Yarrow: the Ultimate Guide to Growing this Ancient Wonder Plant

Table of Contents


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Discover the beauty and versatility of yarrow with our comprehensive guide to growing this hardy perennial! From medicinal properties to stunning garden design, yarrow is a must-have for any green thumb looking to cultivate a captivating landscape.

Benefits of Growing Your Own Yarrow

Benefits of growing yarrow at home:

  • Attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs and predatory wasps to your garden
  • Has a variety of medicinal uses, including reducing fever, alleviating menstrual cramps, and treating digestive issues
  • Drought-tolerant plant that doesn’t require much water or maintenance
  • Can be used as a natural dye for fabrics
  • Attractive and fragrant addition to your garden or indoor space

General Information About Yarrow

Plant Family: Asteraceae (also known as the daisy or sunflower family)
Plant Latin Name: Achillea millefolium

Plant Variations Available

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a versatile herbaceous plant species found in temperate regions worldwide. It is commonly known as nosebleed plant, old man’s pepper, devil’s nettle, and thousand-leaf, among other names. Yarrow is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs, and it has been traditionally used for a variety of purposes, including wound healing, fever reduction, and digestive aid.


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There are over 100 variations of yarrow, and some of the noticeable ones are:

1. Achillea millefolium var. millefolium – commonly found and used in medicines and ointments.

2. Achillea millefolium v. occidentalis – it grows more vigorously than the var. millefolium but has fewer medicinal properties.

3. Achillea millefolium v. californica – commonly found in coastal habitats in California, and it is highly drought-tolerant.


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4. Achillea millefolium v. lanulosa – also known as woolly yarrow, it grows in sandy and rocky habitats.

5. Achillea millefolium v. rubra – also known as red yarrow, it has small reddish flowers and is commonly used in landscaping.

The variations of yarrow differ from each other in their morphology, medicinal properties, and habitats. Yarrow’s medicinal benefits include being an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, febrifuge, digestive tonic, and astringent. It also has astringent and antibacterial properties that make it useful in wound healing.

In summary, yarrow is a diverse plant species with various variations that have different medicinal properties depending on their morphology and growth habitats. Adding yarrow to one’s diet can offer several health benefits, and it is also a beautiful plant to add to one’s backyard or garden.

Germinating Yarrow

Preferred Zones

If you’re looking to grow yarrow, you’re in luck! This versatile herb can thrive in a range of zones, making it a popular choice for gardeners across North America.

In general, yarrow does best in zones 3-9, with some varieties able to tolerate zone 2 winters. This means that it can handle a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions, so long as it gets enough water and sunlight.

If you’re in a colder climate, it’s best to plant yarrow in the spring, as it needs time to establish before winter sets in. In warmer zones, yarrow can be planted just about any time of year, so long as you are mindful of watering needs during the hotter months.

When selecting a spot for your yarrow, aim for full or partial sun exposure, as this will help it grow strong and healthy. Yarrow can tolerate a range of soil types, but does best in well-draining soil that is slightly alkaline.

With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to growing beautiful, fragrant yarrow in your outdoor garden. Happy planting!

Sowing Instructions

Yarrow is a lovely herb that can bring a fresh and unique flavor to your garden. Sowing yarrow is relatively straightforward, and can be done both indoors and outdoors. Here’s how to sow yarrow:

1. Choose the Right Container or Soil: To sow yarrow, you’ll need a pot, tray, or garden bed with nutrient-rich soil. Yarrow grows best in well-drained soil, with a pH balance between 6.0 and 7.0. Make sure to mix in some compost or other organic matter to give the soil the nutrients it needs.

2. Sow the Seeds: Sowing yarrow is easy. You can either sow the seeds directly into the soil or start them indoors in a container. For direct sowing, sprinkle the seeds over the soil surface, and then lightly press them into the soil. For indoor sowing, put 2-3 seeds into each pot, and cover them with a thin layer of soil. Keep the soil moist, and the seeds should germinate in about 10-14 days.

