Not just another pretty face in a lush and lazy garden, yarrow () earns its keep in the worst soils with the least amount of water.
USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9. Some gardeners even have success as far north as Zone 2, and as far south as Zone 10.
In this article, I’m going to introduce you to my 13 favorite yarrow varieties you are sure to love.
Here’s the lineup:
Cultivating a Classic
pruning in spring to restore a more compact appearance.
Sow seeds or flowering mature plants directly into gardens or containers in early spring, after all danger of frost has passed. Expect blooms in the second year.
start seeds indoors or in a greenhouse in late winter to get ahead of the game and produce flowers in the first year.
Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Maryland, our backyard yarrow cultivars and hybrids come to us courtesy of five main species: , , , , and .
Whether native, introduced and naturalized, heirloom cultivars, or hybrids, yarrow is a vigorous grower that spreads by an intricate system of rhizomes and may require dividing every few years.
13 Best Yarrow Varieties for the Home Garden
These are some of my favorite cultivars, and for your convenience, I’ve added links to some of our trusted affiliates.
1. Apple Blossom
‘Apple Blossom’ or ‘Apfelblute’ is one of numerous Galaxy hybrids from Germany, and is a cross between and .
It has purplish-pink flowers atop upright, green-leafed stems that reach 18-24 inches tall at maturity. Flower heads are two to three inches across.
‘Apple Blossom’ plants are available on Amazon in 2.5-inch pots.
2. Cerise Queen
This cultivar is known for its deep pink flowers, with dark green foliage and a mature height of twelve to 36 inches.
With a long vase life, you can brighten up the garden beds as well as rooms of your house with these pretty, colorful blooms.
‘Cerise Queen’ seeds are available from Eden Brothers in a variety of packet sizes.
, aka common yarrow, milfoil, or soldier’s woundwort, is a white variety that may be somewhat invasive if allowed to roam.
According to Jeff and Marilyn Cox, authors of The Perennial Garden: Color Harmonies Through the Seasons, it probably arrived in the US when it was dumped from English settlers’ ships, where it had been used as ballast for their journeys.
In addition, native white-flowering varieties were already growing here, including mountain yarrow, , and western yarrow, .
Today, the introduced and native varieties are almost indistinguishable in the wild.
White-flowering seeds are available from True Leaf Market in 1- and 4-ounce packages.
‘Gold’ is a fern-leaf cultivar that produces bright yellow saucer-like flower heads up to four inches across, atop upright stems of three to four feet tall.
Its silvery green leaves grow like ferns from the base of this clumping variety.
You can find ‘Gold’ seeds in packets of various sizes available at Eden Brothers.
5. Gold Plate
‘Gold Plate’ is a fern-leaf cultivar. It boasts upright stems of four to five feet tall, and flower heads six inches across in mustard-yellow hues.
Its silvery green leaves arise from the base of this clumping variety.
Other gold-flowered hybrids and cultivars include ‘Parker’s Variety’ and ‘Coronation Gold.’ Some reach six feet in height, and all make a bold, structural statement in an outdoor living space.
Pair them beautifully with gold-centered shasta daisies.
‘Gold Plate’ seeds are available from True Leaf Market in 1/4 -, 1-, and 4-ounce packages.
It’s a style of gardening that focuses on planting species that thrive with little intervention and the fewest possible natural resources.
Yarrow is an environmentally responsible, waterwise garden choice.
6. King Edward
‘King Edward’ is a matting dwarf variety that’s perfect for rock gardens.
Its six-inch height also makes it a pretty ground cover for barren open spaces, and gives you the option of easily mowing it down at season’s end.
This variety has small, pale yellow flower heads, and woolly leaves of silvery green.
‘King Edward’ seeds are available from Hazzard’s Seeds via Amazon in packages of 500.
Another low-growing variety that you might enjoy is , which has white flowers, silvery-green foliage, and a maximum height of about nine inches.
