This is one of our showiest native plants. Joe Pye Weed is another Carolinian Canada species that's a Butterfly and Hummingbird favourite. Tall, showy plants average 120cm (4') height and are loaded with fluffy, purplish-white blooms for several weeks in July and August. Flowers have a sweet vanilla scent. A good wetland meadow plant as it tolerates constantly moist soils - also found along stream banks and marsh edges. Best in full sun but it will tolerate part shade. Perennial hardy to Zone 3.
|How To Grow||Start seed indoors in a soil-less medium any time in late winter. Barely cover seed, moisten the growing medium and then place the container in a fridge or freezer for 3-4 weeks before bringing it back into the warmth. Keep at 15 C (60 F) for the 20 to 30 days and sometimes longer germination period. After germination, grow on under lights at the same temperature then harden off and transplant outside to a sunny site with moist soil. Better yet, sow directly outdoors in mid-October in the site where it is to grow. This will allow dormant seed to be naturally stratified during the winter. This plant is slow growing and requires two years to flower when grown from seed.|
|Blooming Season Begins||High Summer|
|Propagation||Start Indoors or Sow Direct in Fall|
|Days to Emergence||20 to 30 or more|
|Height||Medium Tall (90 to 120 cm)(36 to 48")|
|Frost Tolerance||Winter Hardy|
|Degree of Difficulty||Prior Experience Beneficial|
|Heritage||Native of Canada|
|Suggested uses.||A must have for a pollinator garden.
Specimen for wet soil area.
Essential in wetland seed mixes.
Suitable for use as an ornamental in a wet site formal perennial garden.
|Requires Stratification||Many native plants produce seed that is viable but dormant. This means that while the seed has all the internal structures and nutrients required to germinate, the seed coat is so hard, water cannot pass through it and initiate germination. When seed is in this state, it is known as being dormant. Seed dormancy is a naturally selected for trait that protects the seed of many plants allowing them to safely overwinter and then be ready to sprout in more favourable conditions in spring.
The remedy to naturally breaking seed dormancy is typically the passing of time. In particular, seed overwintering outside and experiencing the natural freeze thaw cycles that occur in late fall, winter and early spring. To artificially break seed dormancy, sow the seed in a soil-less mix, water than chill in a refrigerator for a set period of time. This dormancy breaking process is called stratification.