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Achillea - Care Guide
Growing Achillea – Yarrow
Achillea are totally hardy and totally reliable flowering herbaceous plants for any garden in the UK. They are perennials from the northern hemisphere from grassland areas but have been bred, varied in colour and improved for garden use by generations of breeding work. Achillea have aromatic leaves which are grey or green with pinnate fern-like leaves and daisy like flower heads in corymbs both in summer and on into autumn. As such they are ideal plants for any herbaceous border and grow well alongside a whole host of other summer and autumn flowering herbaceous plants. They are clump forming and fairly indestructible.
Achillea flower heads are excellent for cutting and drying in a warm shed or hot greenhouse but they should be cut when the flowers show colour but are not actually fully out.
They grow best in moist but well drained soil in an open site in sun. They will however tolerate almost any situations in any garden. Varieties of Achillea filipendula will naturalise well in a grassland or meadow context where they can perform alongside native wild forms of achillea which grow or have hybridised in parts of the UK.
After flowering is complete, and autumn turns to winter, achillea should be cut back to ground level preferably before the plants go completely dormant and the old flower spikes turn brown. Avoiding wasting energy on setting seeds is just as important in these plants as the more obvious ones like lupins or delphiniums. Cutting them back in good time will encourage the clumps to develop and spread underground to perform better next year.
Achillea can be readily divided when dormant. As a clump gets old and tired with fewer flowers, dig it up and jettison all but the side shoot clumps which can be planted back. Should you divide and replant your achillea each year? We think probably not, but you should not leave it for too many years before you get to work for the best ongoing results.