Yarrow is a low-maintenance, drought resistant, perennial plant with attractive clusters of yellow, white, red, or pastel flowers. Yarrow is used in borders, mass plantings, meadows, and to attract butterflies. Find facts and information on growing and caring for yarrow, and some of the different species of yarrow available.
Facts on Yarrow
Yarrow, a member of the Achillea genus, is a perennial that grows in Zones 3-9 and will reach heights of 36” and grow up to 18” wide. It has an upright form and grows fast. Yarrow is heat tolerant and relatively drought tolerant and thrives in full sun. Coronation Gold Yarrow requires a well-drained soil with moderate fertility and pH of 5.5-6.6. They have 3” diameter golden-yellow blooms with silvery foliage. Some good companion plants include garden phlox ‘David’ and ‘The Fairy’ rose, and purple coneflower.
Yarrow should be planted 18” apart in spring or fall. Feed it with slow-release granular plant food when you plant, or begin using water soluble plant food 3 weeks after planting. Follow label directions for the amount and frequency to use the plant food. You should stop feeding yarrow 6-8 weeks prior to the first frost date.
Yarrow is drought tolerant but will perform better if it receives ample moisture during dry spells. Let the soil dry between watering, and be sure to deadhead spent blooms to encourage reblooming. The blossoms may be cut and dried for arrangements. Yarrow hold its color best when you pick them early in the bloom cycle. It helps if you apply at least 3” of mulch around the plant in the summer and winter to reduce weed seed germination, retain soil moisture, and keep the soil temperatures more stable. The plants can be cut to the ground in late fall or you can leave the plant standing for winter interest, then cut it back in early spring.
Yarrow is relatively pest and disease free.
Plants in moderately fertile soil may be divided every three years to help the plant retain its vigor. In richer soils, division is needed sooner to help control its growth and vigor.
To divide yarrow, dig around the root clump and lift carefully. Use a sharp spade to splice through the root system. The larger the portion, the larger your plant will be the following year. Small pieces may take 2-3 years to reach a mature size and bloom. Water the plant thoroughly and apply the 3” of mulch around the plant, but not to where the mulch is touching the plant.
*Tip- Remove faded flowers to stimulate new blooms
Species of Yarrow
There are around 82 species in the Achillea genus. Here are some of the most well known varieties:'Coronation Gold' a low-maintenance variety. Common yarrow, A. Millefolium, is vigorous and invasive. ‘Fire King’, ‘Cerise Queen’, and ‘Red Beauty’ add shades of red bloom to the garden. Moonshine yarrow, A. X ‘Moonshine’, has better control, as does ‘Coronation Gold’, but is slightly shorter with yellow blooms.
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