Yarrow, Achillea: “Butterfly Landing Pads”
Butterflies rejoice when they spot yarrow (Achillea), a long-blooming perennial with flattened poufs of flowers for them to land on. Gardeners love this plant because it needs little water or maintenance, and even tolerates troublesome clay. Cut back spent flowers to keep it blooming all summer:
I use yarrow in my garden designs when I need an easy, deer-resistant flowering perennial that attracts beneficials, provides a long burst of color, and adds a vertical element to a perennial bed. There are hundreds of varieties of yarrow, most which blooms in shades of yellow, white, pink, salmon.
I also really love contrasting yarrow with wispy grasses because Achillea‘s rigid, upright nature can provide that perfect ballast against the breeziness of ornamental grasses.
- Yarrows are most comfortable in meadow type gardens, but also work in cottage and seaside gardens.
- Attracts pollinators, like butterflies and bees, with their flat tops and bright colors like orange, red, yellow, pink and white.
- Their colored blooms change and fade gently, providing long lasting interest. The flowers also are good cut flowers.
Keep It Alive
- Trim faded flowers and their stems to the base.
- Plant Yarrow in full sun or the flower stalks will anxiously lean toward the light.
- Divide clumps every three to five years for best bloom production.
N.B. See more of our suggestions for pairing Perennials by browsing through our plant field guides, including ideas about how to find a place in your garden for our all-time favorites:
- Iris 101.
- Milkweed 101 (to help save monarch butterflies).
- Salvia 101.
- Rose 101.
Finally, get more ideas on how to successfully plant, grow, and care for yarrow with our Yarrow: A Field Guide.
Finally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various perennial plants with our Perennials: A Field Guide.
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