Thursday, June 22, 2023

How to Grow Yarrow

If you've ever wanted a plant that grows like a champion in a hot dry spot, I highly recommend picking up a yarrow plant. They are beautiful, low-maintenance, some varieties get decently large, and bees love them. When I was a kid, my mom had a whole row of them along the back of her large vegetable garden. I thought they were cool, but had no idea they were such a magnet for the bees, and I now understand why she planted them. I have mine growing next to the west wall of my house, and even though it bakes in the heat bouncing off the house wall, it still thrives. I babied it the first couple of years, but now I've hardly watered it and it seems to be doing just fine, in fact, it's bigger than it's ever been. 


Location: Choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-draining soil. Plant it in full sun to encourage compact growth and a lot of flowers. In partial sun or shade, it can struggle or be leggy. Yarrow can tolerate a variety of soil types but prefers a slightly alkaline pH. If you're living in Utah, like I am, most of our soil here is alkaline. 

Planting Tips: Yarrow can be started from seeds or purchased as young plants. Sow the seeds directly in the garden in early spring or fall, or transplant it, spaced 12-24+ inches apart. Depending on the variety, yarrow plants can get pretty big. It can also be helpful to prepare the soil by removing weeds and loosening it with a garden fork or tiller. Add organic matter like compost to improve soil quality and drainage capabilities.

Watering: Yarrow thrives in hot, dry conditions, and will not tolerate constantly wet soil. Water young plants regularly until they establish roots, then reduce watering frequency. Yarrow plants are drought-tolerant once established, so they generally don't require much water.  If your area receives less than an inch of rain a week in the summer, watering them will help them look their best. 

Maintenance: Yarrow is super low maintenance. Deadhead the flowers to encourage continuous blooming. Divide clumps every few years to keep the plant healthy and vigorous. 

Pest/Disease: Yarrow is generally pest and disease resistant. Although, watch out for aphids or powdery mildew, and treat accordingly. 

Harvesting/Pruning: Harvest yarrow flowers when they're fully open for use in floral arrangements. Prune the plant back to the base foliage in late fall or early spring to encourage new growth.


Yarrow has other purposes in the garden besides being a pollinator plant, and looking pretty in floral arrangements. It's an herb that has been used for medicinal purposes by many cultures. 

Wound Care: Yarrow was traditionally used to treat wounds, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used topically as a poultice or salve to promote healing and to treat skin conditions and irritations, like rashes or eczema. 

Digestive Aid: Yarrow tea is thought to help with stomach cramps, bloating, and other gastrointestinal discomforts. 

Period Health: Drinking yarrow tea or taking yarrow supplements during your period may provide relief from some of the symptoms. It is thought to help regulate flow and reduce cramping. 

Yarrow is a low maintenance, drought tolerant perennial that attracts pollinators, and looks beautiful in your garden. 

Will you be planting Yarrow this year?

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