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
Achillea millefolium bgiu by Bogdan Giuşcă (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
3 months to reach maturity
This plant has a mild fragrance
More images of Yarrow
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!
Common problems with Yarrow
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.
Yarrow Companion Plants
How to harvest Yarrow
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.
How to propagate Yarrow
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.
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.
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 of Yarrow
Attracts useful insects
Attracts parasitic wasps.
Repels harmful insects
Repels beetles, ants and flies.
Light feeder. Improves soil fertility and the essential oil content of nearby plants, thereby making their neighbours more resistant to insect pests.
Other uses of Yarrow
Border, cutting bed, dried arrangements, borders, medicinal. Yarrow was used to flavour beer in the Middle Ages before hops became fashionable.
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.
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.