Common Yarrow

Achillea millefolium

Yarrow, Milfoil, Devil's Nettle, Hundred-Leaved Grass, Lace Plant, Nosebleed, Nose Pepper, Old Man's Pepper, Sanguinary, Savory Tea, Soldier's Woundwort, Thousand-Leaf, Thousand Weed

profile iconAchillea millefolium bloem
by Pethan (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
1 of 28
Some white Achillea millefolium flowers
profile iconAchillea millefolium bloem
by Pethan (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
1 of 28
Achillea millefolium is known by a range of common names including Common Yarrow and Yarrow. It became a gardeners favourite because it's tough, flowers repeatedly and tolerates all sorts of conditions. This perennial has an upright habit and produces white to cream or pinkish, daisy-like flowers in flat clusters from spring-summer. The leaves are finely divided and before it became favoured as a decorative plant, Yarrow was used more as a herb and medicinal plant. The original plant had white flowers, breeders have cultivated many new, showier species of white, such as A. clavennae and A. ptarmica. It prefers full sun and well-drained soils. Will tolerate partial shade and moist but well-drained soil. Heavy or waterlogged soils can result in powdery mildews and rusts. Ideal for wildflower meadows, prairie planting, herbaceous borders, and medicinal herb gardens. Requires dividing every 2-3 years. Does not require annual pruning or feeding. This species is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Spring, Summer

Harvesting

Leaves can be harvested throughout the year, but best when in flower. Flowers can be cut during the late summer. Use old stalks and cuttings to activate compost heaps.

Propagation

Seed

Sow your seeds shallow (0.5 cm) and at least 30 cm apart in March, August or October. Use moist potting soil and make sure they have a warm environment. Germination takes place within 2 months.

Cuttings

Make basal cuttings of new shoots that are about 10cm tall in Spring. Plant in pots and protect in warm position until they root, usually within 3 weeks. Plant out in the summer.

Division

Most popular method and will prolong the plant's life if done every other year. Divides easily and can be done in Spring or Autum. Plant the divisions 30cm apart directly in their new positions.

Special features

Attracts useful insects

Attracts parasitic wasps.

Repels harmful insects

Repels beetles, ants and flies.

Crop rotation

Light feeder. Improves soil fertility and the essential oil content of nearby plants, thereby making their neighbours more resistant to insect pests.

Attractive flowers

Special features

Origin

Northern Hemisphere.

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Medicinal

Oil contains antibacterial, anti-infammatory and antispasmodis properties. Leaves applied to skin stops bleeding. Home remedy for fever, diarrhea, tootache, in snuff, face wash, shampoo.

Edible

All parts are edible. Young leaves can be eaten raw and are also used for tea and as a preservative. Essential oil from the flowers used as flavouring in cold drinks.

Personality

Family

Asteraceae

Flower colour

Pink, White

Scent

Mild

Problems

Most common problem is fungal disease, which can be prevented by not overwatering and allowing good air circulation. Stems are floppy and prone to rotting when they fall over.

Related Problems

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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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