Yarrow

Family Pronunciation; ack-ill-LEE-uh

Yarrow, specifically known as achillea millefolium, is an upright perennial, with lacy, fernlike foliage. Yarrow are excellent for rocky coral outcrops. They have been used medicinally for centuries. Yarrow have also been used for companion planting, thought to attract beneficial insects while repelling nastier species. With plate∼like flowers, yarrow have delicate, multiple blooms that do bring in honeybees and butterflies alike.

Yarrow love a fertile, well draining soil and full sun to bask in. In the very heat and humidity of Southern Florida summers, they may wilt back a bit due to the humidity, which they do not like. They are also drought tolerant once established. If you are growing them for the attraction of beneficial insects, use organic fertilizers. After you have created an established bed, you can divide the spreading clumps to create even more beds of them. If you started out from seed, I would give the orignal bed 3 to 4 years before dividing.

I grow mine from seed, and it takes about 4 months to upwards of a year before they bloom. As an example, a late spring planting might not bring blooms until the following season, whereas a fall planting may give you blooms the following spring.

Cerise Queen is a deep pink colored cultivar with the typical large heads filled with miniature flowers. Moonshine is a bright yellow variety. Summer pastels is yet another variety of yarrow. Colors in this mix range from muaves and light pinks to creamy white and pale yellows. All yarrow make excellent dried flower arrangements long past the days of summer.

Here in the deep south, they are often sown directly into prepared beds between the months of August through March. They will only grow to zone 9 though, do not plant them if you live in zone 10. Yarrow typically germinates in 10 to 15 days. Do not cover the seeds. This plant needs light to stimulate the seed to germinate.

If you live in a climate that freezes over, mulch the bed in fall, and lightly uncover the next spring. Down here, I just let them grow through the winters, completely exposed, and there seems to be no damage to this hardy perennial. Grows in zones 3 through 9. They are also moderately salt tolerant, making them alright to grow in a seashore garden.

Yarrow can grow to heights of 20 inches to 3 feet.

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