3. Keep the Soil Moist: When growing yarrow, it’s important to keep the soil moist. This herb loves moist soil, and it will germinate quickly if kept moist. However, don’t overwater it, as too much water can cause root rot. Water yarrow plants whenever the soil surface dries out.

4. Provide Adequate Sunlight: Yarrow prefers full sun and will grow best in a sunny spot in your garden. If growing indoors, make sure to provide plenty of light. A window that faces south or west is ideal.


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5. Maintain the Plants: Once your yarrow plants have sprouted, it’s important to maintain them. Keep the soil moist, and make sure to weed around the plants regularly to keep them healthy. If you want to grow more yarrow, you can also take cuttings from mature plants and root them in water or soil.

Overall, sowing yarrow is easy and straightforward. With the right soil, sunlight, and maintenance, your yarrow plants should grow beautifully and provide a lovely addition to your herb garden.

Preparation Advice

Welcome to the world of yarrow cultivation! Yarrow is a beautiful, aromatic plant known for its medicinal properties and attractive appearance. To prepare for growing yarrow successfully, there are a few essential methods and pieces of equipment that you’ll need. Let’s have a closer look:

1. Soil Preparation:

Yarrow grows best in well-draining soil with a PH level between 6 and 7.5. A great way to prepare the soil is to add sand, organic matter, and compost to create a balanced soil composition.

2. Lighting:

Yarrow requires a lot of sunlight, so it’s best to choose a location with at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. The more sun exposure yarrow receives, the better it will thrive.


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3. Watering:

Yarrow is a drought-resistant plant, and it’s essential not to overwater the plant. Ensure to water it sparingly to avoid root rot.

4. Fertilization:

Yarrow is not a heavy feeder in terms of fertilization. If you choose to use fertilizers, it’s best to use a neutral PH fertilizer such as bone meal and sprinkle it around the plant’s base.


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5. Pruning:

Pruning helps to maintain yarrow’s shape, allowing it to thrive while preventing the plant from becoming too crowded. It’s best to prune yarrow to encourage healthy growth and prolong blooming.

6. Tools:

The essential equipment you’ll need for growing yarrow includes a trowel, garden pruners, and gloves. You will also need a rake for soil preparation.

In conclusion, yarrow is an easy plant to grow with some effort, proper preparation, and the right tools. With these tips, you’ll be sure to grow beautiful and healthy yarrow that will enrich and beautify your garden.

Germination Tools and Equipment

If you’re looking to grow Yarrow, you’re in luck! This beautiful plant is versatile and relatively easy to germinate from seed. However, there are a few essential tools and pieces of equipment you’ll need to ensure the best possible outcome.

First and foremost, you’ll need high-quality Yarrow seeds. Choose seeds that are fresh, viable, and specifically labeled for Yarrow if possible. You can find these seeds online or at your local gardening store.

Next, you’ll need a good seed starting mix. This is a specially formulated blend of soil, peat moss, and other materials designed to promote healthy seed growth. Avoid using regular potting soil, which can be too heavy and compact for seedlings.


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You’ll also need containers for your Yarrow seeds. You can use small plastic pots, seed starting trays, or even homemade containers made from recycled materials. Whichever option you choose, make sure it has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.

Because Yarrow seeds require light for germination, you’ll need to keep them near a bright, sunny window or under a grow light. If using a grow light, select one with a Kelvin rating of 6500 to simulate natural sunlight.

Finally, you’ll need to keep the soil moist and at a consistent temperature for successful germination. A spray bottle can help you water the seeds gently without disturbing them too much. You can also cover the containers with plastic wrap or a seed starting dome to create a mini greenhouse and keep the temperature and moisture levels stable.

With these tools and equipment in hand, you’ll be well on your way to germinating healthy Yarrow seedlings. Happy gardening!

