Tips for growing and caring for Yarrow
Growing Yarrow is easy for beginner gardeners and in this article you’ll learn how to grow gorgeous, healthy Yarrow plants in your garden.
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Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is native to North America and will grow in most areas that get plenty of sunshine throughout the day.
Yarrow is a popular perennial because it’s hardy, drought tolerant, pest resistant and attracts butterflies, lady bugs and other beneficial insects.
It has ferny foliage and flower heads made up of clusters of tightly-packed flowers. The flowers can be white, yellow, pink and red.
HOW TO GROW YARROW
Best Soil for Yarrow
Yarrow prefers light, well drained, soil that isn’t too rich.
How much sunlight does Yarrow need?
Yarrow prefers to grow in a position that is in full sun. They can survive in areas that are partially shaded but the stems will stretch and become floppy.
How long does Yarrow take to mature?
Yarrow plants begin to bloom in late spring to early summer. Many species of Yarrow continue to bloom until early fall.
How high does Yarrow grow?
Yarrow can grow 2 – 4 feet (60 – 120 centimetres) in height.
How much space is needed between plants?
Each plant should have at least 12 – 24 inches (30 – 60 centimetres) space in all directions as they spread out a lot.
Growing Yarrow from Seeds
Yarrow can be grown from seeds indoors during winter and transferred to the garden in spring.
Yarrow seeds need light to germinate, so it’s best to sow the seeds in a tray with just enough potting mix to barely cover the seeds.
Place the tray in a warm place and the seeds will germinate in about 14 – 28 days.
Yarrow Varieties to try in your Garden
Yarrow is drought tolerant and doesn’t require much water, but young plants will need regular watering to help them establish new roots.
Fertilizer for Yarrow
Yarrow is a low maintenance plant that doesn’t need regular fertilizing.
Dividing & Transplanting Yarrow
Yarrow should be divided at least every three years to keep the plants healthy and to avoid the centre part dying off.
The best time to divide the plants is in early spring. The outer portions can be retained and the middle sections discarded.
Pests & Diseases
Yarrow is mostly free of pests and diseases but it can be affected by mold or powdery mildew, which can be treated with a fungicide.
If you see spots or mildew on the leaves, it’s best to cut them off so that the mildew doesn’t spread.
Cutting Yarrow back at the end of Flowering
Yarrow can be cut back at the end of flowering to produce another round of flowers.
Fall is a good time to remove dead foliage and old stems.
Companion Planting for Yarrow
Yarrow attracts lady bugs, lacewings and other beneficial insects that feed on aphids, so they’re helpful for plants that are affected by aphids including citrus trees and vegetable crops. 
Harvesting and Using Yarrow
Yarrow leaves can be used fresh or dried to make herbal tea, infusions and poultices.
The best time to harvest Yarrow is during summer when the flowers are open.
Cut the stem half way down and tie the stems in small bunches.
Hang them upside down in a well ventilated place, out of direct sunlight. When they’re fully dry, they can be stored in a glass jar.
Yarrow tea can be made by brewing 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried Yarrow in hot water. Allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes before drinking.
Common questions about growing Yarrow
Can Yarrow Grow in the Shade?
Yarrow is best grown in full sun where it produces compact plants and tight flower heads.
Growing Yarrow in the shade results in long stems that tend to droop in the wind.
Is Yarrow Frost Tolerant?
Yarrow can survive cold winter temperatures and tolerates frost.
Can Yarrow Grow Indoors?
Yarrow can be grown in containers indoors but it will need to be placed in an area that receives lots of light.
Will Yarrow Grow in Clay Soil?
Yarrow will grow in just about any soil as long as it’s well drained and not too rich. It doesn’t like soil that is constantly wet.
Where Does Yarrow Grow?
Yarrow is native to North America but it’s also found in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and Australia.
Final Thoughts on Growing Yarrow
Yarrow is a hardy perennial that is easy to maintain and will tolerate most conditions.
They’re a great plant for borders and rock gardens and they don’t need much ongoing care so it won’t matter if they’re a bit neglected.
If Yarrow is given plenty of sunshine it will thrive.