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Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Posted by linlily z5/6PA (westmay2@verizon.net) on
Wed, Aug 22, 12 at 16:26

After reading the other thread about Joe Pye Weed, I wondered if there is a dwarf variety that someone has grown that stays about 2 feet tall. I do searches and read Joe Pye Weed dwarf plants listed at various places, but the sizes don't always agree. One place may say that Joe Pye Baby Joe is 2 to 3 feet tall, while another may say that Baby Joe is 3 to 4 feet tall. What are your expereinces? JPW sounds like a really nice plant to have for end of summer/fall color. But, I'd like a shorter variety than 3 feet if possible. Thanks,
Linda


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

I know it's not my business, but if attracting the butterflies is not your goal , then I cannot even imagine what can be the point of having a 2 feet tall JPW. It's not like the color can be called very attractive? Dirty greyish mauve. At this height you can find dozens of plants which are more attractive and need much less water.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Thanks for your reply, weislaw59, but your answer was not exactly what I was looking. I was hoping for suggestions of varieties of dwarf Joe Pye Weed to try rather than criticism. It seems that there is a lot of that on this board lately. I even thought twice or three times before posting my request for info on dwarf Joe Pye Weed cultvars in case I was leaving myself open to criticism or made fun of in some way. Not everyone likes that same plants and something that doesn't appeal to you might just work well for someone else.

I thought that this board was for sharing perennial plant information, not snide comments.

I don't have loads of space to try new plants, and I do enjoy trying to plant perennials that will bloom during all seasons. I also like to stagger plantings by height. There's not a lot blooming right now, and a late summer-fall blooming perennial really would fit in nicely. I do enjoy butterflies - I grow several different butterfly bushes, tall garden phlox, reblooming shrub roses, asclepias, and other plants that they frequent. Another plant that butterflies like that is a late bloomer would be welcome here. However, I don't want something growing 4 to 6 feet tall. I was looking for someone who might have grown a dwarf variety that stayed somewhat short.

Your post makes me sorry I even asked. Perhaps I should just sit back and read the messages here from now on, instead of participating.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

It was not my intention to make you sorry. I do not grow it but I have seen it. It still counts I guess?


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

I also tend to re-think the necessity of posting questions on some forums because I have this gut feeling someone will either feel the need to make me feel stupid for asking in the first place or chime in with an gratuitous criticism that is often not even based on actual growing experience. Criticisms are not constructive if they are aimed at individual tastes.

Water off a duck's back though; don't let it keep ya' from asking more questions Linda ;O) .

That being said, I DO grow a dwarf Joe Pye Weed. I've had my Eupatorium (or should I say Eupatoriadelphus now?? If those botonists had to change the name they couldn't have made it a shorter one??! Lol!) dubium 'Little Joe' for probably six or seven years now, and absolutely adore it. I'm a sucker for all plants in this group in general though- dependable fellows and some add such great architectural presence in the garden. Personally, I love the dusty/dirty pink color. It pairs so nicely with ornamental grasses and other subtler fall colors.

I have also noticed the discrepancy in height listings online when it comes to the hobbitish JPWeeds. My 'Little Joe' stands a few inches over four feet. Someone from the forums once told me that their 'Little Joe' was much bigger than mine, like around five feet or more. My guess is either that the dwarf ones can be taller in super rich soil or that some companies are not selling the "true" small cultivar. I'm kind of inclined to stick with the rich soil answer...though it is only a guess.

Here is a pic of 'Little Joe' in my garden, with the bigger JPW (E. maculatum 'Atropurpureum') in the background:
Sep 18 fall plants

Pic is from last year. I am too lazy to fire up the camera and take a current one, LOL. ;-D
CMK


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

You're always welcome to participate Linlily.
I have Baby Joe. I ordered two of them a few years ago because I wanted Joe Pye Weed for butterflies and the native one gets so tall. Baby Joe does stay fairly short, around three feet or a little less but it doesn't attract butterflies for me so I was disappointed. I tend to like colors that show up from a distance so I was also disappointed by the dirty pink color.
I have lots of space for plants but I have a low budget and I wasn't happy that I spent my money on them. Perhaps in trying to create a shorter Joe Pye Weed, they lost some of the good qualities of the original plant.
We've all been deceived a time or two by catalog descriptions and photos. I would bet that Wieslaw was just trying to warn you, and not being critical of your taste in plants.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Armitage says it best: "The most important thing about gardening is to have fun...Don't get serious, ever, about gardening. The worst oxymoron in all of horticulture is 'serious gardener.'"

I don't think wieslaw intended to be offensive, but I can understand why you felt that way.

