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Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

Posted by bettyd_z7_va 7 (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 21, 11 at 23:04

I got so excited today when I found Joe Pye Weed 'Little Joe' at a local nursery that I bought six of them.

Then, I got to thinking and wondering.... do they draw the BFs the way the others do?

My chocolate Joe Pye hasn't seen any BF action since I put it in the garden last spring.

Thanks,
Betty


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

Eupatorium dubium

These people are not selling plants so I'd tend to believe them when they write that Little Joe attracts butterflies.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Little Joe Pye Weed blooms purple-red flowers and butterflies love it!


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RE: I should have investigated more before posting

"These people are not selling plants." I take back that statement. I now see they steer you towards nurseries that sell their plants.


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

Thanks, KC.

I would still like to hear any and all comments on this plant since it is new to me.

I may have to order the JPs that Bob talks about in his thread "Joe Pye Weed drives 'em wild" posted July 10,2010 (Eupatorium fistulosum and E purpurea) as I haven't located any in nurseries here.

Years ago I drove by a patch of tall JPW growing along the roadside and it was covered in BFs. I didn't know what the plants were at the time, but later found out they were JPWs. I've never forgotten that sight.

Last year when I started gardening for BFs I was going to dig a few of those plants, but they had bulldozed all of it to build something. I was so sad. :(

Thanks again,
Betty


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

I have both E. fistulosum and E. purpureum, plus E. perfoliatum, E. maculatum and E. coelestinum.

I put in the purpureum last year, next to my swamp milkweed. I wanted a Joe Pye that would not mind the shade. It got maybe 2' tall. It is a little shorter than that right now. We shall see whether it gets as tall as advertised but the shade is probably affecting it. I don't know that it got butterflies last year but like I said, it is in the shade.

The fistulosum was planted in 2009. My first viceroys ever were on it so I'm a fan.

My maculatum gets the most butterfly business of my Eupatoriums. The perfoliatum gets the least but I did not plant it on purpose. It apparently came along for the ride with some of the maculatum I put in.

Coelestinum is nice because it blooms later than the others.

I believe at least some of these don't officially have the genus Eupatorium anymore so things can get confusing when trying to look them up.


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

Well now.....

I already wanted the E.fistulosum after seeing Bob's pictures and now you've caused me to want another one, if it gets the most 'Butterfly Business'! LOL

Please don't tell me that the E. maculatum is one of the ones that isn't officially of the Eupatorium genus anymore!

Of course, that's just my luck.

I've been having such a hard time finding the other 2 locally, so I might as well have a hard time finding this one, too!!

You, by chance, have a picture of it?

Thanks,
Betty


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

Hey there friend! I don't have Little Joe, but I do have whichever one is the regular tall one that grows along the roadsides in my yard. I have never ever ever seen one butterfly on the Joe Pye Weed in my yard. Don't know why that is unless it's just that there may be so many other plants that are more preferred here.~~Angie


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

I have Eupatorium maculatum 'Gateway' and E. dubium 'Little Joe'. I have also started Eupatorium rugosum, E. coelestinum, E. purpureum, and E. altissima from seed (some are still fairly small). Yes they have reclassified some of these species, so these may be older names.

Gateway gets huge, and I'm not sure about Little Joe yet, because I've just transplanted it to a spot that gets more moisture but not as much sun. It had to be done though because it was doing poorly in the old spot, which was too dry.

I do occasionally see butterflies on these plants, but they aren't a big butterfly draw in my gardens. Generally they do attract pollinators and the bumblebees love them.


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

Yes! I got a Little Joe last fall, it's got buds on it right now -it's probably within a week from blooming. So I figured I wouldn't be able to answer your question right away. Well...I went outside today during lunch and there was a Spring Azure flitting around. It spent quite a bit of time on Little Joe.


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

I have both 'Little Joe' and a much taller one that is probably 'Gateway' or something similar. They both are liked by the butterflies, but not as much so since I added a few huge butterfly bushes. I do think it all depends on what else you have blooming at the same time and how desirable it is in comparison. Like when people say their hummingbirds love petunias...I have never seen that in my yard. But I have cardinal flowers, trumpet vine, penstemon, scarlet runner beans, and cardinal climbers.... which I think they would take over petunias any day :)

My 'Little Joe' isn't as little as the tag said (I think it said 3-4 feet). It is more like 5-6 feet tall. I do think the leaves are much prettier than on my other Joe Pye Weed though. They seem to have a a more textured surface. Here the picture with the goldfinch shows the leaves on my big Joe Pye compared to the leaves of 'Little Joe' in the other picture.




