Help removing Joe Pye weed

Asked June 2, 2018, 2:54 PM EDT

Several years ago I planted a couple of Joes in an out of the way area of the backyard. It thrived and a big stand grew. It’s not there anymore. Which is ok because plants have grown elsewhere and I like them because of the pollinators. However some have started taking over from other native plants. My gardens are 95% native so it breaks my heart to remove these inconvenient plants. However today I spent hours trying to dig some out. If the long, dense fibrous roots weren’t enough there is also some hard impenetrable “growing part”. I will have to resort to some kind of chemical warfare. Any suggestions? Thanks

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

Joe pye is not usually this rampant. Send us some photos

Otherwise, just pull them before they get any size and require digging or treating with herbicide. If you have to apply herbicide to some big plants, just get the plant low, leaving a few leaves to absorb the herbicide, or only apply to freshly cut stems. Hold the nozzle close and you will only need a tiny bit of herbicide.


Thanks for the advice. I’ve been away for a couple of weeks and shall start working. The younger Joes I call easily pull out-less than 1-2 feet tall. The old guys 6-7 and more feet are tough. One pic is of the shovel that I was using to pry up the hard dense root are. It broke off. I can’t budge these guys today and the ground is too dry. These Joes are about 5-6 feet tall but I cut the tops off before leaving home. Thanks

Yes, they are fast growers and it will take persistence to remove them. If the digging is too difficult, you can cut them down with loppers and apply a small amount of herbicide (glyphosate) to the cut stem to kill the roots (as described in our previous reply). You may need to keep after it for a while to get all of it out.