Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Y Is For Yarrow

Red Yarrow. Source: Wikimedia
On Monday Mma turned 75 and I hosted a luncheon for around 40 family members and friends including kids.

Then yesterday we spent the day at the hospital for Mma's regular medical review. So I'm completely knackered.. but very satisfied with the way it all turned out.

Today I'm taking it a bit easy - back to finish the A to Z and  doing final packing of crochery and cutlery used on Monday.

I'm also enjoying the numerous vases of flowers littering the house - some were from the table settings, others were gifts for Mma. They bring  very cheerful air to the house.

I have no plans to plant yams and that was the only vegetable I know of which starts with that letter. However, I'm considering growing yarrow in my far off long-term plan to expand my herbal garden.

I've read that yarrow can be very useful herb, appropriate to treat fever, a common cold, hay fever, dysentery, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal  tract discomfort and to induce sweating.

Pink Yarrow. Source: Wikimedia
I'm not sure how it tastes, but apparently it can also be used for salads or as a tea, which in theory means I can easily introduce it to our bodies. Add the fact that it brings out very pretty flowers and  it's a perennial and it's a good prospect for my garden.

How to grow yarrow

Site selection: According to the research I've done so far, yarrow is a good companion for maize and cucumber. It likes well-drained, average to poor soil in hot dry conditions.

So it will go to far off, neglected areas of the yard where it can grow and act as pretty ground cover, and I can pick it if and when I want it. You can also grow your  yarrow in neglected borders or your rock garden or even as  part of your wildflower meadow.

It may need staking if you grow it in more fertile soil, as it grows to around 2 to 4 feet tall. It is  also a bit invasive, so choose your site with care nd if you're even a bit unsure or your garden space is limited, consider growing it in a container.

Soil preparation:  My plan is to just soften the soil, mix in a bit of compost, plant the seeds and mulch.

The planting process:  Plant the seeds 12-15 inches deep and one to two feet apart, mulch the area and water it regularly until it germinates.

Caring for the plant: Yarrow does not tolerate wet soil very well, so water it regularly in summer or  when there is drought, but don't drown it with care. Yarrow  spreads, so divide your plants every three to five years. You can then plant the separated plants in well-prepared soil or share them with your gardening friends.

Harvesting: Pick young leaves for salads. Or you can pick

Suggested uses:  You can pick the young leaves, chop them and then in your salads. As mentioned previously, I haven't grown it yet, but I understand that the leaves are bitter. Has anyone here tasted yarrow? Was it OK as a salad or should we rather stick to the medicinal properties?

You can also use yarrow leaves to make a tea, which is drunk for medicinal purposes (e.g. to relieve indigestion).


  1. LOL! I was reading yesterday on another blog that Yarrow can actually help vampires break out of vamp traps too. Yeah... People are creative. Well, if it's that powerful, we could all use some, eh? ;)

    True Heroes from A to Z

  2. Did not know about Yarrow. They look beautiful...Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Hi Damaria .. congratulations to your Mma - and the celebrations sound as though they were very happy and made everyone's day ...

    Yams are similar to sweet potato aren't they .. and you're already growing those I think ... the Yarrow sounds interesting, and as you say looks pretty too ..

    Congratulations on nearly finishing .. see you for Z .. cheers Hilary

  4. While some of my perennials did not fare too well in our brutal winter, the yarrow are thriving. I have never tried using it for anything other than fill in the garden.