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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

My Little Joe also has turned into a Big Joe. It does get butterfly action. One of the BFs that really seems to like it is the Snout Butterfly. These will hang out forever on the blooms. My only complaint is that the flowers don't last forever.

Sandy


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

I've had Eastern Tailed Blues and Red-Banded Hairstreaks on my Little Joe along with the usual suspects (skippers, sulfurs, monarchs). I'm hoping that dead-heading might extend the bloom season.

Jeff


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

OK Betty. Here is my Eupatoriums picture. I put captions on things. The coreopsis, purple coneflower and roses did not get captions. And if you look real hard, you might find the silver-spotted skipper that was enjoying the flowers or the metal/glass butterfly stake that is buried in there.

The E. purpureum is not in this area of my yard.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Eupatoriums garden


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

This is a different angle that makes it easier to see the boneset.

The fistulosum grows on the other side of the fence.

I used to have Liatris spicata in there but moved it out this year because it just was not getting enough sun with the Eupatorium lording over it.

I know the skipper is in there but I cannot find it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eupatoriums - different angle.


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

Hi Angie! Good to "see" ya!

I'm sorry that the BFs don't care for your JPW. I know they loved that patch on the side of the road here.

I would love to someday have so many blooms that they could pick and choose from their huge buffet.

Terrene, Sounds like you are giving the BFs lots of choices. I'm glad that they do like the JPW sometimes.

1Jinny's, I'll be looking for the Spring Azures here. :)

Molanic, Don't the Butterfly Bushes draw the BFs? They are so entertaining flitting from bloom to bloom. I have a picture somewhere that I took with 3 different kinds of BFs on one BB bloom.

I'll try to find it and post it if the quality isn't too bad. Wish I could take beautifully clear and detailed pictures like some of y'all do. I love looking at them.

Thanks for posting the pictures. The leaves on 'Little Joe' are very distinctive, aren't they? So unusual.

I love that shot of the goldfinch.

Sandy, I don't think I'll mind if 'Little Joe' turns into 'Big Joe'! I'll try to plant them in a spot where it won't matter.

Jeff, All of your BF action on your 'Little Joe' sounds good to me. Let me know if the deadheading helps prolong the season.

KC, I hunted and hunted for the Skipper, but these old eyes just couldn't find it! lol

If those JPWs grow as big as they say, you may have to move them or you may not be able to get into your garage! You certainly won't be able to reach the sidewalk!

Thanks, everyone for responding. I'm excited about the BFs that will be coming to my new 'Little Joes'.

Betty


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

I definitely needed to do some better planning when I planted the Joe Pye. No way it should be up front like that. I did have to cut it back from the sidewalk a couple times last year. Where I took the blazing star out from behind the fence this year, I put some maculatum in. That will probably take off and I can see about doing something about the maculatum up front.

Overall, I've been pleased with the results of what I planted there in 2009. It comes back up, grows like weeds, and attracts customers.


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

My Little Joes have been here since about 2006 and I've never seen a butterfly on them, although I think they're pretty. I'd gladly give them to you or anyone else who would want them if you'd be willing to pay postage. I'd rather free up the space for something that the butterflies like. They might like them in other areas, but they totally ignore them here.
Cathy


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

KC, You can't ask for anything more! Sounds like they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do. :)

Cathy, I'm sorry they ignore your Little Joes. Several people have stated that the butterflies will leave other plants alone if their favorites are present. Obviously, Little Joe is not their favorite. How many do you have?

Since I already have 6 I will wait and see if anyone else would like to have yours. If nobody responds, maybe we will give them a new home. I certainly have the room.

Thanks,
Betty


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

Betty, To be honest, I don't know how many I have. lol I don't know if they're all one plant or if it's several stems sticking up from one plant. They look like individual ones but they only have one main stem (I think) and that's it. I actually haven't looked at them this year and don't know how many plants it would make. I hate to hazard a guess unless I take a closer look at them. I don't know if I'll get to it today (Sunday) or not. My husband is off work today and said he'd till a small area of the garden for me today and I can't let the opportunity pass by. I have so much purslane growing there that I want to dig it out before he goes through with the tiller because I'm afraid it would make it spread to that whole area if I don't get them out of there first. We also want to get a trellis up for my passionvine. I had the trellis up before but rather than having it shielded from the wind, I had it out in the garden and with the strong winds that we get in the winter it managed to bend the pole. This time I'm putting it on two poles and they're going to be in concrete (in ground sockets). Anyway, I spend most of my waking hours outside in the gardens and yard almost always doing something having to do with the butterflies. If not today, I'll really try to remember to look for you on Monday.
Cathy


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

Cathy,

I know what you mean about being in the yard every moment possible. I love being outside. My husband is a border-line diabetic and must eat on a pretty regular schedule.