I have seen 'Baby Joe' and it does tend to be about 3 feet. You can experiment with trimming it early in the season though by about 6 inches to see if it helps reduce the final height.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 23, 12 at 6:37

I have "Chocolate" and grow it primarily for the foliage effect; I agree with Wieslaw that the flowers aren't very attractive. Foliage-wise, though, it's great. It doesn't stay as short as I thought it would, though - it's at least 4' tall, and I thought it was only going to be 2-3' tall. No experience with other cultivars, so can't comment there.

In defense of Wieslaw, I didn't take that post offensively/as a criticism - poster was merely sharing an experience. I'm a person that would rather hear the good, the bad, and the mediocre, it's good to hear it all. I hope you keep posting, as everyone's input can be valuable, but try not to take things too personally, they're only plants.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 23, 12 at 6:38

I have "Chocolate" and grow it primarily for the foliage effect; I agree with Wieslaw that the flowers aren't very attractive. Foliage-wise, though, it's great. It doesn't stay as short as I thought it would, though - it's at least 4' tall, and I thought it was only going to be 2-3' tall. No experience with other cultivars, so can't comment there.

In defense of Wieslaw, I didn't take that post offensively/as a criticism - poster was merely sharing an experience. I'm a person that would rather hear the good, the bad, and the mediocre, it's good to hear it all. I hope you keep posting, as everyone's input can be valuable, but try not to take things too personally, they're only plants.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

If somebody feels sorry because somebody else said the plant in question is not spectacular, then I cannot even imagine how the person copes with REAL PROBLEMS.This forum is not for small babies. I think such comments should be weeded out by webmaster. And it is not necessary to grow a plant personally to assess a plant. I can see it over my fence. It looks exactly like a pile of dirt scratched together by my chickens. Nobody said this forum is only reserved to sing praise songs. It was not intended as critisism of somebodys taste , just a simple observation. I would like to encourage to restrain from such comments in the future . They are much much less productive than my remark.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

I think there is a difference between a negative opinion about a specific cultivar and attacking someone's general preference. Linda perceived the latter as wieslaw was not talking about a specific cultivar, but rather Linda's preference for a 2' tall Joe Pye. I don't think it is anyone's place to judge someone's gardening preference. That said, I think Linda took wieslaw's comment too personally.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

POST- "I've read about plant A, looked around for plant A, and question the size of plant A.. let me know anyone's experiences about plant A and it's size"

REPLY- "Plant A is ugly... you should try any other plant beside plant A"

Weislaw59... You didn't post to get anyone up in arms by any means... but if you were in a room with a handful of gardeners that you didn't know.. and you raised your hand and asked... "Does anyone know what the watering requirements about Thalictrum flavum glaucum." Then the first person that answers back says... "That's a horribly unattractive plant... you should try something else that isn't such a shade of blah yellow." You would be a bit off put I would assume?

the end


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Given that my first reaction to the question was 'What's wrong with sedum?', I have little sympathy for this tempest in a tea pot.

So given the plant requirements, what IS wrong with sedum?


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

As I wrote once before, I do not like to be dragged into such types of conversations.

Nevermore, and what exactly is wrong about the example you wrote? If anybody can't use my remark, that's fine with me. But God please spare me from all those 'martyr replies'. They drain me for the last drop of energy. I do not feel any responsibility for the comotion. And what she wrote was basically:' I do not want to play with you because you said my doll was not pretty'' Where are we?? Kindergarten? Nursery? I would expect to hear such 'threat' from my daughter when she was 4. How seriously do you think she should be taken?
What worries me more is, that instead of silence such responses to death , there is always somebody who gladly picks it up and pours more oil into it. What is the purpose?


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Since I initially asked about your experience with the height of any cultivar of dwarf Joe Pye Weed, I really appreciate the comments given on specific ones - Baby Joe and Chocolate. I find input on height of mature perennials shared with other Gardenwebbers so helpful in deciding if I want to add a certain plant to my flower beds and where to put it if I did.

I've been surprised at discrepancies on sizes of many perennials published in nursery catalogs as well as on-line websites. Many times personal experiences is a better marker to go by. I can't tell you how many times plants have way overgrown the size I was expecting from research I did prior to purchase.

My DH and I walk on a track in our county park and I pointed out the wild Joy Pye Weed blooming right now. Those plants are very, very tall. We liked the color and form of the plants and thought to add a similar plant that was smaller to our garden. While I was hoping that someone grew one that was shorter and stayed that way, I may spring for Baby Joe and put in the back for the bed, next to our dark red brick house. It should show up well there.

