A Native North American wildflower, yarrow has a number of purposes in the garden–as a cut flower, a medicinal herb, a companion plant, and even as an edible. The herbaceous perennial is a low-maintenance option for containers, landscapes, and groundcovers, or incorporated into a pollinator-friendly wildflower meadow.
Yarrow can be grown from seed, but bare roots offer a more diverse range of colors–everything from classic white to pastel yellow, rose, and blush tones.
When to Plant Yarrow Roots
Plant bare yarrow roots in the spring, after the last spring frost. Yarrow needs the summer to grow a robust root system and produce enough vegetative growth to survive the winter.
Where to Plant Yarrow Roots
Choose a well-draining planting site for yarrow roots that receives full sun. While yarrow will tolerate partial shade, the plants may not bloom as prolifically and may become leggy.
How to Plant Yarrow Roots
Loosen the soil prior to planting, and mix organic compost into the bed to add nutrition and improve drainage. Place yarrow roots between one and two feet apart, and dig a wide hole at each interval. Place one yarrow root in each hole and backfill with soil until the root crown is just barely covered with soil. Water the yarrow roots thoroughly immediately after planting.
How to Harvest Yarrow
Wait until yarrow flowers are fully open before harvesting the blooms. Cut each stem about eight inches down, and make sure to make the cut above a leaf node to allow for regrowth. Deadhead spent yarrow blooms and the plants will be encouraged to produce a second flush of color.
Bunch yarrow blooms and hang the bouquet upside down to dry. Yarrow holds its color once dry, making it ideal for dried flower crafts.
How to Care for Yarrow
A drought-tolerant wildflower that thrives in poor soils, yarrow is sensitive to overwatering and overfertilization, which encourages aggressive growth and root rot.
Fresh compost at the beginning of the growing season is all the feeding yarrow plants require. If yarrow is getting at least an inch of rainwater a week, no additional watering is needed.
Divide yarrow roots every three to five years. Dig yarrow roots up in the spring, being very careful not to damage the roots in the process. Divide the yarrow into several root clumps, and replant the clumps elsewhere.