Bees, Butterflies & Brilliance! Check Out Perennial Yarrow!

Bees, Butterflies & Brilliance! Check Out Perennial Yarrow!

yarrow

The Yarrow family of hardy plants have been used by savvy gardeners for millennia, since before the Roman times as medicinal herbs and garden ornamentals! Versatile and highly adaptable sun garden plants, these summer-flowering gems fill the last half of the growing season in unique beauty and color!

Get to know more about this vivid and incredibly easy-to-grow herbaceous perennial and its long-lasting late-season flowers!

All About Yarrow

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The name Achillea comes from Greek mythology in the legend of Achilles, who was dipped in the Yarrow-laced water of the River Styx by his mother when he was a baby. Holding him by his heel, this spot was missed when he was dipped, creating his so-called Achilles heel, which would prove to be his fatal weakness in battle. Achilles also used Yarrow’s extracts to treat his soldier's wounds during the Battle of Troy.

While the legend was the stuff of myth, the latter is actually quite true! The foliage has been used as nature's bandaid and helps sanitize cuts and staunch bleeding, among many other uses for digestion, treating colds and flu, brewing beer, and is even considered a symbol of good luck!

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As an ornamental perennial that is native to North America, as well as Europe and Asia, Yarrow is beloved for its aromatic ferny foliage that is feathery, and lush green! The Latin name “millefolium” means “a thousand leaves”, and the lacy mounds are certainly just that! You'll love running your hand along the finely cut, deep-green foliage that is aromatic and has a spicy, medicinal, and pleasing scent. 

Yarrow is a vigorous, yet compact grower, and some cultivars spread to form small colonies and act as groundcover, while others are more upright growing. Incredibly resilient and hardy, Yarrow can grow in poor, rocky soils and thrive in harsh conditions, as well as hot, humid summers and cold winters. Preferring disturbed Xeric sites, this is the perfect plant for those trickier locations and brown thumbs!

Members of the Aster family, the flat-topped to domed flower clusters are packed with tiny florets that are the perfect landing pads for both your local nectar-seeking butterflies and pollinators who adore these blooms, but also pollen-eating bees and beneficial insects will also appreciate these versatile flowering powerhouses!

Landscaping With Yarrow

The most obvious place to include Yarrow is in the Butterfly Garden! Any garden will become a Pollinator border with this floriferous perennial in its midst!

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The bold hues and repeat blooms just "pop" in Cottage Gardens, too! The lovely mix of fine-textured foliage and unique flowers is a must-have for your Cut Flower gardens (the blooms even look beautiful when dried!), Wildflower borders, mixed Perennial Garden, and mixed Native or Prairie plantings! Yarrow always shows off with incredible color from summer until frost!

Let this adaptable and resilient perennial fill in around the base of taller perennials and flowering shrubs as an unforgettable groundcover and garden filler! A lacy fringe of Yarrow along the front of a garden bed as edging or along a sunny pathway will become your favorite place to stroll!

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Hardy enough for that hell strip along the road or sidewalk, around sunny seating areas, or in that sunbaked garden around the mailbox, these little plants stand up to harsh conditions beautifully!

The Achillea varieties are a great choice for mass planting and are drought-tolerant! Plant this brilliant plant in your Rock Gardens and Xeric plantings. Yarrow is a must-have for defensible space planting in any firewise landscape.

Even if you don’t have a landscape, any sunny planter or mixed container around your sun-drenched porch, patio, or pool deck suits these plants just fine!

Caring For Yarrow

Yarrow is a hardy herbaceous perennial and should be planted in full sun, nothing less than 6 hours a day will do!

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Tolerant to hot humid summers, Yarrow can tolerate poor soil conditions but does best in lean, dry to medium wet, well-drained soil. They can be adaptable to almost any soil with adequate drainage. Once established, allow your Yarrow to dry between waterings for best success because they despise soggy soil. Too much water or soil that is too rich can cause the plants to droop over from the weight of their own flowers.

New plants should be watered regularly and not allowed to dry out completely. Less frequent deep waterings are better than frequent surface waterings, encouraging the roots to delve deep into the ground for moisture, and making them more resilient in the long run

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Top-dress with a 3-4 inch deep layer of arborist mulch to make them look better, hold moisture, and insulate the roots.

It's recommended to remove faded flowers to encourage more growth. Trim the first flush of blooms to use inside in darling fresh or dried arrangements! Deadheading enhances their overall appearance and encourages repeat blooms until frost. In spring, before you see new growth, trim away any of last year's stems to clean up the crown. Top off with a fresh layer of mulch or compost!

Keep these perennials growing vigorously by dividing the mounds every 3-4 years.

Lacy Leaves & Showy Blooms!

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From brilliant yellow to rosy pinks and spicy reds, Yarrow has a broad range of hues to choose from!

Yellow Blooms

  • Buttery-soft yellow Sunny Seduction™ Yarrow
  • Brilliant and bright Moonshine Yarrow
  • Dwarf and bright yellow Little Moonshine Yarrow
  • Touchably soft Woolly Yarrow

Pink Blooms

  • Rosy and flirty Saucy Seduction™ Yarrow
  • Deep pink Milly Rock™ Rose Yarrow
  • Pinkish purple Proven Winners® New Vintage™ Violet Yarrow

Red Blooms

  • Spicy red Paprika Yarrow
  • Velvety red Strawberry Seduction™ Yarrow

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Can’t choose just one? Look into the Summer Pastel Yarrow that has shades of white through to cream, yellow, pink, salmon, mauve and red!

When you have to feed the bees and butterflies, and fill your vases and landscape with vivid and unique flowers from summer until late in the growing season, you won’t go wrong with the incredible flower power that Yarrow has available for you!

Find these and more fast-growing, low-maintenance, and hardy perennials at NatureHills.com!

Happy Planting!

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