Your picture was wonderful, christinmk. Thank you for sharing!

Thanks again,
Linda


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

"What is the purpose?"- to steer you from posting a reply that has nothing to do with a person's valid question(s)... at same time insulting their gardening tastes.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

So far my 'Little Joe' is staying little - at around 2 feet, but maybe it will become larger as the years go by. Then again, the soil isn't the best and is on the dry side even though I water often if there isn't rain.

As to the flower color, I really like it. It seems just right this time of year with it's muted tones. Not everything has to be screaming to be lovely IMO. Even without flowers, the stems and leaves are particularly nice.
Kevin


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

nevermore , let me be the judge of my own postings, whether they have anything to do with the questions.In my perception it had everything to do with the question.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Thanks for your input, Kevin. How long have you grown it?

Linda


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

"Small babies.". Really?


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Thanks for your input, Kevin. How long have you grown it?

Linda


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Linda

I really can't give you an exact number of years, but it's been a few - maybe not enough for me to even be posting here. I wonder if the source of the plant has anything to do with the stated height vs. what it might actually grow into? For instance I've read not all Sedum 'Autumn Joy' are the same. Who offered the 'true' Autumn Joy might be an interesting investigation. Maybe it's the same with all the Joes?

Kevin


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

I understand what you mean, Kevin. I was one of those who had a Tall Autumn Joy. It was in full sun, so no stretching due to shade. Mine was always falling over. One of my local gardening friends had one and it was shorter than mine. I actually stopped growing it because I was tired of tying it up every year. I now grow Sedum Neon and love it's plant habit and flower color.

If you've had your Baby Joe for a few years, chances are that will be all the taller it will get. That being said, you may have a spring when you have a lot of rain. That happened here last year, and everything grew like it was on steroids. I had never before or since had plants grow that big!

Linda


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

I didn't notice if anyone mentioned this already but I think JPW is a good candidate for cutting back in June to control it's height.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

I was just about to post also that cutting it back in the spring works well. I have a tall unknown variety that in a good year with plenty of rain in full sun gets up to 8' tall. I also have 'Little Joe' that I believe was labeled at 2-3', but is usually more like 4-5'. Some of the tall variety had reseeded and took off in another location. I could tell it was a volunteer of the tall kind because the 'Little Joe' is a different species with slightly different looking leaves. Anyways it was in a bad spot right next to a large grass so I hacked it back with plans to transplant it later but never got around to it. It got to be just over knee high and flowered only a week later than the tall ones. It looked quite nice and didn't need to be tied up and handled the wind and storms better than the tall ones. I still have the tall ones in the center of the bed for some height, but being able to cut it back makes it more versatile for other places.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

If those of us who love perennials and try to share our enthusiasm about perennials cannot get along, who can?
You all have so much in common.
Why fight? Everyone gets to have a personal preference or dislike.
And whether I hate a plant or love a plant says nothing about any other poster's preferences. Gardens are individual and what works well for you or looks good to you may not be successful in my gardens.
Wieslaw, Eupatorium grows wild around here and the colour differences among plants can be quite startling. Some are greyish-pink in colour and others are an attractive deep rose.
However, I too am curious about whether the new shorter cultivars are as compact as advertised.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Hey folks, how's it going? ;)


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

The dark rose/purple forms of Joe Pye Weed are stunning and, to me, have better garden presence for smaller spaces than the dusty mauve forms. I have never seen it, but isn't 'Baby Joe' supposed to have darker colored blooms? I think all forms of Joe Pye are beautiful in the right setting, however. And all forms that I have seen are popular with bees.

I just planted 'Little Red' from Plant Delights since it has the deep wine-rose blooms that I like on a plant said to stay between 3-6 feet tall depending on soil conditions and moisture. Even as a small recently planted 15 inch tall specimen the fragrance of the foliage is amazing. It has that deep vanilla, spicy scent that can sometimes be appreciated while driving down country roads in late summer. It is a scent similar to sweet grass and wafts around whenever I water the plant.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

I planted 'Phantom' this summer. I can't say mature size for sure, but I purchased because it says that it gets to 3 feet. I find the bloom lovely. We had a rough summer with drought conditions, so overall growth was slow.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

ninamarie wrote: If those of us who love perennials and try to share our enthusiasm about perennials cannot get along, who can?

I agree completely. It has always been my experience that gardeners are generous, patient and forthcoming re all things plants.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

coolplantsguy wrote: Hey folks, how's it going? ;)

Wow what a coincidence! I had commented in another thread how I missed coolplantsguy's posts.