Growing Yarrow

Light Requirements

Yarrow plants require full sun to partial shade for optimal growth. This means the plant should receive at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, but no more than eight hours of direct sunlight. In areas with intense summer heat, partial shade during the hottest part of the day is recommended to prevent the plant from drying out.

When growing Yarrow indoors, it’s important to mimic its natural growing conditions as closely as possible. Therefore, you’ll want to place your Yarrow plant near a bright, sunny window where it can receive ample natural light. If your home lacks natural light or you don’t have a suitable window, you can also use artificial grow lights to supplement your plant’s light requirements.

When using grow lights, set them up at least two feet above the plant and keep them on for twelve to fourteen hours each day. This will mimic the long daylight hours of the summer seasons and promote healthy growth.


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Overall, proper lighting is essential to the health and growth of Yarrow plants. Whether you are growing them outdoors or indoors, provide them with full sun to partial shade and consider supplementing their light requirements with artificial grow lights if necessary. With the right lighting, your Yarrow plant will thrive and produce beautiful, aromatic flowers!

Temperature Requirements

Yarrow plants are known for their versatility, hardiness, and beauty. They can thrive in a wide range of temperatures, and it’s important to understand their specific temperature requirements for optimal growth.

The ideal temperature range for growing healthy yarrow is between 60°F and 75°F (15°C to 24°C). This means that they are considered cool-climate plants, and they grow best in areas with mild summers and cold winters. However, they are also known to be adaptable to different temperature conditions, so they can grow well in areas with warmer or cooler climates as well.

During the growing season, which typically lasts from late spring to early fall, yarrow plants need a consistent temperature range between 60°F and 75°F. They prefer bright, direct sunlight during the day, and cooler temperatures at night. This temperature consistency helps the plants to grow healthy stems, foliage, and flowers.

It’s important to note that yarrow plants can tolerate short periods of high temperatures, but prolonged heat waves can cause damage to the plants. If you live in an area with hot summers, it’s best to plant yarrow in a spot with afternoon shade and provide them with regular watering to keep the soil moist.


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In colder climates, yarrow plants can survive winter temperatures as low as -30°F (-34°C), making them excellent candidates for winter gardening. To prepare yarrow plants for winter, cut back the foliage to about 3 inches (8cm) above the ground in late fall, and cover the base of the plant with a layer of mulch to protect against frost damage.

In summary, yarrow plants need a consistent temperature range between 60°F and 75°F for optimal growth during the growing season. They prefer bright, direct sunlight during the day, and cooler temperatures at night. Adaptable to various temperature conditions, yarrow plants can survive winter temperatures as low as -30°F making them suitable for winter gardening.

My Favorite Tools For Growing Yarrow

Caring for yarrow can be a rewarding experience, and having the right tools and equipment can make all the difference in ensuring its healthy growth. Here are some of the best tools and equipment you’ll want to have on hand:

1. Pruning shears – Yarrow benefits from regular pruning, which encourages healthy growth and helps prevent disease. Pruning shears are an essential tool for keeping your yarrow in shape and removing any dead or damaged branches.

2. Watering can or hose – Yarrow needs consistent moisture, especially during hot and dry weather. A watering can or hose makes it easy to get the right amount of water to your plant and ensure it stays hydrated.

3. Organic fertilizer – Yarrow is resistant to most pests and diseases, but it still benefits from regular feeding. Organic fertilizers are a great option for staying environmentally friendly and promoting healthy growth in your yarrow.

4. Soil test kit – Yarrow prefers well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. A soil test kit can help you determine the specific needs of your yarrow and make adjustments to ensure optimal growth.

5. Mulch – Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil and suppresses weeds, which can compete with your yarrow for water and nutrients. Organic mulches, such as shredded leaves or bark, are an excellent choice for providing these benefits while also adding nutrients to the soil as they decompose.

By using these tools and equipment, you’ll be well on your way to growing healthy, vibrant yarrow. With proper care and attention, your plant will flourish and provide beauty and joy for years to come.

