Growing Achillea (Yarrow)

Pronunciation: ak-ill-ee'uh 

Achillea (Yarrow), valuable garden plants from the North Temperate Zone, are widely grown for the masses of flowers they bear throughout much of the summer. Their flattened flower heads introduce a fresh shape into the perennial border. Yarrows thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, and all of those offered are drought tolerant. They flower from June to September. The best new varieties bloom longer and harder than their predecessors, making a good genus even more valuable. Yarrows also make excellent cut flowers for both fresh and dried arrangements.

Encourage repeat bloom by deadheading, snipping off the spent flowers just above the buds of new flowers.

The ferny foliage of Yarrow works well with plants such as Peonies, Siberian Iris, and Baptisia. Plant in the front half of herbaceous border, spacing plants 12-18 inches apart. Divide after several years if flower heads get smaller with time.

Plants grow best in full sun, in lean, well-drained soil. Plants are normally quite free from disease and insect pests, but will tend to fall over if grown in shade, over-fertilized or kept too wet. Fertilize lightly with 10-10-10 in early spring.

Achillea is an excellent cut flower, fresh or dried, and the foliage has a clean herbal fragrance.

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