I hope this thread hasn't caused you to retreat again.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Thanks for your feedback about the height of your dwarf Joe Pye Weed Phantom,zaphod42. It looks like something that I might like to try. The plant habit is good for where I want to put it, and it's readily available from some good on-line sources.

Linda


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

oh, I like a good tussle and, like most really keen gardeners, have very strong opinions on this or that plant and care intensely. Nothing whatsoever to do with someone else's taste or style but I would definately flounce off if I thought I was going to be censored or nannied for comments on various plants. And hey, I particularly dislike Joe Pye Weed (I think the 'weed' part sums it up nicely)but I grew out of my 'prairie' phase when it became glaringly obvious that East Anglia is not Kansas.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

I think campanula, wieslaw and I are coming from cultures where a bit of robust disagreement is absolutely acceptable and is not considered impolite. If a person said they didn't like a plant which I did I would not take it as a personal insult but as an opportunity for a vigorous exploration of their, and my, preferences and reasoning. A thick skin and a sense of humour go a long way.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

I was going to stay out of this, but I think our political divide in the good old US of A has created such turmoil it's reaching into every aspect of our daily lives. I really believe this. People fight over the most ridiculous things these days. Everyone seems to be digging in their heals over every issue and making issues where there shouldn't be any and everyone seems to be caught up in it.

Even humor seems to hard to come by these days. It's nasty out there.

Kevin


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

flora_uk, I really don't think this is true...even as a generalization. But I do think on an internet forum such 'robust' (or even less than robust) disagreements or even constructive criticisms are so easily misconstrued that I know that I must force myself to think twice or even three times ;) before writing something that I might have said in person.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Well, Rouge, that really is the minority response - my experience is that anonymity is a perfect excuse for some serious tiffs. As for myself, well I have always had a foot in mouth style and have little intention of changing it when refering to plants - not politics or religion or any of those contentious issues (where I can really get a rise in blood pressure) but PLANTS. Really, if disagreements cannot be borne over choice of PLANTS, then grow up or become a reclusive isolationist.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

campanula, I didn't make myself clear in my previous point. flora was stating that 'robust disagreement' might be a cultural thing i.e no big deal for those of... European heritage but instead I think as you have stated that it is forum anonymity gives easy rise to misspeaks.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Okay, I have both Phantom and Gateway JPW. Both for three years. Phantom was a nice well behaved three foot, bed mini separator, blooming late July, August. This year it's up to five feet, not much shorter than Gateway. A lot of spring rains, I guess. They're with Monarda Raspberry Wine, Helenium Sahin and Astilbe Terra Cotta. In back peeking through I have Helianthus Sunshine Daydream, first year but, looks pretty impressive.

Anyway thanks for the cutting down advice on JPW, nice to know.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Writing comments should not be like walking on the minefield, where every step equals death. Do not feed whiners, they will come back for more, they will never get enough. There is a special section in each 'women magazine' which is especially designed for martyrs. There is absolutely no reason to spread it to other places. I'm a member of several international fora, and members from US and Australia+NZ excel in trying to give other members bad conscience. It must be cultural thing.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

I winter sowed seed for Little Joe Pye that I rec'd as a trade. Only got one seedling which has grown to 25 inches for the last 3 years.

My regular Joe Pye is over 5ft tall and a focal point in one of my front beds. I also grow Chocolate Joe Pye and love them all. Chacun a son Gout!!!


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

'Phantom' growing vigorously in moist deeply amended soil in my zone 3 garden and to a height as tall as myself at 5'10".

Photobucket


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

Joe Pye weed is a great plant in the right place, beautifully suited to swamps and wetlands. It is a very large plant with a robust presence. It has an appealing scent. I don't think it would be well-suited to a small English garden - it's a space eater.
I don't care if people don't like the plants I grow or the way I garden. Because our gardens are public, we see the gamut of visitors. Most are kind. Occasionally, there is a gardening snob wandering through, but I have learned to ignore them. But everybody's garden is different and their experience of any given plant is bound to reflect that difference.
I didn't invent any of the plants I grow, so I cannot take it personally if anyone dislikes a particular plant. Also, my own tastes change. Plants I loved 15 years ago may now be banned from the garden, or they just might be working their way back into my own top 10 list.


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RE: Anyone grow a really dwarf Joe Pye Weed?

I love my Joe Pyeweed. However, though I bought a dwarf variety from a reputable source it grew well over 6 feet (and boy did that look silly in the middle of my garden bed). I've moved it to the back and next year am going to try the advice I received of cutting the stems back by half (to just above a whorl of leaves) in June.


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