How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Yarrow Plants


Yarrow can come in a bright yellow variety, but it can also be red or pink.



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Yarrow is a hardy perennial with showy flower heads composed of many tiny, tightly-packed flowers. Their fern-like leaves are often aromatic. Here’s how to grow yarrow in your garden!

Yarrow is easy to care for and versatile: it is good for borders, rock gardens, or wildflower meadows. The flowers may be yellow, red, pink, or a number of shades in between. They are also excellent for cutting and drying.


  • 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. Yarrow thrives in hot, dry conditions; they will not tolerate wet soil. If you grow yarrow in rich soil, the plants may require stalking due to overenthusiastic 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.


  • 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.

Yarrow flowers.


Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

Native Americans used ground yarrow infused in water as a wash to treat sunburns. It is also sometimes used as a remedy for anxiety and stress.

Yarrow is thought to symbolize everlasting love. Find out more flower meanings here.

Reader Comments

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Summer Pastel Yarrows "Achillea millefolium"

Summer Pastel Yarrows "Achillea Millefolium" blooming time? I live in Alabama (zone 7b) and just this year finally learned the name of this flower that I have loved for years!! I went out and found a nursery that could get it from a local grower and I purchased it. I got an entire tray of them and planted an entire bed of summer pastel yarrows with day lilies (that were already established in that bed and I had ready in a bed planner that said the two went well with each other. It's in full sun, well drained soil, the yarrows are being used as the boarding plants in this bed. The fern like foliage is beautiful and very healthy the only issue is I HAVE NO BLOOMS AT ALL AND ITS JULY 28th. So when so I expect to see blooms? The day lilies are on there 3rd blooming cycle (this has never happened, we are having an an extended blooming cycle because weather is favorable) and I can't even get the summer pastel yarrows "Achillea millefolium" to bloom at all?!

Yarrow Not Blooming

Hi Dusty,

It sounds like the cultural conditions are ideal for your plants, so I wonder if the nursery staff cut the plants back a bit before you bought them. That is a common practice in nurseries and greenhouses–it keeps plants from getting rangy. That could have delayed bloom time, but since they sound nice and healthy, my guess is you will see blooms in two or three weeks that should–with a little deadheading–last through the fall. Fingers crossed!

Still no blooms on my Yarrows!!

I still have no blooms on my yarrors- I've ask the nursery and they did not top them prior to me buying them. We have monitored the amount of water they have received more closely and cut back watering them greatly. The fern part is thriving! Daylillies are rebloom here in Alabam after the initial plant bloomed and its fans foliage died and grew back! Because we have had so much rain and the temperature has been elevated for several weeks! HELP I'm At A COMPLETE LOSS, wish I could submit a picture for review??? Forgive any typos when entering text in the comment box an ad was stuck over it so I am typing blindly :/

Need Help Please respond:)!

I left an update on my Summer Pastal Yarrows and really could use some advice. I'd love to send in a picture of the fern foliage- seeing how I've never grown/planted Yarrows before maybe there is a trick I do not know... I have 10 plants in a bed all by themselves right in front of my porch with absolutely no flowers:(

Transplanting in July

My garden club is planting a town garden next week. I know July is a terrible time but most plants are from nurseries and small. My yarrow is a couple feet tall. We hate to cut it back before planting and have to wait until next year for blooms, but if we water well, daily if necessary, and stake it, will it be ok? Thanks for any help!

It is not an ideal time to

It is not an ideal time to transplant yarrow, but you can try. And remember that yarrow does not like wet soil, so resist the urge to overwater after planting in the new garden. Some plants take longer to adapt to new locations, so keep an eye on it. Give it at least a few weeks to get acclimated. If flower stalks start to die back, cut those off at the base.

July transplanting

Thanks for your advice. I think we will go for it and see how it does.

"Rose" Aachillea Yarrow

Bought 4 plants at Home Depot - all looked good! Planted and watered 3 same day. Did not water 4th plant - next afternoon all it's leaves and stems looked 'dried/wilted' - (a few bending) w/good flower heads. Planted and watered hoping w/perk up overnight - it did not. If I prune stems down to 3" w/plant revive and make new leaves or more blooms this summer?

Planted Yarrow

Hi Virginia,

Hold off on cutting it back. It may perk back up yet. It could be experiencing transplant shock; cutting it would be adding salt to the wound. Some plants take longer to adapt to new conditions. Give it a few weeks to get acclimated. If flower stalks start to die back, cut those off at the base.

Yarrow Died

I had a couple of Yarrow plants in with a Huchera in a GIANT styrofoam kind of deck pot, and they didn't come back this year (The Huchera came back two springs, but it, too failed). I live in zone 5b and we had a relatively mild winter.

Heuchera and Yarrow

Hi Kate,

First, it is not all that surprising that your heuchera petered out; they are apt to do that unless extremely happy with the growing conditions (they typically thrive in a woodland setting with lots of dappled light). In fact, many of today’s popular cultivars behave like short-lived perennials. The best thing to do is replace it with a hardier variety. (The yellow, amber, and lime green cultivars seem especially tender; go for purple and true green species.) As for the yarrow, it’s a guess that it is a water-related issue. Yarrow thrives in hot, dry conditions with low soil fertility–sometimes container conditions are a bit too rich for its liking.

Yellow yarrow

I planted yellow yarrow. And wanted to know should I dead head the flowers? Will I get more blooms and how long do they bloom?

Pruning Yarrow

Yes, you should prune the flowersdown to basal foliage once the bloom is completed. You should get more blooms, and yarrow blooms from mid- to late summer.

Is it really dead?

Planted in long flower box, placed on my deck. After summer my yarrow got very tan colored leaves, never bloomed. gently watering n pruning off dead often. Babying it all summer n fall... Winter hits S.E. Pennsylvania, neglected, cuz it's winter, now it's late March it's dry, so I water the dirt thoroughly. Place in sun. Five days later gentle watering again. Soil too dry. Looks dead, still! How do I help it? I want it for medicinal reasons. (Originally bought at Home Depot, King Edward Yarrow yellow variety) or should I have watered it through the winter? Or never should hv used a pot? Should I start over? Help! I'm usually pretty good with plants, this ones got me confused, my squirrels loved it last year, lil brats! Lol

King Edward yarrow

Hi, Linda, From what we can glean, this is a low grower, a carpet plant unlike the taller types grown as border perennials. It is described as developing a woolly green mass an inch or two high, with 6-inch flower stems in early to mid summer. It does well in a rock garden (that means it can take the heat), prefers dry to wet (it’s drought tolerant), and can take light foot traffic; it’s does just ok as a container plant, according to one source (of course it was probably in a container when you bought it). Th squirrels may have had a paw in it’s demise, too.

Our best advice is to start over … Better luck!


Are we supposed to cut back dead leaves in the fall and winter?

It’s recommended to cut stems

It’s recommended to cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line after the first killing frost in the fall. If you live in a climate without frost you can prune the plants back in early spring before they start budding.

I would like to purchase the

I would like to purchase the Millefolium yarrow to use for herbal remedies! Do you have this one available also or only the red & yellow?

My yarrow is at least a year

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

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

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

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

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,

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

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.

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

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

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

Hi, Amanda: Sure. Gently.

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

Is yarrow a good butterfly

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

My yarrow has been planted

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

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

My yellow yarrow has white blooms this year, why?

Our guess is that your yarrow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have been watering my

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

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

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

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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