Preferred Soil Type

Yarrow is a beautiful plant with fern-like leaves and clusters of small, colorful flowers. If you’re planning to grow yarrow, it’s important to understand the kind of soil it needs to thrive.

Yarrow prefers well-draining soil, so it’s crucial to ensure that your soil isn’t compacted, heavy, or waterlogged. If your soil is heavy, you can amend it by adding perlite or sand to improve drainage. Yarrow also prefers slightly alkaline soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5.


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Yarrow is tolerant of poor soil, but it still needs proper nutrients for healthy growth. You can add compost or well-decomposed manure to your soil to provide it with the necessary nutrients. Be careful not to over-fertilize yarrow, as it can lead to weak and lanky growth.

Yarrow is a hardy plant that can tolerate drought, but it still needs some moisture to stay healthy. Water your yarrow deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between watering. Avoid overhead watering, as it can lead to fungal diseases.

In summary, yarrow thrives in well-draining soil with a slightly alkaline pH. It needs proper nutrients, but be careful not to over-fertilize. Water yarrow deeply but infrequently, and avoid overhead watering. By following these soil requirements, you can grow healthy and beautiful yarrow in your garden.

Watering Requirements

If you’ve decided to cultivate yarrow, congratulations! It’s a hardy and drought-resistant herb that is relatively easy to grow. These plants can tolerate and even thrive in poor soil conditions, so don’t worry too much if your soil is less than perfect.

When it comes to watering, yarrow is a low-maintenance herb. In fact, over-watering can actually harm your plant. Your best bet is to give your yarrow a deep watering once a week, or whenever the top inch of soil has dried out. This will help the roots reach deep into the soil, which will help them become more resilient in times of drought.

When watering, be sure to direct the water towards the base of your yarrow plant, taking care not to get the foliage wet. This will help prevent the development of fungus and other moisture-related issues.

One thing to keep in mind is that yarrow is sensitive to competition from other plants, especially in its early stages. If you plan to plant your yarrow with other herbs, make sure to space them far enough apart to avoid overcrowding.

In summary, to keep your yarrow thriving, be sure to water deeply and infrequently. Keep the foliage dry, and avoid overcrowding. These simple steps will help you grow robust and healthy yarrow!

What You Need To Know About Fertilizing Yarrow

Yarrow is a stunning flowering plant that can add a touch of elegance to any garden or landscape. However, to grow healthy yarrow plants, it’s important to understand their fertilizing requirements.

First and foremost, it’s essential to remember that yarrow is a hardy plant that can thrive in various soil types. However, adding some fertilizer can help your yarrow plants reach their full potential.

When it comes to fertilizing yarrow, it’s best to apply a balanced fertilizer that contains equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You can use a granular or liquid fertilizer, depending on your preferences.

It’s crucial to fertilize yarrow in the early spring when the plants begin to emerge from dormancy. A second application of fertilizer can be applied in mid-summer to encourage healthy growth and robust blooms.

When applying fertilizer, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as applying too much fertilizer can harm your plants.

Aside from regular fertilization, you can also incorporate organic matter, such as compost or manure, into the soil before planting. Organic matter can help improve soil fertility, promote healthy root growth, and reduce the need for frequent fertilization.

In conclusion, fertilizing yarrow plants is simple and essential for achieving the best results. By following the tips above, you can enjoy healthy yarrow plants that bloom beautifully year after year.

My Favorite Fertilizers For Yarrow

Yarrow is a hardy perennial herb that is easy to grow and brilliantly versatile in the garden. It prefers well-drained soil, plenty of sunshine, and a moderate amount of moisture. To keep your yarrow plants healthy and thriving, it’s important to use the right fertilizers.

One of the best fertilizers for yarrow is a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer that contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This type of fertilizer will provide the right blend of nutrients to support healthy growth, strong root development, and abundant flowering.

