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How to Grow Achillea Plants

Growing Achillea FlowersFollowing are some tips for how to grow Achillea plants.

Common Names: Milfoil, Yarrow, Thousand-Seal, Nosebleed Plant

Description: This hardy perennial is easily identified by its spicy chrysanthemum-like smell, feathery grey-green leaves, and mustard-yellow flower heads. But it also comes in a dark, orange-red color. It stands 18 to 36 in. tall and spreads out anywhere from 9 to 12 in. around. It grows best in a well-drained, acid or neutral mix of loam and sand. Yarrow can take partial shade or full sun. It is a fast-growing plant. In Europe, the leaves and flowers (collected from June through August) are used as medicine. A bitter herb, the Achillea plant stimulates the appetite and helps with digestion. It’s also used in treating liver and gall bladder problems. It is thought to have a wound-healing effect. This multi-purpose plant is used in skin treatments; yarrow is supposed to be good for oily skin. Some folks chop the young leaves into a spring salad with equal parts plantain and watercress or else mix the herb into butter as a healthy breakfast spread.

USDA Zones of Hardiness: From Zone 3 to 10

Propagation: From seed: Plant indoors in March or early April, using a mix of leaf mold, sand, and garden soil. Set outdoors in early May. Plants generally flower the first season. To grow from root division, chop root clump with a spade into smaller clumps.

Origin of name: Comes from the Greek hero Achilles, a soldier in the Trojan War.

Maintenance: Achillea is a dependable, low-maintenance perennial plant. It attracts butterflies and birds. The flowers are nice dried. The herb makes a good filler plant or can be used to edge the lawn or garden bed. Deadhead the plants to keep them blooming. Cut back after the second bloom to refresh these perennial plants; it also reduces the need for staking. Divide the plants every 2 to 3 years.

Companion Plants: The flat flowers and the feathery leaves look nice planted next to spiky plants like liatris, penstemon, or veronica.

Fertilizer Needs: Unless your soil is very poor, Achillea plants do not need fertilizer.

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