Achillea (Yarrow)

Scientific name: Achillea

Exposure: Full sun but can tolerant some partial sun, though the lesser amount of sun, the more leggy it becomes

Soil Type: Well-draining (loamy soil, is best but it will still grow in clay soil) NOTE: they do NOT like wet soil

Soil pH: Varies, they aren’t particularly picky

Water: Rarely, but if you receive less than 1in of water a week during the summer, do water more frequently

Height: 2-4ft (60-122cm)

Width: 2-3ft (60-90cm)

Spacing: 1-2ft (30-60cm)

Uses: Borders, ground cover, and open meadows

Hardiness Zones: 3-9

Bloom Time: Summer

Flower Color(s): Pink, Red, White, Yellow and a tonal range in-between

Special Features: Drought- and Heat-tolerant, attracts butterflies and other pollinators, pest-resistant, medicinal uses

Pea-sized flowers.

Yarrow is a pest-resistant, drought tolerant, heat tolerant, and disease-resistant medicinal and aromatic herb that has been used by the Native Americans for thousands of years. They bloom is various shades of pinks, reds, whites, and yellows ranging in height and width. But do keep in mind that in the right conditions, yarrow can become very invasive if not dealt with. It is recommended to divide every 3-5 years depending on the size of the plant. If you are looking to fill up a space then yarrow (amongst other plants) is a great way to do that, especially if you want that natural meadow/prairie look.

Since yarrow is such a low maintenance plant that doesn’t mean to completely ignore it. Each spring make sure to place a layer of compost around the base of the plant to give it some food. They don’t need fertilizer throughout the season but applying that single layer in the spring will suffice until next spring. A few other problems can occur:

  • Aphids
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Rust
  • and Stem Rot

There are ways to both prevent (as best as possible) and stop these issues. When the presence of aphids, powdery mildew, and rust happens, it can be alarming. All three of those issues can be fixed with a variety of different ways, whether you go the greenhouse product route or a natural homemade spray. With a greenhouse product, stay alert on the various kinds available because some may be safer than others so read the labeling carefully when browsing/buying. Below is a spray for organic gardening. Neem oil. Neem oil is great for when you have a current infestation or fungal/bacteria problem.

Neem oil insecticide works as a systemic in many plants when applied as a soil drench. This means it is absorbed by the plant and distributed throughout the tissue. Once the product is in the plant’s vascular system, insects intake it during feeding. The compound causes insects to reduce or cease feeding, can prevent larvae from maturing, reduces or interrupts mating behavior and, in some cases, the oil coats the breathing holes of insects and kills them.†

– Heather Rhoades, Gardening Know How
Bonide – Neem oil, 3-n-1 spray, Fungicide, Miticide, Insecticide.

When using sprays, of any kind, make sure to apply in the early morning or late in the evening when the sun is low enough to not shine on the leaves. Allowing the sun to shine on leaves with sprays can cause damage as the sun cooks the spray into the leaves, killing off healthy production. This even applies to natural, DIY sprays.

Above, it was mentioned that Yarrow was and is being used for medicinal purposes. There are many ways that yarrow can be used: tea, chewing of fresh leaves, infused in oils, preserved in tinctures, and so much more. The medical benefits is a large list but here are a few: fever, loss of appetite, common cold, and GI discomfort. It has a bitter flavor which may make some resist drinking it, but the positive benefits may outweigh the flavor. If you are curious on how to make tea and home remedies, check out Azure’s Standard of Healthy & Abundant Living.

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