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Using Yarrow in Your Garden

Are you looking for the perfect plant to fill in the borders of your garden and brighten it up with colorful, showy blossoms that are dummy-proof to maintain and super resilient? Look no further; the Yarrow plant is virtually care-free and produces hundreds of radiant flowers throughout the spring and summer months. They look great in the garden and make an excellent addition to any bouquet. Maybe you should consider Using Yarrow in Your Garden.

This beautiful flower will look like a large circular bloom showing off to the summer sky from a distance. However, at a closer look, you will note that the Yarrow flower is a cluster of tiny flower heads all packed together, standing tall on a long sturdy stalk with soft feathery leaves.

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Yarrow comes in almost every color in the rainbow, with the most common colors being white, yellow, pink, purple, red, or rose.

As an added bonus, the yarrow plant is a deterrent for insects and mosquitos as well as rabbits and deer, so they can be used throughout your landscape to help deter these pests.

These blooms are perfect pollinators, so be ready for the influx of bees and the added magical touch to your garden with all the butterflies they attract.

For hundreds of years, the yarrow flower has also been used for its medicinal properties, cosmetics, and sometimes even magic.

Beware that the yarrow grows so well it can be invasive and take over, so be conscious of what you are planting it next to and be ready with your shovel if it starts to overstep its boundaries.

Although there are over 100 species of the genus Achillea, the most common yarrows grown are:

  • A. clypeolata (moonshine yarrow).
  • A. filipendulina (fern leaf yarrow).
  • A. millefolium (common yarrow).
  • A. ptarmica (pearl yarrow).
  • A. taygetea (Egyptian yarrow).

Wild yarrow

You can find this popping up in meadows, along country paths, and even the backyard. Yarrow growing in the wild can have large flower heads with clusters of either white or yellow tiny flowers. This is technically the same plant as common yarrow; it is just listed as wild due to where it is located.

Common Yarrow

Derived from the group Achillea millefolium are many different types of what are known as the common yarrow. The rainbow of colors that you can find in this group is endless. From the bright, vibrant reds, like paprika and rust, to the soft pastel shades of apricot and salmon, there is something for everyone in this group of multiple cultivars. Perfect for cut flower enthusiasts because it compliments any flower arrangement.

Dwarf Yarrow

Unlike its peers, the dwarf yarrow (dwarf woolly yarrow, Achillea x lewisii), as its name suggests, lies closer to the ground and is perfect for rock gardens or to add some color to the edge of a path or driveway. This version of the yarrow has light yellow, low-lying flowers.

Hybrid Yarrows

Named after Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, the award-winning Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’ is a spectacular yarrow that is extremely easy to grow and produces excellent results even if you neglect it. From late spring to late summer, the pleasantly aromatic three feet in height, Coronation Gold is a gardener’s favorite, boasting bright yellow flowers.

Fernleaf Yarrow

Another significant aspect of the yarrow is its feathery light green-grey foliage, which the Achillea filipendulina yarrows are noted for. These yarrow flowers can be as tall as five feet. Some popular varieties include; Cloth of Gold, Parkers Variety, and Gold Plate.

How to Grow Yarrow Plants

The Yarrow plant needs little preparation, and once you have germinated the seeds, it’s a matter of raking some soil and popping them in the ground to watch them grow.

Yarrow plants bloom from June to September, so the ideal planting period is early spring, just after the last frost.

Growing from Seed

The yarrow plant is very easy to grow; you are in for a treat from planting to maintenance.

If you choose to grow from seed, the best way would be to start the seeds indoors, 6-8 weeks before you plant them outside.

Plant them in a seed tray, right on the top of the soil.

The optimal soil temperature is 15 to 18°C (60 to 65°F).

Be sure that the soil is not too damp to avoid any roots rotting.

Observe the germination process, which should take about 1-2 weeks. You can cover the seeded area with plastic wrap after the first week to speed it up.


You can either transplant these seedlings into pots until they are larger using high nitrogen fertilizer, or you can plant the seedlings straight into the ground about ½ an inch deep. Be sure that the last frost has well and truly passed.

They love dry sandy soil with clay for ideal results. This hardy plant will even cope with being beside the sea; the salty ocean air can’t faze the yarrow. Yarrow plants can handle drought, but they will not tolerate wet soil.

They are not thirsty little flowers and only require about ½ an inch of water a week. Depending on the area, you could potentially go an entire summer without having to get the hose out, but a little water will keep them vibrant and looking fabulous.


Yarrow plants are not likely to catch diseases; this is a sturdy plant and unlikely to become affected by disease or pests.

If you cut the ‘deadheads’ off the flowers in mid-summer, it will likely produce a whole other set of blooms before the season is out.

You can head to the garden center at the end of summer and pick up some post-bloom yarrow plants on sale. Bring them home and chuck them in the garden, and low and behold, with zero maintenance, you will have flowering blossoms come next summer.

Final Words

The Yarrow plant represents everlasting love, and who doesn’t want a bit of that in their world? Plant any of the vast number of yarrow species in your garden, and you will surely be happy with the vibrant, cheerful results year in and year out.