Yarrow cheat sheet
- Start your seeds 6-8 weeks prior to last frost or plant closer to summer with cuttings.
- 12-24 inches apart per plant. They LOVE the room.
- Keep them watered in a drought condition and it will live.
- Don’t let it get away from you or your neighbor will be growing some too. (it will spread it self)
- Harvest once the flowers have opened and you can really smell the herbal fragrance. It will almost be overpowering once they are ready.
Yarrow is a flowering plant that is native to temperate locations. Some other names that it goes by are gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man’s pepper, devil’s nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier’s woundwort, thousand-leaf, and thousand-seal. It has many uses such as a great companion plant, assists in combating soil erosion, as a food, and herbal medicine.
- If growing from seed start your seeds indoors 6-8 weeks prior to last frost, if you are starting them from cutting place them in the ground in later spring / early summer to ensure they survive the transplant.
- Once the seedlings have sprouted ensure adequate sunlight, water, and air flow are provided. Yarrow is a hardy plant but will benefit from a good start.
- After the danger of last frost has passed transplant your seedlings into the garden. Plant with care as Yarrow is a prolific spreader and will not be contained if you ignore it. Some species of yarrow are more invasive than others. Make sure you have the right species prior to planting.
- Space your plants around 12 – 24 inches apart to allow for room to grow and setup.
- As for care this plant is hardy give it a watering if a drought condition occurs.
- Keep it in check by regularly harvesting and trimming your yarrow.
- Every part of a yarrow plant is usable.
- Companion Plant
- Yarrow makes a great companion plant by attracting beneficial insects and repelling certain pests.
- Can assist in combating soil erosion
- As a very drought tolerant plant, it has the ability to set a deep root structure with nutrient packed leaves helping prevent any nutrient deficiencies.
- As a food
- Yarrow can be added just like any other herb to your dish.
Notes on cooking with yarrow
- It’s bitter. It’s going to stay bitter, and nothing you do will change that.
- Mixing yarrow with other soft herbs like tarragon, chervil, or parsley is a good way to enjoy it’s flavor if you find it a bit powerful for your tastes.
- Just like other soft herbs, high heat will destroy yarrow’s flavor. You don’t want to really “cook” it. For example, if you wanted to flavor sauteed meat or vegetables with yarrow, add it at the end of cooking just to heat it through for a moment, with the heat turned off like you would chives or parsley. Seasoning something with yarrow and then sauteing will destroy the flavor.
- Yarrow will be nice in desserts since it’s naturally sweet, especially those that use cream. I’ve seen sorbets made from it, as well as ice cream. Small amounts only, remember, it’s bitter.
- Putting it in stock or broth is a great way to make bitter stock or broth. Not recommended.
- As an herbal medicine
- Yarrow contains compounds that cause blood coagulation. Because of this property, the plant may assist in obstructing bleeding on a wound.