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
 

English Lavender and Yarrow
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)
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)
Greek Yarrow (Achillea ageratifolia) is covered with bright clusters of small white flowers in the late spring.

Shop Achillea

  1. Greek Yarrow

    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 More
    Greek Yarrow Greek Yarrow Achillea ageratifolia
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $7.99 Sale $7.59
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    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 groundcover for planting in hot, sunny conditions. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
    Learn More
  2. Achillea Paprika

    'Paprika' yarrow is an excellent hybrid variety that blooms with large clusters of bright red flowers surrounding a distinctive yellow eye. The flowers mature to pink creating a beau...

    Learn More
    Paprika Yarrow Paprika Yarrow Achillea Paprika
    As low as $10.99 Sale $9.34
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    'Paprika' yarrow is an excellent hybrid variety that blooms with large clusters of bright red flowers surrounding a distinctive yellow eye. The flowers mature to pink creating a beautiful multi-colored effect in the garden. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
    Learn More
  3. New Vintage™ Red Yarrow Close Up Of Red Flowers,  Achillea Millefolium 'New Vintage™ Red'

    New Vintage™ Red Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) adds bright jewel-tone reds to the garden palette from late spring through summer. This ruby red Yarrow is a compact, drought toleran...

    Learn More
    New Vintage™ Red Yarrow New Vintage™ Red Yarrow Achillea millefolium New Vintage™ Red
    Sale Price I Save 10%
    $10.99 Sale $9.89
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    New Vintage™ Red Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) adds bright jewel-tone reds to the garden palette from late spring through summer. This ruby red Yarrow is a compact, drought tolerant addition to hot summer days. Yarrow is a pollinator-friendly, easy-to-grow perennial that lights up the garden. Butterflies love yarrow, while deer and rabbits tend to avoid this plant. The lovely, flat-topped flowers make perfect additions to summer bouquets.
    Learn More
  4. Achillea filipendulina Coronation Gold Yarrow Close Up

    36" tall x 24" wide. Coronation Gold is a vigorous tall growing yarrow with large flat deep golden-yellow flower heads. This non-reseeding variety blooms all summer and thrives with...

    Learn More
    Coronation Gold Yarrow Coronation Gold Yarrow Achillea filipendulina Coronation Gold
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $9.99 Sale $9.49
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    36" tall x 24" wide. Coronation Gold is a vigorous tall growing yarrow with large flat deep golden-yellow flower heads. This non-reseeding variety blooms all summer and thrives with heat and sun in any soil including clay. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
    Learn More

 

Text and Photos by Founder and Chief Horticulturist David Salman.

© All articles are copyrighted by High Country Gardens. Republishing an entire High Country Gardens blog post or article is prohibited without written permission. Please feel free to share a short excerpt with a link back to the article on social media websites, such as Facebook and Pinterest.