How to Grow Achillea Plant: A Beautiful and Hardy Flower

If you’re looking for a beautiful and hardy flower to add to your garden, look no further than the achillea plant; common name: Yarrow. This versatile plant can be grown in a variety of climates, and it’s sure to turn heads with its showy blooms. In this blog post, we will provide tips on how to grow achillea successfully, so that you can enjoy its beauty for years to come!

Are you trying to incorporate more native plants in your garden? Not only is Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) a North American native plant but it is also popular with pollinators. Achillea plant requires little care and comes in a wide range of colors.

These hardy, easily grown perennials are perfect for that hard-to-grow spot in your garden. Achillea plants (Yarrow) are tolerant of drought, wind, and heat. Achillea grows well in almost any soil type and is excellent both for fresh-cut flowers and drying. Flowers are produced from summer to early fall and the flat-shaped blooms are perfect for butterflies, pollinators, and beneficial insects. Here’s how to grow yarrow in your garden!

Cerise Queen Achillea Yarrow, bright pink
Cerise Queen Achillea Yarrow
White Yarrow

What is Achillea Plant? Common name Yarrow

Achillea millefolium is a hardy perennial. The beautiful flower heads are made up of many tiny, tightly-packed flowers rising above clumps of ferny foliage. Though many think they only have yellow flowers they actually range in colors from yellow, red, pink, peach, white, or any shade in between.

Some beautiful new Achillea Varieties are available are:

  • Achillea Cerise Queen
  • Achillea Terracotta
  • Achillea Moonshine
  • Achillea Summer Pastels
  • Achillea Paprika
  • Achillea Summer Berries
  • Achillea Lilac Beautry

Does Achillea Come Back Every Year?

Yes, Achillea is perennial which means it returns year after year. Some varieties can become weakened and need replanting after a few years but that is rare. Yarrow can be revitalized with dividing.

Where to Plant Achillea

Achilleas prefers soil that drains well and is in full sun to partial shade. They can live in a variety of soils as long as they are not water-logged. Once established they can tolerate some drought. They are hardy in USDA Zones 3-9

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Achilleas look gorgeous in the middle of a decorative border or a wildlife garden. Yarrow is versatile and they are also great choices for gravel gardens or rock gardens. Plus yarrow do well in containers and pots.

Yarrow will also help the soil that it is growing in as yarrow feeds the soil more than that it uses to grow. This can be a huge plus because yarrow can grow well in poor soil.

How to Plant Achilleas

Space Achillea plants 12-18 inches apart. When planting in the ground, dig a hole twice as wide as the pot and gently press down the soil around its roots. Water well after planting.

If planting in a container, use a potting mix that drains well. Place the plant in the container and fill it in with the potting mix. Water well.

If planting with other flowers or plants in pots try to use ones that have the same requirements for light and water for best results.

When to Plant Achillea Seeds

Achillea is easy to grow from seed. Sow yarrow seed in cell packs or flats, press into soil, do not cover. Light aids germination. Kept at 70° F., germination in 14-28 days. If starting seeds indoors plant on sowing 10 weeks or so before your last frost date.

Yarrow seeds benefit from a cold period prior to planting. This makes them a perfect candidate for Winter Sowing!

easy Winter Sowing

Winter sowing, the super-easy way to grow plants from seed!

You can direct sow yarrow seeds into prepared seedbeds thinly in late fall (mild winter regions) or in early spring (as soon as soil can be worked) in cold winter regions.

How to Grow Achillea (Yarrow)

Water regularly, especially during the first year after planting. Once established, yarrow plants are drought tolerant. Add a thin layer of compost around your plants each spring to keep the soil fed.

Achillea Yarrow with red and pink flowers

Yarrow is relatively drought-tolerant, but if you receive less than 1 inch of rain a week in the summer, water your plants to keep them looking their best.

Photo: Achillea Millefolium Summer Berries

Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space, and nutrients, so control them by either eliminating them frequently or use mulch to prevent their germination.

Deadhead (remove faded flowers) regularly to encourage more blooms. Yarrow is pest resistant and can stand up to most plant diseases with proper care.

Weeds Taking over?

Weed less, Garden More!

Weeds are a common issue for most gardeners but you can actually weed less if you follow a few simple tips.

Stressed or improper care can make Yarrow plants susceptible to aphids, powdery mildew, and rust.

Divide yarrow plants every 3 to 5 years to sustain vigorous, healthy plants. Lift the clumps in early spring or fall and remove any dead stems from the center of the clump. Replant or give away divisions See more below…

How to propagate achilleas

The best method of propagating achilleas is by root dividing in spring or fall. You can also take cuttings in early spring.

To propagate from cuttings, pull off new shoots, leaving a heel, and plant into potting compost with added sand. Your cuttings should form new roots after a few weeks and can be potted on into individual pots when the plant is well established.

Some varieties will readily self-seed, although they may not come true to the parent plant. It is worth it to let them reseed and see what happens. Sometimes you can get a delightful surprise.

Medicinal purpose

Yarrow flowers hold stronger medicinal properties than leaves. They have been used to treat colds, fevers, and improve digestion and circulation. Yarrow is also considered a valuable tonic for the liver and kidneys.

Bluestone Perennials have some delightful colors of Achillea Plants to choose from.

A beautiful new white yarrow is this one called Marshmallow, it is a lovely replacement for Babys Breath.

Sources for Yarrow Seeds and Plants:
Bluestone Perennials
Botanical Interests Seeds
Swallowtail Garden Seeds

Now that you know how easy and gorgeous the Achillea plant aka Yarrow can be which color or variety would you like to add to your garden?

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