When I go outside I lose all track of time. He will have to stop and go have leftovers or a sandwich while I steadily work on. I used to work until it got too dark to see. Now that I'm older, I work until this old body lets me down and I can't take another step!

I'm hoping it will pay off and the butterflies will be plentiful one day.

Betty


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

A new-to-me moth(s) has been hanging out in my back yard this year. I thought it was cool looking and tried to catch it for closer inspection but I always failed.

Was just looking through the internet for some head shots of the female Io (wanted to see a female's antennae). Stumbled upon pictures of my mystery moth. Turns out the cats eat Eupatorium, which is probably why it has decided my yard is OK. Something has been dining on the leaves of my E. purpureum but I have never investigated.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clymene Moth


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

WOW! What unusual coloring!

I'll certainly keep my eye out for that one.

I finally got the last 3 of my Joe Pye Babies in the ground today along with 6-7 small freshly rooted Butterfly Bushes and a couple of large dill plants. Had to make wire enclosures to protect my Butterfly Bushes from the bunnies. Wasically Wabbits!

I'm tired!

Congrats on your new moth. Hopefully, it won't eat all of your E. purpureum.

Betty


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

I had a male tiger swallowtail show up yesterday that loved my E. maculatum. He ignored all my other flowers. He hung out for a while but I did not have my camera handy.


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

I have never seen any BF on my Joe Pye Weed. I'm not sure which one it is, but I wondered if it was because it is in the shade? Do butterflies nectar in the shade or only in the sun?


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

I have Eupatorium purpureum and Eupatorium perfoliatum. When the Eupatorium purpureum is just opening, the whole yard is perfumed...it smells so good! E. perfoliatum was touted as being one that liked more shade, I'm finding it tolerates sun also. I let mine reseed and I dig up where and what I don't want. I've been gardening, well, for a really long time :) I've never not had a Eupatorium in it somewhere. Mine are really popular...I'm taking most pictures with a butterfly on a Eupatorium at this time of year.

I took this the other day

Photobucket


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

'Tis the season for Little Joe.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio (Pterourus) glaucus)

Photobucket

Tawny-Edged Skipper (Polites themistocles).

Photobucket

Also seen today on it: Peck's Skippers, Buckeyes, Sachems, and Silver-Spotted Skippers.

Jeff


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

Ok, I didn't go crazy and buy six Little joes, but I did buy one, the blooms aren't open just yet. Should I go back and buy more of them? $4 bucks each at Walmart...

I did buy a few other butterfly attractions though. Two different echinacea, a yarrow, a butterfly bush, and a rubeckia. :) I'll plant them this evening when it cools off some. Right now, they are on my deck where the wind won't beat them up, in a semi shaded area.

I've also got dill and fennel seeds thrown around in the back sw corner, those can come up or not this season, I've tons more to toss out there. :)

I'll get the yard in shape for the butterflies yet! Hehe

~Tina Marie


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

They spread out rather well. In three years your one will be fairly big around. It seeds also.

Jeff


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

Thanks Jeff, I'll just stick with the one then. LoL I don't need the whole yard to turn into a butterfly garden. Not that I wouldn't mind -not- having to mow mind you, Just that would be way crazy to deal with having a great dane and a blue heeler. I'd have such a mess. It's hard enough to keep that big dope out of the flower beds as it is!

~Tina Marie


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

Wow! I wish our Walmart carried such a large selection of plants the butterflies love.

Congrats on your Little Joe. Mine are starting to bloom. We REALLY need some rain, but they are hanging in so far.

Betty


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RE: Does 'Little Joe' draw the BFs ?

The dill and fennel I traded for. I still have a load of seeds I need to trade for. But I am working hard at getting all sorts of plants specifically for butterflies, for them to feed and lay eggs on. I got dutchman's pipe sent to me from a very sweet lady, that was a big surprise.

Betty, when the things I bought go to seed, I will let everyone here know first. So that trades can be done with those who will use them for the butterflies. *g*

~Tina


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