Crop Rotation Group
Fertile soil with good drainage, with a neutral to slightly acidic pH.
Full sun to partial shade.
Yes, yarrows are among the most cold-tolerant perennial flowers. Well-rooted plants can tolerate winter cold to -35°F (-37°C).
In spring, topdress the area around yarrows with a balanced organic fertilizer. Too much fertilizer can cause yarrows to grow large and floppy, with limited blooms.
Single Plants: 11" (30cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 11" (30cm) with 11" (30cm) row gap (minimum)
Sow and Plant
Many varieties of white or pastel common yarrow are easy to start from seed. Sow the tiny seed atop moist seed starting mix, barely pressing them in. At room temperature, seeds should germinate in 10 to 14 days. Grow seedlings under bright supplemental light and set them out after the soil warms in spring. The plants should start blooming their first year. Yarrow also can be started from purchased plants. The best cultivars of tall, yellow fernleaf yarrow are propagated vegetatively, so you will need to start with purchased plants in spring or early summer. Yarrows need less water than other perennial flowers and do not do well with very wet conditions. Yarrows more than two years old grow into clumps that are connected with shallow roots. To propagate yarrow, an entire clump can be dug, divided and replanted in spring, or you can take small plants from the outside of the clump for replanting.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.
With their soft, ferny leaves and frothy umbels of flowers, yarrows are welcome in any garden. The flowers attract pollinators, and the clump-forming plants hold their space throughout the season. There are many lovely varieties from which to choose, which vary in growth habit, size, and bloom time. Common yarrow (A. millefolium) produces a strong flush of pastel to red flowers in early summer, followed by modest reblooming later in the season. Yarrows that bloom yellow to orange are usually A. filipendulina hybrids, which produce their long-lasting flowers all at once in midsummer. Common yarrow is native to temperate climates in many parts of the world, where it colonizes roadways and other disturbed sites. Historically, yarrow foliage was used to treat bleeding wounds.
Gather stems for use in cut arrangements when most of the flowers in the umbel are open. Removing old flowers can improve reblooming in many cultivars. If you plan to dry yarrow blossoms, wait until the flowers are fully open to cut them. Strip off leaves and hang the stems in small bunches in a dry, airy place.
In wet years, yarrow may be bothered by botrytis or stem rot, and powdery mildew sometimes infects the foliage. Tall varieties may need support to keep them upright in summer rainstorms.
Planting and Harvesting Calendar
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Pests which Affect Yarrow