Here is my Joepye plant with a 5'9" guy standing beside it for scale. The top of the tallest stalk can be seen just above and beside the wooden lathe ends. We estimated it at just over 10 feet. And it's only mid-June. Wow!
Yes. They have been tall and a couple years they weren't all that tall. But since I'm here all day right now, I can see that they stay constantly moist+. That's what did it, AFAIC.
I hope to be able to redo the bed a bit this fall. There seems to be a couple strains in there and I have others in other parts of the yard. I bought a shorter cultivar, maybe 'Gateway', but I'm not sure. Matures about 4 feet. Have some white-flowered Eupatoriums too, one of the Boneknits or Thoroughworts, but I really love the fluffy mauve clouds of these.
My joe pye got so tall and top heavy that it started bending over - I let it go - just to let it be, and its hung upside down, U-shaped, since mid july. The large flower head (hanging upside down) has gone to seed. But what was interesting is that the plant has developed new flower heads pointing upwards along the mid-stem at the top of bend.
No floral scent that I can detect, but there is a hay-like odor to the blossoms.
Mine are doing the 'Tower of Pisa" thing too. We've been having heavy rains and the downpurs form the thunderstorms make the haevy heads even heavier. I staked two of my clumps. One has held so far, but "Big Joe" has listed over to at least 45 degrees again. Will prolly go out and restake him, just so the flutterbies can have a high access.
I've pinched the main tips on them lots of times and sometimes a stalk gets broken--if you haven't done this before--have no fear--they branch wonderfully. Never pinched them more than the once, but might try a second pinch next year. They bloom so late that maybe even a third pinch could work.
I enjoyed rereading this. I now have my own Joepye weed. It grew to about 4 1/2' from a small start. It isn't scented, but I really like it! It's in a temporary spot right now, on the east side of the garage. A volunteer phlox came with it and I threw in an ironweed too.
Nice picture. Your plant looks like 'Gateway', a dwarf form better suited to most people's gardens with great coloring too.
Have several more "plantings" now that have volunteered here and there. All are leaning over, nearly kissing the ground now.
I moved a clump of NY Ironweed from next to the woods last year. Really likes the nicer soil and waterings in the border. Found a few volunteers here and there this season that bloomed under a foot tall. The established clump about 5 and a half feet. Definitely a "weed" worth growing.
billy, great pic of your ironweed and phlox. Is that the species of P. panciulata, a magenta color, or is it a named cultivar? My similar phlox is still blooming (for months now with deadheading) but it's a problem color-wise now since the Sedum 'Autumn Joy' is by it and that rosy color does NOT work for me with the phlox. I like your ironweed with it though.
I dug an ironweed out of a hayfield last night. What amazing roots! I put it in the long border with the goldenrod and native asters. Looks like it belongs. It's rather short, though, possible from being mowed earlier.
Not that it makes it any less impressive, Robert, but your Joe Pye Weed is probably Eupatorium fistulosum (Giant Joe Pye Weed). Not exactly the same as most others, like the cultivar Chocolate for instance, as documented by the difference in the inflorescence structure. Apparently "normal" height for fistulosum is about 8ft. Bravo!
Did yours wilt to nothing? I've watered the darn thing everyday and it still looks like death. I'm going to cut the seed heads off and distribute them around the base and hope the thing comes up from the roots next spring.
I also have an unknown species ironweed (Vernonia sp.) that regularly grows 8-9ft. Another butterfly magnet. It perplexes me that, with such a root system, it can still wilt before the other plants in the bed.
My plant, although well-established now loves that regular irrigation. Guess it's used to it and wants things to continue that way. It will wilt and the foliage can burn a bit if it goes too dry for too long, being in full sun.
But-- originally, the plant was in poor rock-hard soil, on a slope, under overhanging trees so it really got none of that to speak of, and was never more than 18-24" tall. It looked bad too, but somehow managed to bloom anyway.
Joe Pye and the NY Ironweed are fabulous in full sun with constant moist-to-wet soil though, so if you have such a spot...
The Joe Pye was mostly leaning due to heavy rainstorms while blooming. Some stems straightened up a good bit, but others sayed low. Not unusual for them to lean though and staking can be called for even without the storms depending on the exposure.
Our Joe Pye never gets much above 3-4 feet. I brought it up from a creek side area. Our soil is heavy clay loam, so moisture isn't much of a problem.
I think the ironweed is going to burn out - first time all year that we've had dry weather for two weeks. But I'm pretty sure it will be back. It's in a full sun site with native asters and goldenrods. I am hoping that not being mowed on a regular basis will give it a little height next year.
Cedar18, Thank you! I dug phlox from a friend's house after she passed and was delighted to see it bloom. Most of her's were shades of red violets. I have no idea whether it has a name or not. I thought it was a pretty god combo too. Now I have false dragonhead blooming in front of it. (Physostegia)
Kathleen, the first time I dug it up I understood it's name :o) I think your's will get taller. It likes water.
Radio, I had a hard time placing it. Finally, I set it here. This bed was never finished either. Nothing ever looked right. I think it's fixed now.
Kathleen, I think it will be back next spring. It's tough!
Billy- Thanks for the idea. I have been jotting down what else is in the red-violet family and was going to move things around to put Salvia leucantha and Aster 'purple dome' with the magenta Phlox. They don't look the same until you put the blooms together and they do blend nicely. I have Physostegia too but had not thought of that addition. Excellent! A new grouping and all 'free' from my own garden.
I didn't realize Ironweed liked moist soil. Now noted to self! Great info here at DG.
Cedar18, laughing, my sentiments exactly. Next year I'm not buying much, I'm going to move what I have, around. I have a lot of late blooming flowers, but all in one spot. I just walked around the other day and wrote down everything I have blooming. It's more than it looks.
Actually, I've ripped out some of the goldenrod - taking over the planet kind of plants, but then I knew that when I let it grow (no, I didn't actually plant it there, but like the poor, goldenrod is always with us). I added a bushy aster today and got some flat-topped aster seed which will go where the goldenrod isn't. Found them back in a field right of way and decided that the farmer would just run them down, so it was a rescue of sorts. The leaves on the ironweed are toast, but the stems still look green and the seed heads continue to mature.
I probably should take notes, but then spring wouldn't be so much fun, trying to figure out how things got to where they are. It is like a treasure hunt every year: "Did I move that there, hmmm?"