Yarrow Achillea millefolium 'Red Velvet'
Red Velvet Yarrow is characterized by its richly colored flowers and fern-like foliage. The blossoms are a deep, velvety red with a slight hint of rose, packed densely into flattened clusters that create a striking display during its blooming period. These vibrant flowers stand proud, providing an eye-catching splash of color that is perfect for adding warm tones to a garden landscape. The leaves of the Red Velvet Yarrow are equally attractive, with a delicate appearance that belies their actual ruggedness. They are finely dissected and resemble feathers or fine lace, giving the plant a soft, airy texture. The foliage is typically a green to gray-green hue, which creates a beautiful contrast against the boldness of the red flowers. This contrast not only adds to the visual appeal of the plant but also highlights the intense coloration of the blooms. Overall, the Red Velvet Yarrow presents a combination of showy, long-lasting flowers and attractive foliage, which makes it a favorite among gardeners looking to add both color and textural interest to their outdoor spaces.
About this plant
Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Milfoil, Soldier's Woundwort, Thousand-Leaf, Thousand-Seal, Nosebleed Plant, Devil's Nettle.
Achillea millefolium 'Red Velvet'.
Yarrow, including the 'Red Velvet' variety, is generally not considered highly toxic to humans, but it does contain various compounds that can cause adverse reactions in some individuals. If ingested in large quantities, yarrow can potentially lead to increased photosensitivity, dizziness, or skin irritation. Contact with the skin can occasionally cause a rash or dermatitis in sensitive individuals. It is also important to note that yarrow should be avoided during pregnancy because it may stimulate the uterus and could potentially lead to miscarriage. Most people will not experience severe poisoning from yarrow, but sensitive individuals or those who consume large amounts may experience discomfort or adverse reactions.
Yarrow is also not highly toxic to pets, but it can cause mild to moderate digestive upset if ingested. Symptoms of yarrow ingestion in pets can include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and sometimes lethargy. As with humans, some pets could experience dermatitis from skin contact. While typically not life-threatening, if a pet consumes a large amount of yarrow, it is advisable to monitor them closely and consult a veterinarian if symptoms are severe or persist. It is always better to err on the side of caution and prevent pets from ingesting plants that are not known to be safe.
Color of leaves
2 feet [60 cm]
2 feet [60 cm]
- General Benefits
- Attracts Pollinators: 'Red Velvet' yarrow is known to lure beneficial insects like bees and butterflies to the garden.
- Drought Tolerance: Once established, it requires minimal watering, making it suitable for xeriscaping or drought-prone areas.
- Low Maintenance: It's a hardy perennial that needs little care once it has settled into its location.
- Deer Resistance: Often remains untouched by deer, which makes it an excellent choice for gardens in deer-populated areas.
- Soil Adaptability: Yarrow can thrive in a variety of soil types, though it prefers well-drained soils.
- Long Blooming Season: Provides color and interest from early summer to early fall.
- Landscape Versatility: Suitable for borders, rock gardens, and as ground cover, providing multiple uses in garden design.
- Cut Flower: The flowers have a long vase life, making them suitable for fresh floral arrangements.
- Dried Flower: Can be used in dried flower arrangements due to its ability to retain color and form when dried.
- Culinary Use: Some parts of the plant are edible and can be used as a spice or flavoring in cooking, although this is not its primary use.
- Medical Properties
- Anti-inflammatory: May reduce inflammation in the body.
- Antiseptic: Possesses potential germ-killing properties.
- Astringent: Can cause contraction of skin cells and other body tissues.
- Carminative: May help in relieving flatulence.
- Diaphoretic: Could promote sweating and is sometimes used to reduce fevers.
- Diuretic: Might increase the passing of urine.
- Emmenagogue: Historically used to stimulate menstrual flow.
- Hemostatic: Can potentially help to stop bleeding.
- Tonic: May have a strengthening effect on the body.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Achillea millefolium 'Red Velvet', commonly known as Yarrow, can be used as a natural dye, providing colors ranging from yellow to green depending on the mordant used.
- It is sometimes included in companion planting strategies in vegetable gardens to enhance the growth and flavor of nearby plants.
- Yarrow can be used in landscaping as a low-maintenance ground cover that tolerates poor soil and drought conditions.
- The plant is used in some traditional crafts, such as basket-weaving, where its stems can be incorporated for their color and texture.
- It can serve as a natural lawn alternative, creating a meadow-like appearance while needing less water and no mowing compared to traditional grasses.
- Yarrow’s sturdy stems can be used in flower arrangements for their attractive foliage and to provide structure to the composition.
- The plant's fern-like leaves can be used as a strewing herb to repel insects or to freshen up indoor spaces.
