Achilleas (yarrows) make a great addition to ornamental borders, bearing colourful, flat flowerheads above feathery foliage. They work well in variety of situations, including gravel gardens and wildlife gardens.
The small, plate-like flowers are well-loved by pollinators, particularly hoverflies.
How to grow achilleas
Achilleas aren’t especially fussy about their planting position, so you can plant them in full sun or partial shade, as long as the soil is well-drained and doesn’t become waterlogged. Deadhead spent blooms to encourage more to grow and cut plants back completely in autumn.
In the right spot, achilleas will slowly spread to form a generously sized clump. They can be lifted and divided every three to five years, which will revitalise the original clump and give you new plants to grow elsewhere.
More on growing achilleas:
We’ve picked some of our favourite achilleas to grow, below.
Achillea filipendulina ‘Cloth of Gold’
Whereas most other achilleas grown in the garden reach around 60cm in height, Achillea filipendulina can reach 2m tall, so is well-suited to the back of a border. ‘Cloth of Gold’ has deep yellow flowers and is best grown in full sun.
Height x Spread: 1.8m x 45cm
As the name suggests, ‘Paprika’ has red-pink flowers, each of which is dotted with a bright yellow centre. As a cultivar of Achillea millefolium, it’s shorter in stature than other yarrows, and looks great in the middle of a border.
H x S: 80cm x 60cm
Achillea ‘Petra’ has rich ruby-red flowers, each with a creamy-white centre. The colour gently fades as the flowerheads mature. Looks lovely planted with white-flowered plants, including other achilleas.
H x S: 60cm x 50cm
The burnt-orange blooms of ‘Terracotta’ look gorgeous alongside purple flowers, like the salvias that you can just make out in this shot. As they mature, the colour fades to a mellower shade of orange.
H x S: 80cm x 50cm
Achillea ‘The Beacon’
‘The Beacon’ is a bi-coloured achillea with deep red flowers with yellow centres. Here, it’s growing alongside a froth of silver tansies (Tanacetum niveum).
H x S: 45cm x 25cm
Achillea ptarmica ‘The Pearl’
‘The Pearl’ is a pretty cultivar of the wild tansy, Achillea ptarmica, with white, double flowers. Planted in generous swathes, the frothy white blooms look fantastic and make beautiful cut flowers.
H x S: 75cm x 60cm