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Watering: Eutrochium prefers the soil to be moist. Provide a deep watering regularly.
Before Planting: Prior to planting, rake the soil in which you will place the seeds.
Although the Eutrochium is referred to as a weed, it has pretty blooms and can be very beneficial to the garden by attracting pollinators. This plant is a perennial that will return each year.
Harvesting: To harvest seeds, place a mature seed head in a brown paper bag and shake it to loosen the seeds from the seed head.
Planting: Scatter the seeds across the top of the soil and water immediately after placing the seeds.
Tips: Cut the plants back to 4 to 8 inches above the ground once it is done blooming. New growth will begin in the spring.
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Days to Maturity: Eutrochium will typically bloom in the late summer to early fall.
Fertilizer: Use a fertilizer specific for blossoming plants and apply it in the spring once the plant begins to show signs of new growth.
Though not nearly as common as powdery mildew, rust fungus can also leave brownish-orange spots on the leaves of Joe Pye weed. It's rarely a serious problem, but if the disfigurement bothers you, try treating the plant with a spray fungicide.
Joe Pye weed lives almost indefinietely, as the root crown gradually spreads and sends up new growth stalks to replace the old ones. This is not a perennial you will likely need to replant.
This is the notorious powdery mildew (see above). Treat the plant with spray fungicide; prevent the problem by planting mildew-resistant varieties.
The various species of Joe Pye Weed are extremely similar in appearance, and the ones offered at local garden centers often are simply sold as "Joe Pye Weed" (Eutrochium) without any further species distinction. But serious gardeners might be interested in the species details:
Common Problems With Joe Pye Weed
Fill starter cells or 2-inch pots with moistened seed starter mix. Press the seeds into the soil and just barely cover them with additional mix. Place the container in a location with bright indirect light at 70 degrees Fahrenheit until they sprout, usually about 4 weeks. Continue to grow the seedlings in a bright location until outdoor planting time.
If you wish, you can limit the overall size of your Joe Pye weed by cutting the stems back by half in June. This will cause the plant to send out more stems and encourage shorter, bushier growth. Consequently, you’ll get even more flowers on those new stems.
Powdery mildew sometimes responds to fungicide sprays or powders, but you can reduce its appearance by avoiding overhead watering and giving the plants plenty of space for air circulation. Better yet, choose one of the named cultivars, which are generally bred for their resistance to mildew:
Orange Spots on the Leaves
Joe Pye weed is not easy to grow from seeds, because the seeds require a period of cold stratification in order to germinate. Purchased seeds or those saved from a spent flower head can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a month before planting. If starting indoors, start the seeds about eight weeks before the expected last frost. Or, they can be planted outdoors in spring.
Division of roots is the easiest way to propagate mature Joe Pye weed plants. It is best done in early spring as soon all danger of frost has passed, but propagation in the fall is usually successful, too. Few plants are easier to propagate.