Imagine: Having a garden where large, mauve flowers blow in the breeze and butterflies flit among the blooms. Going native? Go big.
Name: Eupatorium purpureum aka Joe Pye Weed
Type of Plant: Native perennial plant that grows well in full sun.
Why I love this plant: This tall back-of-the-border plant produces large, mauve flowers in July and August. Butterflies love the flowers, which last four to eight weeks depending on temperatures and weather. Eupatorium purpureum blends well with grasses, perennial sunflowers and other tall plants.
This perennial loves damp soils so it’s perfect for those wet, low places. There are varieties that are a bit shorter, like ‘Little Joe’ but know that these often self-seed and the offspring is the taller version. This is the perfect plant for large gardens, native meadows, butterfly plantings and cottage gardens.
A Word to the Wise: Eupatorium spreads so every six to eight years it needs to be edited down. It can also self-seed, and if you want to prevent more from popping up around your property be sure to deadhead the plants once the flowers start to brown.