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A picture of a Yarrow

Yarrow

Achillea millefolium

Also known as

Milfoil, Common Yarrow, 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

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) by Petar Milošević (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy

6a

USDA zone

-23°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

60cm

Max

60cm

20cm

Min

30cm

5 months to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Yarrow

A close up of some white Achillea millefolium flowers
A close up of the white flowers of common yarrow, Achillea millefolium.
Some white Achillea millefolium flowers
A photo of Yarrow
A photo of Yarrow

Yarrow Overview

Achillea millefolium is known by many common names including Common Yarrow and Devil's Nettle. It became a gardener's favourite because it is tough, flowers repeatedly and tolerates a wide range of conditions. It also has a long history of being used in traditional, herbal medicines. It is classified as a wildflower in the UK. A spreading perennial, it has an upright habit and produces white to cream, pink-tinged flowers in flat clusters, in summer. Its leaves are fern-like - narrow and finely divided. Be aware however, that this species will self-seed, so only plant if you want lots of them in the garden! It prefers full sun and moist well-drained soil but will tolerate partial shade. (Heavy or waterlogged soils can result in powdery mildew and rust.) Ideal for wildflower meadows, prairie planting, herbaceous borders and medicinal herb gardens. It requires dividing every 2-3 years but is generally low-maintenance. This species is on the RHS 'Plants for Pollinators' list highlighting plants that produce large amounts of nectar and/or pollen. A great choice for encouraging beneficial insect wildlife into your garden!

Common problems with Yarrow

Yarrow Companion Plants

How to propagate Yarrow

Seed

Sow seeds in spring or autumn.

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 autumn. Plant the divisions 30cm apart directly in their new positions.

Special features of Yarrow

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

Attracts bees

Attracts butterflies

Other uses of Yarrow

Yarrow was used to flavour beer in the Middle Ages before hops became fashionable. Use old stalks and cuttings to activate compost heaps.

Medicinal

Oil contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties.

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.

Essential Oils

Some of the most popular plants to grow for essential oil extraction.

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