Remember my dear friend, Laila? She takes care of our urban, parking lot garden, and she is one of my favorite people. I’ve learned so much from her about drought tolerant, beneficial plants, preserving bees, and garden classrooms. For now let’s highlight yarrow, an edible flower that easily grows in our parking lot. We use it as a garnish mostly but it’s also pretty to pick apart the little, colorful buds to finish a dessert or appetizer with. I sat down with Laila in our garden and asked her more about it, here’s what she had to say:
How easy is yarrow to grow? Can you put it in a pot?
Yarrow is pretty easy to grow, as it’s often found in meadows and dry hillsides. You could totally grow it in a pot! I recommend putting it in a wide-mouthed pot so it has room to spread and fill out. And don’t worry, once it fills out the pot, you can propagate it by dividing it. It’s a nice friendship-plant: grow, divide, share.
How much sun does yarrow need?
It needs full sun, six or more hours per day.
How often do you need to water yarrow?
It’s totally on the low-water spectrum. Like all new plants, you’ll want to water them at least once a week and deeply, so they can get settled in. Once you’ve set up a good system with those long , deep waterings and the plant is established, you could get by with a once a month water. This may need to be more frequent if it’s in a pot– like, every other week. It’s always good to have a schedule for watering but don’t forget to rely on your senses. Taking time to observe your plants in the morning after they’ve been watered, then again a few days later and yet again before their next water will help you become more in-tune with you plant’s needs.
What colors does it come in?
Dream-boat colors: terra-cotta is my number one favorite but they come in white, pink, yellow, red, and light purple.
Yarrow is edible. How would you describe the taste?
I think it has a menthol-like flavor. Apparently, and I say apparently because I’ve not tried it, but apparently the leaves are delicious in salad when they’re harvested super young.
Does yarrow have healing properties as many other flowers do?
I’m sure they do! Many herbalists use yarrow in a poultice for rashes and cuts which I think is amazing. I’ve also read that it’s great in a tea blend of mint and chamomile, to help soothe nerves and promote restful sleep. The overall sense is that yarrow is calming and I don’t think you have to ingest it to feel the effects; just spend 10 minutes with the beauty and the world may seem a little softer.
Thank you, Laila. I want to grow it everywhere now.
My pleasure. It’s a really special plant.