White Yarrow Seedlings (Achillea Millefolium)
White Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), also known as Western Yarrow, the Latin Mille means “1000” and folium means “leaf”, referring to the numerous leaf segments. An aggressive white flower well adapted in all climates. It is hearty and survives well during drought conditions and prefers prairies, sagebrush plains, open woods, roadsides, and partially disturbed areas.
While the young plants should be watered to help them establish a deep root system, too much watering of mature plants can cause stem and root rot or mildew. This species grows best in sandy or well drained soil, and tolerates drought conditions. Since yarrow tends to flop over in fertile soil or shade, staking may be needed; this also protects the plant’s fragile stems in high winds. Deadhead the wilted blossoms often for continued blooming. After the plant has finished blooming, cut the plant down to its lower leaves for healthy spring growth. When the plant becomes 3-4 years old, it will benefit from being dug up and divided in the early spring or fall. Because yarrow can become invasive through the spread of roots and its reseeding habit, care should be taken to control the spread of the plant. This can be done by putting a barrier underground surrounding the plant’s roots, or by growing the plant in large container. This plant attracts butterflies and beneficial insects as well as repelling deer and rabbits, and grows well in borders or large containers. As a companion plant with herbs, it increases their fragrance, flavor, and essential oils.
Gather leaves and flowers as soon as they mature. Harvest the whole stem as soon as it begins to bloom; bundle the stems and hang them upside down to dry away from direct sunlight. Yarrow blossoms make good cut flowers, and when dried they hold their color well. Keep in mind that if the flowers have been open for more than a day, they will go to seed as they dry. Individual blossoms or leaves can also be harvested and spread out to dry in a protected location.