In addition to a balanced fertilizer, yarrow plants can benefit from regular applications of compost or organic matter. This will help to enrich the soil and provide a steady supply of nutrients throughout the growing season. Organic fertilizers like bat guano, fish emulsion, and seaweed extract are also excellent options for yarrow, as they are sustainable and environmentally friendly.

When applying fertilizers to yarrow, it’s important to use caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Over-fertilization can lead to excessive growth, weak stems, and poor flowering, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and start with a light application. Gradually increase the amount of fertilizer until you find the right balance that works best for your yarrow plants.


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Finally, it’s worth noting that yarrow is a tough and resilient plant that doesn’t require a lot of fuss or attention. As long as you provide it with good soil, adequate water, and the right amount of fertilizer, it will reward you with beautiful, long-lasting blooms season after season.

Harvesting Yarrow

Time To Maturity

Yarrow is a hardy, perennial plant that is known for its medicinal properties and attractive flowers. In terms of its growth cycle, yarrow typically takes around 1-2 years to reach maturity after sprouting, depending on the growing conditions and variety.

During the first year, yarrow will usually focus on establishing its root system and developing foliage. It will produce a rosette of leaves near the soil surface, which will grow and spread over time. Yarrow is fairly adaptable and can grow in a variety of conditions, including poor soil and drought, though it does prefer full sun and well-draining soil.

In its second year, yarrow will typically begin to produce flower stalks, which can range from 1-3 feet in height depending on the variety. The flowers themselves are typically flat, clustered blooms in shades of pink, yellow, white, or red, and can attract a range of beneficial insects.

Once yarrow has reached maturity, it will continue to produce flowers yearly, so long as it is properly cared for. This can include deadheading spent blooms, fertilizing occasionally, and dividing the plant every few years to prevent overcrowding.

In summary, yarrow is a slow-growing but hardy plant that typically takes 1-2 years to reach maturity after sprouting. It is a versatile plant that can grow in a range of conditions and will continue to produce flowers for years to come with proper care.

Harvest Instructions

Harvesting Yarrow: A Guide for Home Gardeners

Yarrow is a versatile herb that gardeners harvest for use in a variety of medicinal and culinary applications. Its feathery leaves and clusters of tiny white or yellow flowers make it an attractive addition to gardens and natural landscapes. If you’re interested in adding yarrow to your garden, here’s what you need to know about harvesting this lovely herb.

When to Harvest Yarrow

Late spring to early summer is the best time to harvest yarrow. The plant should be harvested just as the flowers are starting to open, but before they’re fully mature. This is when the yarrow’s essential oils and active compounds are most concentrated. Also, remember to look for a sunny day to harvest yarrow, which will ensure the plants are dry and in full bloom.

How to Harvest Yarrow

To harvest yarrow, you’ll need a basket or container, scissors, and gloves. When harvesting, be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands and avoid injury from the potentially sharp edges of the leaves.

Step 1: Cut the Flower Stalks

Using your scissors, cut the flower stalks just below the flowers. Be sure to trim the entire stem and make sure to remove any leaves that have started to yellow. This will ensure that only the most potent and healthy parts of the plant are harvested.

Step 2: Gather the Leaves

Leaves can also be harvested in the same manner. Simply snip the leaves off the stem, working your way down from the top of the plant. Be sure to avoid harvesting more than a third of the plant’s leaves, as doing so may cause damage to the plant.

Step 3: Store and Dry

Once the yarrow has been harvested, it is ready to be dried. Transfer the stems, flowers and leaves into a basket, shaking them lightly to remove any excess dirt and debris. Keep the basket in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight, and let the yarrow dry for a few days. Once dried, store in airtight jars, and place in a cool, dry area.


Yarrow is a versatile herb that provides a range of benefits to gardeners. Harvesting yarrow is a simple process that can be easily accomplished at home. Remember to keep these tips in mind while harvesting to ensure that your yarrow is of the highest quality and potency. Happy harvesting!

