Yellow and bronze achillea amongst grasses

How to grow achillea

Find out all you need to know about growing achilleas in this detailed Grow Guide

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do Sow in May

Do Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do not Sow in September

Do not Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Cut back
Cut back

Do not Cut back in January

Do not Cut back in February

Do Cut back in March

Do not Cut back in April

Do not Cut back in May

Do not Cut back in June

Do not Cut back in July

Do not Cut back in August

Do not Cut back in September

Do not Cut back in October

Do not Cut back in November

Do not Cut back in December

  • Plant size

    50cm height

    50cm spread

Achilleas, or yarrows, are traditional border perennials. They have long been valued for their feathery foliage and the beautiful, flat-topped flowers that bloom right through the summer months. But in recent years, they have become fashionably popular, used widely in perennial and wildlife planting schemes.

Advertisement

There are many cultivars and colours to choose from, ranging from white and yellow to shocking pink and the flat flower heads make the perfect landing platform for pollinators, particularly hoverflies.

Take a look at our handy Achillea Grow Guide, below.

But in recent years, achilleas have become fashionably popular, used widely in perennial and wildlife planting schemes.

How to grow achilleas

Orange achillea 'Terracotta'
Orange achillea ‘Terracotta’

Where to plant achilleas

The ideal site for achilleas is free-draining soil in full sun to partial shade. However they will tolerate quite a wide range of soil types, as long as they don’t suffer from water-logging.

Achilleas look good in the middle of an ornamental border or wildlife garden. They also make a good choice for growing in gravel gardens.

Young achillea plant
Young achillea plant

How to plant achilleas

Plant in spring. If you’ve bought a new achillea plant, dig a generous hole, deeper and wider than the pot and add a handful of horticultural grit for added drainage. Plant in the hole, backfill and firm the soil around the plant and water in well.

Bright-yellow achillea 'Moonshine'
Bright-yellow achillea ‘Moonshine’

How to look after achilleas

Achilleas are quite straightforward in their requirements. Cut back old foliage in spring and deadhead flowers through the  summer to encourage more blooms. Leave a few flowerheads if you want to collect seed.

They are clump-forming perennials, although relatively slow-growing, but they need dividing every three to five years to revitalise the plant. Some varieties that flower prolifically, such as ‘Moonshine’, will simply exhaust themselves after a few years, so will need replacing.

Sowing achillea seeds
Sowing achillea seeds

How to propagate achilleas

The best method of propagating achilleas is by division in spring. You can also take cuttings in early spring. Pull away new shoots, leaving a heel, and plant into potting compost with added sand. Your cuttings should form new roots after a few weeks and can be potted on into individual pots when the plant is well established.

Some varieties will self-seed happily, although they may not come true to type. However, it is worth collecting the seed which can be sown in autumn or spring.

Follow our guide to sowing seeds in autumn.

Maroon achillea 'Petra'
Maroon achillea ‘Petra’

Achilleas: problem solving

Achilleas can suffer from aphids and may get powdery mildew in periods of very hot weather so keep plants well watered.

Golden-yellow achillea 'Cloth of Gold'
Golden-yellow achillea ‘Cloth of Gold’

Five great achillea varieties to grow

Achillea ‘Moonshine’ – a variety with grey-green foliage and pretty light yellow flowers. The plants are clump forming but spread slowly.
Achillea filipendulina ‘Cloth of Gold’ – with light green foliage and deep golden blooms.
Achillea millefolium ‘Cerise Queen’ – one of the pink varieties. The cerise flower heads have dark margins and paler colouring towards the centre.
Achillea millefolium ‘Fanal’ – the bright orange-red flowers with yellow eyes are very striking. Use in a hot colour scheme for an end of summer burst of glory. It has a great reputation as a good cut flower.
Achillea ‘Terracotta’ – the beautiful blooms open orange and fade to yellow with age.

Advertisement

Discover more achilleas in our Plant Finder.