Last year I started some seeds of “Summer Berries” yarrow (Achillea millefolium) during the early summer. I planted the seedlings in the perennial bed during late August and this year I’m getting my first look at the flowers of this perennial.
Traditional yarrow plants bear yellow inflorescences that form a flat surface full of flowers that’s often the size of a saucer. The Summer Berries variety has smaller blossoms that are less dense and the colors are combinations and variations of red, pink, salmon and cream. I wasn’t sure if I’d have a nice mix of colors – that’s always the risk when you plants seeds of a mixed color plant. Fortunately the five plants that I have show a good representation of the color mix.
Whether you go with the standard yellow or try some of the other yarrow colors, this is one of the easiest perennials to grow. I grew it from seed but you can find plants for transplanting at any garden center. There are only two mistakes you can make when growing yarrow.
Planting this flower in the shade is a sure way to not have blooms; yarrow needs as much sun as possible. The other mistake is to fertilize it. Yarrow grows on marginal soil and too much fertilizer causes it to produce leaves instead of flowers. You could call yarrow one of those garden flowers that thrives on neglect!
Summer Berries is supposed to be a small yarrow but even with the shorter stem, I learned it still needs a little support to keep the stems upright. When the flowers fade, I’ll also be sure to dead-head the plants since that might encourage them to send up more blooms later in the season.
While the yellow yarrow is OK, I really like the Summer Berries variety. This is certainly a new plant that’s going to be a regular in the garden.