‘Moonshine’ sports beautiful bright yellow flowers with silvery-green foliage, and grows to a mature height of 18 to to 24 inches tall.
perfect for container gardening.
8. New Vintage Rose
‘New Vintage Rose’ is a compact, mounding plant with medium-sized non-fading vibrant deep pink to red flower heads.
‘Paprika’ is a Galaxy series hybrid that has green leaves and dusty brick red flowers that measure a medium-sized two to three inches across.
Blossoms fade to shades of pink, and perch atop upright stems that top out at at a mature height of 18 inches to two feet tall.
‘Paprika’ plants are available in #1 containers from Nature Hills Nursery.
Red yarrow () is a vibrant, brightly colored variety with rusty red blooms that are excellent for attracting pollinators.
Reaching a mature height of twelve to 30 inches, it’s perfect for bouquets or to save as a dried flower.
A variety of package sizes – from 400 milligrams up through a whopping 1-pound sack – are available from Eden Brothers.
11. Strawberry Seduction
From the Seduction series comes ‘Strawberry Seduction,’ with medium-sized flowers that resemble red, ripe strawberries, and fade to straw yellow in late summer.
Some people may be allergic to it via pollen inhalation or skin contact. In addition, the ASPCA warns that yarrow is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.
12. Summer Pastels
‘Summer Pastels’ is a Galaxy hybrid that offers multi-colored medium-sized blossoms in an array of light hues, including pastel shades of mauve, orange-red, pink, purple, rose, and salmon.
These top green-leafed stems with a mature height of 18 inches to two feet tall.
This is a compact, mounding variety that does well as a filler in mixed patio containers. Known for its excellent tolerance of warmth and humidity, its colors may fade during heatwaves.
Seeds for the ‘Summer Pastels’ variety are available from True Leaf Market.
13. Sunny Seduction
‘Sunny Seduction’ has green leaves and medium-sized muted yellow blossoms atop stems ranging from 18 to 30 inches tall at maturity.
It’s an excellent filler in containers, particularly those with blue specimen plants such as sage or gilia.
The Seduction series of plants offers sturdy, compact foliage and a long bloom season.
‘Sunny Seduction’ plants are available from Nature Hills Nursery in 5-inch containers.
One last thing…
Though it’s not included among my top picks here, I would be remiss if I failed to mention in a little more detail that there is yet another species of yarrow, Several cultivars are available, including ‘The Pearl’ and ‘Angel’s Breath.’
Widespread in Europe, it has naturalized in scattered areas across the US. Flowers exhibit varying shades of white, and it is sometimes called “sneezeweed.” But it is not to be confused with common sneezeweed (), which is poisonous to humans and animals.
Yarrow earns its keep where other plants fail to thrive. And it sure saved the day for me.
I had all but given up on a dry, gritty patch by the driveway that grew nothing but scraggly weeds. I had tried amending the soil and watering constantly, but the hot blacktop seemed to create a microclimate just short of desert.
Once I planted rugged varieties, I was able to create a focal point that said, “Welcome! A gardener really does live here!”
Lexington Tall Planter in Anthracite
If you don’t have any barren places begging to be rescued (lucky you!), you may want to enjoy it in brightly colored containers like this tall planter, available from Plow and Hearth in anthracite gray, apple green, iris purple, or white.
What would you say to two of them flanking your front door, complemented by a profusion of bright yellow yarrow? I’d say, bring on the curb appeal!
In addition to beautifying the outdoors, yarrow is an exceptional cutting flower. You’ll know it’s time to harvest when the blossoms open and reveal the pollen within. They’ll last at least a week in fresh arrangements, provided you snip the stems and change vase water daily.
check out all of our yarrow gardening guides or start with these:
Nan Schiller is a writer with deep roots in the soil of southeastern Pennsylvania. Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. An advocate of organic gardening with native plants, she’s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on her nose. With wit and hopefully some wisdom, she shares what she’s learned and is always ready to dig into a new project!