Yarrow is an interesting evergreen ground cover that can be used to spruce up a border or fill in a bald spot in your garden with its green, dainty fern-like leaves and its pretty clusters of white flowers. Yarrow spreads through underground runners and self seeds eagerly all while impeding the growth of weeds making it a valuable horticultural selection for your garden. Medicinally, it has the ability to slow down bleeding, kill a cold or sweat out a fever, aid in digestion and makes a great poultice. If one makes true compost tea (by forced aeration), throw in a handful of leaves and watch the bubbles explode! Great for regular compost too!
Yarrow is a wonderful plant to grow as a natural border in between the grass and the larger bushes. The grass won’t pass and the yarrow spreads away from the shade, leaving the bush to its own devices. Bees love it.
Common name: Yarrow
Botanical name: Achillea millefolium
Type: Evergreen spreading perennial groundcover
Hardiness: -30 F
Final spacing: 18 inch centers.
Final height/spread: Foliage will stay under a foot if allowed (not mowing over, but one can) and will flower to 2 feet. Plant spreads far and wide.
pH range: 4.5-8.0
Soil type: Any soil will do as long as it is not swamp.
Nutrition Does not need much.
Drainage: Good drainage is best.
Water requirement: Very low.
Sun: Full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun)
Root type: Roots are fine and remain in the first foot of soil, as well as the running stolons that spread with ease
Time to maturity: Will flower in first year.
Hilling: None needed, but some fine mulch is fine.
Suckering: Spreads vigorously through underground stolons.
Propagation: Sow seed in large flats and individuate into minimum of 3 inch pots and transplant up, then transplant to landscape the first fall or grow on in 5 gallon pots.
Hybridization: Plant different varieties a minimum of 100 feet apart to save true seed.
Uses: Leaves and especially flowers make top notch medicine in the form of tea, tincture, poultice, sitz herb, or oil. One can use the flowers for medicine, being the strongest part, and the greens for an amazing compost additive.