My Favorite Tools For Harvest Time

When it comes to harvesting yarrow, having the right tools and equipment can make all the difference. Here are some of the best options for getting the job done:

1. Pruning shears: These are ideal for cutting the stems of yarrow close to the base without damaging the surrounding foliage.

2. Garden gloves: Protecting your hands is important, especially when working with a plant that can sometimes cause skin irritation.

3. Harvest basket or tote: A sturdy basket or tote will make it easy to collect and transport the yarrow once it’s been harvested.

4. A sharp knife: A sharp knife can be used to cut larger stems or to divide clumps of yarrow for propagation.

5. Flower drying rack: If you plan on drying your yarrow, a flower drying rack will allow you to do so easily and efficiently.

Remember to harvest yarrow when it is at its peak bloom, typically in the summer months. Choose healthy plants with vibrant flowers, and be sure to leave some behind to allow the plant to continue growing and producing. Happy harvesting!

End of Season & Overwintering

Congratulations on growing Yarrow! This beautiful and hardy plant is a popular choice for many gardeners, and with proper care, it can provide enjoyment for years to come.

As the end of the growing season approaches, it is important to take steps to ensure the health and survival of your Yarrow during the winter months. Here are some tips to help with the end of season care or overwintering of your Yarrow:

1. Prune: Yarrow benefits from pruning, particularly at the end of the growing season. Cut back dead or damaged stems, and remove any spent flowers. This will help to improve the overall health of the plant and make it easier to manage in the spring.

2. Mulch: Applying a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant can help to protect the roots from extreme temperatures and keep the soil moist. A layer of 2-3 inches of mulch will suffice.

3. Water and Fertilize: Yarrow has modest water requirements and will do best if it is watered deeply once a week if it does not rain, to keep the soil moist. As the growing season winds down, reduce the amount of fertilizer you feed the plant until you stop altogether.

4. Check for Pests and Diseases: Keep an eye out for pests and diseases that could harm your Yarrow during the winter months. Remove any diseased foliage and treat pests accordingly.

5. Monitor Weather Conditions: While Yarrow is a hardy plant, it can still be susceptible to winter damage from extreme weather conditions like heavy snow, ice, or harsh winds. Monitor the conditions in your area and provide additional support such as staking or protective covering for plants that are exposed.

By following these simple tips, you can help ensure the health and longevity of your Yarrow through the winter months, and enjoy its beauty and benefits for years to come.

Final Thoughts on Yarrow

Congratulations! By now, you should feel like a pro at germinating, growing, and harvesting yarrow. You may have started your journey with just a few small seeds or cuttings, but with patience, care, and a little bit of luck, you’ve brought these simple plants to maturity.

As you look upon your bountiful harvest, take a moment to appreciate the beauty and versatility of yarrow. With its delicate white or pink flowers and its long history of medicinal and culinary uses, yarrow truly is a wonder herb.

So what’s next? Whether you plan to continue growing yarrow in your backyard or move on to other plants and projects, we hope that this guide has given you the knowledge and confidence to keep exploring the world of gardening.

Remember, each plant has its unique needs, and each gardener has their own style. So don’t be afraid to experiment, try new things, and make mistakes. With a little bit of care and attention, even the most delicate of seeds can grow into a thriving garden. Happy growing!

Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Yarrow

1. How do I plant yarrow?
Answer: Yarrow can be planted by seed or division. If planting by seed, sprinkle the seeds in a well-draining soil in late Spring or early Summer. For division, wait until the end of Summer or Fall to divide the root ball and transplant to a new location.

2. What conditions does yarrow need to grow?
Answer: Yarrow prefers full sun and well-draining soil. It is drought-tolerant and does not need much water once established. It can also grow in a variety of soil types including sandy, loamy, or rocky soils.

3. How do I maintain my yarrow plants?
Answer: Yarrow does not require much maintenance once established. Water sparingly, and only if there is a prolonged drought. Yarrow can be cut back after blooming to encourage a second bloom in the Fall. It is also recommended to divide the plants every few years to prevent overcrowding.

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