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Sunday, July 21, 2024 at 12:14 PM

Edith -- Yarrow as Repellant

Edith -- Yarrow as Repellant
I'm always looking for plants that repel deer, rabbits and gophers. It's also nice if they crowd out weeds and attract pollinators, beneficial insects and birds.  If they have a long flowering period, that is also a plus.  One such plant is starting to bloom in my garden now and it will be doing so through September. That plant is yarrow (Achillea millefollium). Most yarrow in my garden is white but plant breeders have developed a number of colorful varieties such as ‘Moonshine’ (yellow), ‘Terra Cotta’ (salmon), and ‘Coronation’ (gold), ‘Paprika’ (rusty red), ‘Red Velvet’ (red), and ‘Cerise’ (pink).      Yarrow is a relatively undemanding plant when it comes to water and maintenance.  In fact fertilizer and too much water may make it lodge and look ragged. In addition to needing little maintenance, yarrow has a long bloom period starting in June and lasting through September. Usually yarrow is planted from potted nursery stock that can be purchased a most garden centers but it can also be started from seed.  The seed is very small and most yarrow varieties other than white are not readily available as seed.  Probably the easiest way to establish yarrow is to purchase potted plants or acquire divisions from already established clumps in need of maintenance.  New plants started from division will hold true to color of the parent plants but new plants started from seed will eventually revert back to the more common white yarrow. Yarrow spreads by both seed and shallow rhizomes.  In the landscape it can be managed as a clump that needs to be divided every couple of years or it can be used as a tall ground cover that doesn't allow much weed growth. If placed in a flowerbed it can eventually dominate the bed by crowding out other less aggressive perennials and annuals.  To prevent yarrow from taking over a flowerbed remove the flowering stalks before the seeds can mature and divide established clumps of yarrow every few years. If you have problems with deer, yarrow is a good as a border planting because it tends to repel deer. Yarrow makes a nice cut flower with its tall stalks that can last from 3 to 5 days in a vase.  Even though the leaves are pretty they should be stripped from the stem because they have tendency to rot if submerged in water.   Never miss the local news -- read more on The Fallon Post home page. If you enjoy The Fallon Post, please support our effort to provide local, independent news and make a contribution today.  Your contribution makes possible this online news source for all things Fallon.