Yarrow is a lovely flower to grow in your flower beds. Its small flowers are great for attracting beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, ladybugs, and lacewings to your garden to help pollinate and protect your garden from unwanted pests. Read on to learn how to grow and harvest this lovely, medicinal plant known as yarrow.
How to Grow Yarrow
Yarrow is an easy-to-care-for flowering herb that can often be forgotten and will thrive in any sunny place you place it. Adding yarrow to a wildflower bed near your garden is a great way to take advantage of this plant. It is easy to propagate and care for, and then can be used for medicinal uses, with care, if you wish.
How to Propagate Yarrow
Yarow is best started indoors from seed 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost date. This gives your plants plenty of time to get a head start on the season. Yarrow seeds take 14 to 21 days to germinate, so they will need you to be patient with them in the beginning.
Yarrow is most commonly propagated through division of well-established plants. This helps to ensure your plants have room to continue to grow while providing new plants. Another great way to propagate yarrow is through cuttings.
To propagate yarrow from cuttings during the spring or early summer, choose a healthy stem with 3 to 4 buds. Use clean garden shears to take a cutting about 6 inches long. Dip the end of your cutting in rooting hormone before placing it in a well-draining potting mix with plenty of peat moss. Water daily with a spray bottle to help keep the soil moist but not sopping wet. Cover with plastic and place in a sunny area to encourage rooting. After a couple of weeks, your plant should have a strong root system of at least 1 inch and is then ready to plant in the garden.
How to Care for Yarrow
Yarrow does not need the most fertile soil to grow. In fact, the important part is that your yarrow is grown in well-draining soil to keep the roots from becoming waterlogged and soggy. Yarrow likes warmer temperatures and needs full sun. Yarrow is drought resistant and does not need constant watering, making it a great plant for the forgetful gardener. This flowering herb only needs attention in times of extreme drought; otherwise, it can be left alone and will grow well on its own.
As a perennial, it will come back year after year. Yarrow does tend to expand and clump together, needing to be divided even in garden beds every 3 years or so. Simply dig your plants up and split them into sections before reburying. You can plant your new sections in your garden or even sell them to help make a profit off of your garden.
How to Harvest Yarrow
Yarrow is a very useful herb that can be used as tea to help you relax. Yarrow makes a great addition to homemade bath and body products like soaps, body lotions, and shampoos. If you chose to grow this beautiful flowering herb for its many uses, you can harvest it with clean, dry pruning shears and hang it to dry in a cool dark place for about 2 weeks until the flowers crunch in your hands.
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How to Use Yarrow
The above ground parts of the yarrow plant are what has been used in medicinal products such as in tinctures, teas, or even infused oils.
Please use yarrow at your own risk. I am not a medical doctor, so make sure to do your personal research before you use it.
Yarrow may be helpful for fevers, colds (when combined with equal amounts of peppermint and elderflower), hay fever, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, cramping and bloating. It has been said that chewing the fresh leaves may help relieve the pain associated with toothaches.
This anti-inflammatory herb has also been used to help with lowering blood pressure, to stop the skin from bleeding and in treatment for pneumonia and rheumatic pain.
Though this is an amazing herb that you should have in your garden, there are some contraindications that you should know.
- Yarrow should not be taken for more than 2 weeks at a time.
- It should not be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- It should not be take if you are on high blood pressure medications, have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinners and as it may affect blood clotting, it should not be taken for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery.
- If you place yarrow directly onto your skin, it may cause issues if you go into direct sunlight afterwards.
- Those who are allergic to the Asteraceae / Compositae family (which includes ragweed, marigolds, daisies, chrysanthemums and more), should be careful with this plant as they made have an allergic reaction to it.
Not only does yarrow have medicinal properties, it is also a good companion plant which attracts the desirable insects, the flowers also make a great addition to flower arrangements. A small handful of the leaves of this plant will also help with the breaking down of your compost when added.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website.