- Used in compost piles, yarrow can help accelerate the breakdown of organic matter because of its high level of essential nutrients.
- Yarrow can be planted to control soil erosion on slopes and banks due to its network of roots that hold the soil firmly.
- In some cultures, yarrow stalks are used for I Ching divination practices as a traditional tool for fortune-telling.
- Feng Shui
The plant Yarrow is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The plant Yarrow is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Healing: Achillea millefolium, commonly known as yarrow, is historically associated with healing due to its use in traditional medicine for wound treatment, reflecting Achilles' use of the plant to heal his soldiers' wounds in Greek mythology.
- Protection: Yarrow is believed to offer spiritual protection and was often used in ancient times to ward off evil spirits and negative energies.
- Courage: The connection to Achilles also imparts a sense of courage and heroism to yarrow, symbolizing bravery in battle and perseverance.
- Love: In Victorian flower symbolism, yarrow can signify everlasting love, making it a suitable gift for romantic partners to express deep affection.
- Divination: Yarrow has been used in various forms of divination and is thought to symbolize the unlocking of secrets or the revealing of the future.
Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium 'Red Velvet') prefers to be watered deeply but infrequently, promoting dry conditions similar to its native environment. During the growing season, water the plant thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry, typically once every week or two, depending on local weather conditions. Provide approximately 1 gallon of water per plant, ensuring it reaches the deep roots. Reduce watering during the fall and hardly water it during the winter when the plant is dormant to prevent root rot. Always avoid overhead watering to reduce the risk of foliar diseases.
Common yarrow thrives in full sun conditions, requiring at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day to flourish. Place it in a spot where it can bask in uninterrupted sunlight, as this encourages optimal growth and bloom quality. However, it can tolerate partial shade, particularly in hotter regions, but its flowering might be reduced.
Common yarrow fares best in a temperate range, tolerating temperatures between 50°F and 85°F. It can survive minimum temperatures as low as -30°F to -20°F, indicating its hardiness in cold conditions, and maximum temperatures as high as 90°F - 100°F, demonstrating its adaptability to heat. The ideal conditions for yarrow are moderate temperatures within the range of 60°F to 75°F.
For common yarrow, pruning helps to maintain plant health and vigor, encourage new growth, and improve air circulation. Cut back the spent flowers to encourage a second blooming and trim the plant back to the ground at the end of the growing season to keep it neat. Pruning is best done after the first flowering has finished, usually in late summer or early fall.
For Yarrow 'Red Velvet', prepare a well-draining soil mix with loamy or sandy composition. The ideal pH range for this plant is between 5.5 to 7.0. Incorporate organic matter like compost but ensure it is not too rich, as this plant thrives in moderately fertile conditions.
Yarrow 'Red Velvet' generally does not require frequent repotting. It's best to repot these plants every 2 to 3 years to refresh the soil, or when they outgrow their current container.
- Humidity & Misting
Yarrow 'Red Velvet' tolerates a wide range of humidity levels and is quite adaptable. It thrives best in average garden conditions without the need for high humidity.
- Suitable locations
Place Yarrow 'Red Velvet' in a sunny spot with good air circulation indoors.
Full sun and well-drained soil are best for Yarrow 'Red Velvet' outdoors.
- Life cycle
Achillea millefolium 'Red Velvet', commonly known as Yarrow 'Red Velvet', begins its life cycle as a seed which, when sown, germinates in light within 1-2 weeks at optimum temperatures between 18-22°C (65-72°F). After germination, the seedlings grow into a rosette of finely dissected, aromatic foliage, which is drought and poor soil tolerant. As the plant matures, it produces sturdy, upright stems topped with dense, flat clusters of small, velvet-red flowers from early summer to early fall, attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Yarrow 'Red Velvet' is a perennial, meaning it will lie dormant in winter, with the top growth dying back and growth resuming from the root system in the spring. It can be propagated by division in spring or fall to rejuvenate and spread the plant. Over time without division, clumps may become woody and should be replaced to maintain vigorous, blooming plants.
Late Spring-early Summer
Achillea millefolium 'Red Velvet', commonly known as Yarrow, is often propagated via division, which is the most popular method for this perennial plant. The ideal time for dividing Yarrow plants is in the early spring or fall when the plant is not in active growth. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the plant, ensuring a good portion of the root system remains intact. Then, using a sharp spade or knife, divide the clump into smaller sections, each with several shoots and a healthy amount of roots. Replant the divisions at the same depth they were growing at previously and water them well. Divisions should be spaced about 1 to 2 feet (approximately 30 to 60 centimeters) apart to allow adequate room for growth. This method of propagation not only helps to rejuvenate older plants but also allows gardeners to increase their stock of Yarrow efficiently.