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Companion Planting / Herbs / Planting Guides

4 Yarrow Companion Plants (and 3 to Avoid)

Yarrow – known for its lacy foliage and skill for replenishing poor soil – makes a great addition to any vegetable garden. This fast-growing, healing herb has been loved by gardeners for centuries, both for its ornamental and medicinal properties. But what really sets it apart is its ability to complement nearby crops. Companion planting yarrow with the right plants can enhance your garden’s visual appeal and overall health. And fortunately, there are plenty of yarrow companion plants to choose from!

Let’s look at the best and worst neighbors for yarrows to help you get the most out of this herb.

So, gather your gardening supplies and keep reading.

Summary of How to Grow Yarrow

Yarrow is a drought-resistant perennial that’s grown from seeds and tip cuttings. It thrives in hot conditions and dry, loamy soil.

The best time to sow the seeds is in spring or early summer after the frost season has passed. Plant the seeds in a sunny spot that gets about 6 hours of daily sunlight and space them 1 to 2 feet apart.

Add a thin layer of fertilizer each spring and deadhead flowers whenever possible. The plant requires only half an inch of water weekly for healthy growth. However, you may need to water it more during summer, depending on how quickly the soil dries out.  

Yarrow takes approximately three months to bloom. And once the blooms arrive, dig up the plant’s roots and cut them into two to three segments before replanting at the same depth. Do this every three to five years to ensure adequate and healthy yarrow propagation.

Best Conditions for Growing Yarrow

Best ClimateYarrow is best grown in warm summer conditions, with temperatures of 65°F
PositionFull sun
Life CyclePerennial
Planting Depth1/2 inch (13 mm)
Spacing1-3 feet (30-91 cm)
Time to BloomThree months (early summer to early fall)

The Best Yarrow Companion Plants

Now that you understand how yarrow is grown, let’s shine light on a few of its ideal pairings.

brassica family, such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, are best yarrow companion plants

Brassicas

Delicate, at-risk vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower – brassica family members – are on the menu for many hungry insects. Growing yarrow nearby can help keep them safe from pesky bugs like white fly.

Yarrow also helps cool down brassicas growing in hot spots – by providing them with much-needed shade from the sun’s scorching rays. Just keep a close eye on the two to ensure that your yarrow plants don’t out-compete the brassicas for space.

eggplants and tomatoes – the nightshade family members, best companion planting yarrow

Nightshades

Yarrow is a powerful protector for eggplants and tomatoes – the nightshade family members. These vegetables are a magnet for destructive garden insects like aphids.

However, when planted alongside yarrow, the plant deters these fruit-eating insects away, keeping your produce safe from unfortunate infestations.

Not only does yarrow repel nasty bugs, but it also nourishes the soil with phytonutrients that can help your nightshades yield bigger and juicier fruit.

Yarrow and rosemary are best yarrow companion plants

Rosemary

Yarrow and rosemary work in tandem with their complementary fragrances and benefits. When planted together, these two create a pest-fighting powerhouse!

While yarrow possesses a bug-deterrent scent, rosemary produces an oil that keeps slugs, worms, and aphids at bay.

Additionally, both plants have similar growing conditions and don’t need any extra care, making them a dynamic duo in any vegetable garden.

planting yarrows next to chamomile are best companion planting yarrow

Chamomile

Yarrow and chamomile belong to the Asteraceae family and have similar soil requirements and growth habits.

Therefore, planting yarrows next to chamomile can support the growth of both plants, as well as attract bees and hoverflies, which are important pollinators. These pollinators play a crucial role in fertilizing flowers and ensuring bountiful harvests.

Bad Yarrow Companion Plants

Although multiple plants benefit from yarrow companion planting, there are some species that you should avoid planting nearby since they do more harm than good.

Cucumbers and yarrow are not good growing partners, bad yarrow companion plants

Cucumbers

Cucumbers and yarrow are not good growing partners and should be spaced as far apart as possible.

Cucumber is a creeping vine that spreads rapidly and can climb over your yarrow plant, depriving it of precious sunlight.

Moreover, yarrow is infamous for carrying diseases like powdery mildew, which can quickly affect your cucumber plants and even prove fatal. Therefore, companion planting yarrow with cucumber is a big no.

Growing yarrow in the same moist area as ginger, bad companion planting yarrow

Ginger

Ginger is an aromatic plant that’s widely used for its culinary value. This tropical herb grows best in well-drained soil, whereas yarrow prefers drier conditions. 

Growing yarrow in the same moist area as ginger can put it at risk of contracting harmful fungal diseases. 

squash plants, doesn’t make great yarrow companion plants

Squash

Similar to yarrows and cucumbers, various varieties of winter squash are also vulnerable to powdery mildew infection. And because keeping plants with similar ailments separated can prevent disease transfer, it’s best to keep these two at a distance.

Additionally, squash plants can grow over ten feet tall compared to the much shorter, three feet yarrow flowers. These vines can hinder the light intake of your yarrows, leading to their stunted growth.

FAQ: Companion Planting Yarrow

What can you not plant with yarrow?

Avoid planting yarrow with pumpkins, cucumber, zucchini, and melons since they can easily catch the powdery mildew disease from yarrows, leading to a poor-quality harvest.

Does yarrow choke out other plants?

Yarrow grows two to three feet tall and is best suited for open areas. If left unattended, this herb can sprawl over any nearby shorter plants, blocking out the sun and choking them.

Where should I plant yarrow in my garden?

Plant yarrow in the sunniest, hottest, and driest spot in your garden to produce the most vibrant flowers. Although it also survives in partially shaded areas, too much shade can make the plant’s branches floppy and devoid of leaves.

Does yarrow take over a garden?

Yarrow is known for its drought-resistant and self-seeding capabilities. This means the plant produces seeds that fall to the ground, naturally replant themselves, and germinate during the fall season. So, yes, yarrow can take over your garden if proper precautions aren’t taken.

Final Thoughts on Yarrow Companion Planting

To sum up, knowing how yarrow complements different plants can greatly benefit your garden. Choosing the right yarrow companion plants can maximize yield and create a beautiful and thriving ecosystem. So, what’s the wait? Enter the world of yarrow companion planting and bring out the best in your crops.

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About the Author

Elle Reed is a passionate gardener and advocate for teaching beginner gardeners how to grow their own food. Elle’s mission is to inspire and empower people to get back to basics, grow their own produce, and embrace a sustainable lifestyle. “Whether it’s a few herb pots in an apartment, a potager or a full garden plot, we can all ‘start somewhere’ to grow our own food, and in doing so, provide healthier food for ourselves and those we love”.