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Joe Pye Weed Companion Plants: A Comprehensive Guide

joe pye weed companion plants

Are you looking for a stunning plant to add to your garden? Look no further than Joe Pye weed. This native North American wildflower is prized for its tall stature, striking blooms, and ability to attract pollinators. However, if you want to create a truly vibrant and diverse garden, you'll need to know about Joe Pye weed companion plants. In this guide, we'll explore the best plants to pair with Joe Pye weed and how to care for them.

What is Joe Pye Weed?

Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum) is a herbaceous perennial that grows up to 7 feet tall. It has clusters of pinkish-purple flowers that bloom from mid-summer to early fall, attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Joe Pye weed prefers moist soils and full sun to partial shade. It's also tolerant of deer and rabbit browsing, making it a great choice for wildlife gardens.

Best Companion Plants for Joe Pye Weed

1. Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is a classic companion plant for Joe Pye weed. Its bright yellow petals and dark centers complement the purple-pink hues of Joe Pye weed. Black-eyed Susan also attracts bees and butterflies, making it a valuable addition to any pollinator-friendly garden. Plant black-eyed Susan in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.

2. Swamp Milkweed

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is another native wildflower that pairs well with Joe Pye weed. Its pink or white flowers bloom in mid-summer and attract monarch butterflies. Swamp milkweed also has a deep root system that helps prevent erosion and improve soil health. Plant swamp milkweed in moist soils and full sun to partial shade.

3. Goldenrod

Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) is a hardy perennial that blooms in late summer and early fall, coinciding with Joe Pye weed's flowering period. Its bright yellow flowers are a magnet for pollinators, including bees and butterflies. Goldenrod prefers full sun and well-drained soil but can tolerate some shade.

4. Coneflowers

Coneflowers (Echinacea sp.) are another popular companion plant for Joe Pye weed. Their daisy-like blooms come in a range of colors, from purple to pink to white. Coneflowers are also prized for their medicinal properties, as they contain compounds that boost the immune system. Plant coneflowers in full sun and well-drained soil.

5. Switchgrass

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a native grass that pairs well with Joe Pye weed. Its upright form provides a nice contrast to Joe Pye weed's sprawling habit. Switchgrass also has deep roots that help prevent erosion and improve soil health. Plant switchgrass in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.

How to Care for Joe Pye Weed Companion Plants

1. Watering

Most Joe Pye weed companion plants prefer moist soils, so be sure to water them regularly during dry spells. However, avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and other problems.

2. Mulching

Mulch around the base of Joe Pye weed companion plants to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. Use a natural mulch, such as shredded leaves or bark chips, and avoid piling it up against the stems or crowns of the plants.

3. Fertilizing

Most Joe Pye weed companion plants don't require heavy fertilization. However, you can apply a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, in early spring to promote healthy growth.

4. Pruning

Deadhead spent blooms from Joe Pye weed and its companions to encourage more flowers. You can also cut back the plants in late fall or early spring to tidy them up.

Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions

1. What other pollinators will Joe Pye Weed attract?

Joe Pye Weed is loved by many pollinators including bees, butterflies, and moths. Not only does it feed the pollinators but also provides shelter for them.

2. Can Joe Pye Weed grow in a container garden?

While Joe Pye Weed can technically be grown in a container garden, it's not recommended due to its tall stature and deep root system. It's best to plant it directly in the ground where it has room to spread out.

3. Is Joe Pye Weed invasive?

No, Joe Pye Weed is not considered invasive. However, it can self-seed and spread under favorable conditions.

4. How do I propagate Joe Pye Weed and its companions?

Joe Pye Weed and its companions can be propagated via division in early spring or fall. Simply dig up the clumps, separate them into smaller sections, and replant them in well-drained soil.

5. Can Joe Pye Weed be used for medicinal purposes?

Yes, Joe Pye Weed has a long history of use in traditional medicine. It was traditionally used to treat kidney problems, urinary tract infections, and fever. However, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before using any plant-based remedies.


Joe Pye Weed is a beautiful and beneficial addition to any garden, but it's even better when paired with the right companion plants. By selecting plants that bloom at different times and attract a variety of pollinators, you can create a diverse and thriving ecosystem in your backyard. Remember to provide these plants with the proper care, including regular watering, mulching, and pruning, to keep them healthy and happy.

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