Yarrow: From Small to Tall
Moonshine Yarrow (Achillea) is easy to grow and water-thrifty.
By David Salman, Founder and Chief Horticulturalist of High Country Gardens
From my experience gardening for decades in the challenging conditions of the Intermountain West, I have developed a great appreciation for the genus Achillea (Ä ki lee ä). Here's are a few of their best attributes:
- Will grow in most any soil type including clay
- Deer and rabbit resistant
- Xeric (drought resistant or waterwise)
- Long lived growing for a decade or longer when happy
- Outstanding cold hardiness
- Come in a variety of sizes from groundcovers to large specimens
- Add an invaluable architectural element to the landscape with their flat topped flowers
- Attract butterflies to their nectar-rich flowers
Yarrow (Achillea) makes a gorgeous companion plant to English Lavender
But it is important to know the genus and select the best species and cultivars for your garden. There are great ones and there are weedy garden thugs. I only propagate Yarrow varieties (cultivars) that are sterile and must be grown from cuttings or divisions of the crown. Seed grown cultivars like Achillea filipendulina 'Parker's Gold' (or 'Parker's Variety') and many of the Achillea millifolium types (but not all) will take over their space by vigorously reseeding themselves and crowding out their neighbors.
Tickseed (Coreopsis) make a wonderful companion to Vintage Violet Yarrow (Achillea)
Here are four of the very best non-seed grown Yarrows that work for most parts of the country:
- Moonshine Yarrow (Achillea 'Moonshine') — A nice medium height variety (18" in bloom) with outstanding gray foliage and bright, light yellow flowers. A consistent re-bloomer, deadheading will keep this beauty in flower all summer long. A winning combination when planted with Jupiter's Beard (Centranthus) and taller Beardtongues (Penstemon).
- Coronation Gold Yarrow (Achillea filipendulina 'Coronation Gold') — A taller cultivar (30-36" tall in bloom) with gray-green foliage. It is a very upright grower that doesn't flop (as long as it's not grown too wet), 'Coronation Gold' is tough and vigorous enough to pair up Russian Sage (Perovskia) for a long blooming combo.
- Red Velvet Yarrow (Achillea millifolium 'Red Velvet') — An improvement on the old standard 'Paprika', 'Red Velvet' holds its deep red color much longer before fading to a pleasing pink. This gives the plant a nice bi-colored look in the garden. It is long-blooming when deadheaded and the foliage has a soft ferny texture. I recommend pairing it with the Old World Sages (Salvia nemerosa cultivars)
- Greek Yarrow (Achillea ageratifolia) — A low growing groundcover species with beautiful silver-gray foliage and compact white flowers, Greek Yarrow is very different from the cultivars described above. The foliage is evergreen (ever gray) making it valuable for year-round interest in the waterwise garden. The cheerful white flowers make it an outstanding companion plant for blue flowered Lavender.
Greek Yarrow (Achillea ageratifolia) is covered with bright clusters of small white flowers in the late spring.
Achillea ptarmica ‚Peter Cottontail‚ PP#31,756 (Yarrow) features floating blossoms of pure white flowers over low, mounding foliage from early summer to fall. Deer and r...Learn MorePeter Cottontail Yarrow Peter Cottontail Yarrow Achillea ptarmica 'Peter Cottontail' PP#31756$12.99Per Plant - 5" Deep PotAchillea ptarmica 'Peter Cottontail' PP#31,756 (Yarrow) features floating blossoms of pure white flowers over low, mounding foliage from early summer to fall. Deer and rabbit resistant, waterwise, and long-blooming, Yarrow is a top choice for low-maintenance gardens and challenging dry, sunny conditions. Flowers like bunny tails attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, and effortlessly light up the garden. Fragrant too, it makes great cut or dried flowers.
Red Velvet is one of the best with it deep rose-red, flat-topped flower heads that hold their color. Deep green, fine textured foliage, this yarrow is sure to attract butterflies whe...Learn MoreRed Velvet Yarrow Red Velvet Yarrow Achillea millefolium 'Red Velvet'As low as $12.99 Sale $10.39Per Plant - 5" Deep PotRed Velvet is one of the best with it deep rose-red, flat-topped flower heads that hold their color. Deep green, fine textured foliage, this yarrow is sure to attract butterflies wherever it's planted. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
Achillea x ‚Moonshine‚ (Yarrow) is an outstanding perennial plant with silver-gray foliage and lemon-yellow flat-topped flowers that cover the plant all summer. This is a...Learn MoreMoonshine Yarrow Moonshine Yarrow Achillea MoonshineAs low as $11.99 Sale $10.19Per Plant - 5" Deep PotAchillea x 'Moonshine' (Yarrow) is an outstanding perennial plant with silver-gray foliage and lemon-yellow flat-topped flowers that cover the plant all summer. This is a well-behaved variety, meaning it won't reseed and spread.
Greek Yarrow is a low growing perennial with attractive evergreen, silver foliage and a late spring display of bright white flowers on short stems. An excellent small scale groundcov...Learn MoreGreek Yarrow Greek Yarrow Achillea ageratifolia$10.99 Sale $8.79Sale Price I Save 20%Per Plant - 2.5" PotGreek Yarrow is a low growing perennial with attractive evergreen, silver foliage and a late spring display of bright white flowers on short stems. An excellent small scale groundcover for planting in hot, sunny conditions. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
Text and Photos by Founder and Chief Horticulturist David Salman.
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