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Plant Profile: Fern-Leaf Yarrow (Achillea filipendulina ‘Cornation Gold’)

yarrow-cornation-gold1Fern leaf yarrow ‘Cornation Gold’ is one of the true workhorses of the garden. It is easy to grow, blooms for a long time, has very pleasing fern-like gray green foliage, and forms an attractive mound when cut back after blooming. This is one very tough plant that will survive the red clay of North Carolina just as well as the dry conditions of the Southwest. The tiny yellow flowers are borne in 3” flat heads called corymbs and are equally useful in fresh or dried arrangements.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Bloom: Golden-yellow in late spring/early summer.

Size: 24”-36” H x 24”-36” W.

Light: Full sun; shade will produce lanky plants.

Soil: Average to poor, well drained.

Fertilizer: Average soil provides adequate nutrients but flowering can be increased by monthly application of a general fertilizer.

Hardiness: Zones 3-9.

Care: Deadhead to prolong the bloom time. Cut back after blooming and foliage will regrow into an attractive mound.

Pests and Diseases: Systemic fungicide or baking soda in horticultural oil can help prevent mildew.

Propagation: Division or root cutting from around the base in spring. If you divide the plants in the fall do so early enough so the plants can get established before winter.

Companion plants: ‘Coronation Gold’ is attractive with a white Shasta daisy like Leucanthemum ‘Becky’ , red and orange red-hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria), blue sage like ‘East Friesland’, and ornamental grasses. The gray-green fine textured foliage is a nice contrast to dark green leaves and large bold ones.

Comments: Deer and rabbit resistant; attracts butterflies. To dry, harvest when flowers begin to show pollen; strip off the leaves and hang upside down in a warm, dry, dark room.

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