black swallowtails, viceroys, painted ladies, red admirals, fritillaries, and skippers. In fall, the flowers become fluffy clusters of fawn-colored seeds, enjoyed by sparrows and finches.
Who was this Joe Pye person? The world may never know for certain who he was or if he even existed in real life, but historians have tried hard to uncover the truth. Their research seems to indicate that Joe Pye was indeed a real person, perhaps a Mohican medicine man who lived in New England in the eighteenth century. He supposedly had a reputation for using this plant to treat typhus fever, a disease transmitted by lice or fleas that was once more common in the U.S. Coastal Plain Joe Pye Weed is native from Maine to South Carolina.
How to use Audubon® Native Joe Pye Weed in the landscape?
There are several species of Joe Pye Weeds. The most common ones are tall, shrublike Spirits that tower over other plants in the garden. Coastal Plain Joe Pye Weed is different. Naturally maintaining a smaller, more compact habit, it fits easily into gardens of all sizes.
Hardiness Zone: 3-9
How To Plant Audubon® Native Joe Pye Weed
Native to boggy areas and wet meadows along the East Coast, Coastal Plain Joe Pye Weed also appreciates moist soil in the landscape. Plant it in a rain garden, next to a pond, in a low spot in your yard, or wherever the soil doesn’t dry out in summer. Too little water will result in brown, crispy leaf margins. This plant wants full sun to look its best, but it can tolerate part shade. During the winter, leave stems standing for wildlife. Birds will glean the last of the seeds, and native bees may overwinter in its stems.
How To Water
Water twice weekly for the first 3-5 weeks; then water weekly for the remainder of the year until winter. When you water, water slowly and thoroughly. Watering needs may be altered due to extreme weather conditions.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late year. Continue this for three years to get your plant well established.
How To Prune
Each fall, just before winter sets in clean up the previous years foliage and compost it. Be sure your perennials are mulched well for winter protection. Two inches of an organic mulch will do the job. Consider leaving the plant debris in place through the winter and doing your clean up on the weather warms in the spring. While it doesn't make things neat and tidy, the debris provides overwintering protection for insects, their eggs and pupae including our native Viceroy butterfly.