How to Care for Common Yarrow (Achillea) Plants

Achillea, commonly known as Yarrow, is a versatile and hardy perennial plant that adds beauty and interest to any garden. With its feathery, fern-like foliage and clusters of small, showy flowers, Yarrow is perfect for dried arrangements, cut flowers, and fragrant garden displays. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, this low-maintenance plant is valued for its tolerance to various growing conditions and ability to attract beneficial wildlife like butterflies. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to care for and grow Achillea in your garden.

Main Caring Considerations


Yarrow is a drought-tolerant plant that requires low watering once established. It thrives in well-drained soil and can tolerate dry conditions. However, during the establishment period, water the plant regularly to promote strong root growth. Once established, reduce the frequency of watering and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Light Care

Achillea prefers full sun exposure, which helps to promote vibrant flower colors and sturdy growth. Plant your Yarrow in a location where it will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. If grown in partial shade, the plant may become leggy and produce fewer flowers.

Soil Care

Yarrow is adaptable to various soil types, including loam, sand, chalk, and well-drained soils with a pH range of acidic to alkaline. However, the plant performs best in moist but well-drained soil. To improve drainage, add organic matter such as compost or peat moss to heavy clay soils.

Growing Region

Achillea is suitable for growing in USDA hardiness zones 1 to 9. This wide-ranging adaptability makes Yarrow a popular choice for gardeners across many regions.

Growth Rate, Height, Size, and Spread

Yarrow has a moderate growth rate and typically reaches heights of 1 to 3 feet (30cm – 90cm) and a spread of 1 to 2 feet (30cm – 60cm). The plant forms dense clumps, making it an excellent groundcover or border plant in the garden.

Season and Temperature

Achillea is a hardy perennial that can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from the heat of summer to the cold of winter. It blooms from late spring to early fall, with the exact flowering period depending on the specific cultivar and growing conditions.


Pruning Yarrow helps maintain a tidy appearance and encourages repeat blooming. Cut back the old foliage in early spring before new growth begins, and deadhead spent flowers throughout the growing season to encourage continuous blooming. If the plants become too tall or floppy, trim them back by one-third to promote bushier growth.


Achillea produces clusters of small, fragrant flowers in shades of white, yellow, pink, or red. The flowers are showy and make excellent cut flowers for arrangements or dried displays.


Yarrow is relatively pest-free, but it can occasionally attract aphids or be susceptible to powdery mildew. To prevent these issues, maintain good air circulation around the plants and avoid overwatering.


Yarrow is deer and rabbit resistant, making it a popular choice for gardens in areas with these animals. The plant is also drought-tolerant and can withstand dry soil conditions. Its fragrant, nectar-rich flowers attract butterflies and other beneficial pollinators to the garden.

Garden Styles

Achillea is suitable for various garden styles, including coastal gardens, gravel and rock gardens, informal and cottage gardens, and prairie and meadow gardens. Its feathery foliage and showy flowers provide texture and color to any landscape design.

Companion Plants

Yarrow pairs well with other drought-tolerant perennials such as Lavender, Russian Sage, and Echinacea. It also complements ornamental grasses and provides a striking contrast to plants with bold foliage, like Hosta or Elephant Ears.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Yarrow invasive?
While some Achillea species can spread aggressively, proper garden maintenance and choosing non-invasive cultivars can help keep Yarrow in check.

Is Yarrow toxic to pets?
Yarrow is considered mildly toxic to pets, causing gastrointestinal upset if ingested. However, incidents are rare, and most pets will not be attracted to the plant.


Achillea, or Yarrow, is a beautiful, hardy, and low-maintenance addition to any garden. With its feathery foliage, showy flowers, and ability to attract beneficial wildlife, it’s no wonder that Yarrow is a favorite among gardeners. By following the care tips outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to growing a thriving Achillea plant in your garden.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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