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Yarrow

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Botanical name: Achillea

Plant type: Flower

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Sandy, Loamy

Flower color: Red, Pink, Yellow, White

Bloom time: Summer

Yarrow is a hardy perennial with showy flower heads composed of many tiny, tightly-packed flowers. Their fern-like leaves are often aromatic. Yarrows are easy to care for and versatile: they are good for borders, rock gardens, or wildflower meadows. These flowers are excellent for cutting or drying.

Planting

  • Use a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil in your garden to about 12 to 15 inches deep, then mix in a 2– to 4–inch layer of compost.
  • Plant in the spring in well-drained, average to poor soil. Yarrows thrive in hot, dry conditions; they will not tolerate wet soil. If you grow yarrows in rich soil, the plants may require stalking because the rich soil encourages growth.
  • Space the plants 1 to 2 feet apart. They are quick to establish and spread, though some species, like Achillea millefolium, are invasive, so be careful when choosing your plants. Most kinds grow to be about 2 to 4 feet tall.

Care

  • Remember to add a thin layer of compost, followed by a 2–inch layer of mulch around your plants each spring.
  • If you receive less than 1 inch of rain a week in the summer, remember to water your plants regularly.
  • Divide yarrow plants every 3 to 5 years. Lift the clumps of flowers in early spring or fall and remove any dead stems from the center of the clump. You can replant the divisions in well-prepared soil.
  • If you plant yarrows from tip cuttings, plant them in spring or early summer.

Pests

Recommended Varieties

  • Coronation Gold, for its beautiful mustard-yellow flowers and silvery gray leaves
  • Fanal ("The Beacon"), for its rich red flowers with yellow centers
  • Cerise Queen, to add some bright pink color to your garden

E-Cards

Send a free e-card of this pretty yarrow.

Special Features

  • Attracts Butterflies

Comments

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My yarrow is at least a year

By jeshua harker on August 20

My yarrow is at least a year old. It grew some good flowers last year but before the flowers completely bloomed the flowers and stems died off. same thing happened this year. then the leaves have started to curl up. I do need to weed the garden but is something else causing this?

Hi, Jeshua, Stem rot, powdery

By Almanac Staff on August 21

Hi, Jeshua, Stem rot, powdery mildew and rust are occasional problems that beset yarrow. Botrytis (gray mold), which attacks buds, flowers, leaves, and stems can be the problem.
Avoid planting in windy areas or in soil that it too rich; it tolerates lean to poor soil and doesn't thrive in moist, rich fertile soils. Give the plants plenty of sun. Divide ovecrowded clumps.
We hope this helps.

my Yarrow is 10 years old but

By Linda Roma

my Yarrow is 10 years old but never really grew. I've never had to divide it. It doesn't get water but once a week and it has partial shade.

Yarrow really does grow best

By Almanac Staff on August 10

Yarrow really does grow best in full sun. It needs at least 4 hours of direction sunlight even there are parts of the day with partial shade

My yarrow began as yellow

By Jacquelyn Pace

My yarrow began as yellow this year but faded to a light tan color very quickly. My pink yarrow did the same. Any ideas why that might have happened?

With many yarrow varieties,

By Almanac Staff

With many yarrow varieties, the colors do tend to fade over time. If you want cut flowers, pick them before they brown. To extend their color and bloom, pinch off the fading blossoms. Also, you could severely cut back the foliage.

I put in yellow yarrow (and

By Gnatalie

I put in yellow yarrow (and blanket flowers) on a small slope. I want to keep them and hoping I can get away with a lack of dividing them since the slope is a retaining wall kinda.if I don't divide them will they die? I assume so but my fingers are crossed..............

Yarrow is a vigorous grower.

By Almanac Staff

Yarrow is a vigorous grower. It's recommended that you divide every few years just to keep it looking healthy. It won't die but it may not look as good. You'll just have to see how it looks and play it by ear.

Some of my yarrow flower

By Kseniya

Some of my yarrow flower heads are hanging upside down. I know that the ground is moist since we had recent rain and I don't see any noticeable insects. What can this be? Is there anything I can do about it?

My yarrow is growing all over

By AmandaBout

My yarrow is growing all over garden can I gently tie it back without hurting it ?

Hi, Amanda: Sure. Gently.

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Amanda: Sure. Gently. Thanks for caring!

Is yarrow a good butterfly

By YPBranch

Is yarrow a good butterfly perennial? Or stick with milkweed?

Yes, Yarrow does attract

By Almanac Staff

Yes, Yarrow does attract butterflies. Here is a list of more plants which attract butterflies:
http://www.almanac.com/content/plants-attract-butterflies

My yarrow has been planted

By DaNene Adamson

My yarrow has been planted for several years, and has done good, not real well. This year the the flower stems seem to be long and spindly and are having a hard time holding the tops of the flower heads upright. They are all bending over. Am I watering it too much? Why won't these stems stand up this year?

If the yarrow has grown

By Almanac Staff

If the yarrow has grown spindly, you need to cut them back and they will re-bloom. Also, it is probably time to "divide" your yarrow. Wait until after bloom to divide them. Dig up the clump. Divide it in half with a sharp spade and then divide in half again. Replant each division and water often and deeply to re-establish your yarrow.

My yellow yarrow has white

By Jan snow

My yellow yarrow has white blooms this year, why?

Our guess is that your yarrow

By Almanac Staff

Our guess is that your yarrow was bred for color. Now the hybrid is naturalizing and returning to its original color--white.
In legend, yarrow was indeed white and used for traditional medicines.
 

when is a good time to cut

By tony gamble

when is a good time to cut your yarrow flowers for drying and will i get a second round of flowers? also how far back can i cut the plant? thank you

Yes, yarrow may benefit from

By Almanac Staff

Yes, yarrow may benefit from aggressively cutting back to the leaves at the bottom of the plant after flowering. 

If you wish to harvest yarrow, then cut the stalks when half the flowers have opened and before any flowers have started to fade. Then strip leaves from stems. For drying, let them sit in the vase without water until they are completely dry. Or, hang the stripped stems upside down in a cool, well-ventilated place until dry.
 

Hi, I planted my yarrow last

By Atolan

Hi, I planted my yarrow last summer in zone 3 (Calgary, AB). It seemed to be doing fine, and it popped up this spring, but then it stopped growing and the leaves started dying before it got very high. They just kind of turned brown and wilted away. Any idea what's causing this? I see no sign of bugs.

If you don't see any bugs you

By Almanac Staff

If you don't see any bugs you may have a rust fungus that causes the leaves to turn brown. Powdery mildew will also turn foliage brown.

OK...plant has been healthy

By Island Girl

OK...plant has been healthy and happy in her spot. Giving me Fall color even. Do I need to do anything for her before the temperature drops. We have a rather wet Fall right now but we do get some dumps of snow and colder winds. Campbell River, Vancouver Island.

can the seeds be but in the

By denise gaudet

can the seeds be but in the ground in the fall and covered with cloth for winter? also is this plant good for oil extraction? thanks

Hi Denise, Yarrow is best

By Almanac Staff

Hi Denise,
Yarrow is best planted in the spring. See our planting instructions on this page. And yes, you can extract oil from the yarrow flowers.

This summer I purchased 5

By Rhee

This summer I purchased 5 yarrows from a local Home Depot and were already showing signs of serve wilting .. once planted, I decided to cut down the dried stems,just for appearance sake .. wondering if these things will ever come back .. or are they gone!they were in rough shape when I place in the ground, but one surviving stem still has bright yellow flowers on it; lovely

Yarrow is a hardy perennial

By Almanac Staff

Yarrow is a hardy perennial and is likely to come back.

I have been watering my

By Dottie McClelland

I have been watering my Yarrow alot-the yellow blooms are turning brown-did I water to much?

Do you see any bugs or holes

By Almanac Staff

Do you see any bugs or holes in the leaves? If not, some varieties of yarrow hold their color better than others. After bloom, the yarrow will turn brown. You can try cutting it down to see if you'll get a new round of flowers or replace with annuals.

golden yarrow

By Anonymous

Sould
i purchase now from a nursery and plant end of Sept for spring blooms or wait to plant in May 2013?
thank you

Yarrow is a hardy perennial

By Almanac Staff

Yarrow is a hardy perennial and can be planted in the fall or spring. Now is a good time to plant if you can find plants at the nursery.

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