Moonshine Yarrow

Consider this brightly colored low-maintenance perennial for your garden.
Moonshine Yarrow Grows in Variety of Conditions

Moonshine Yarrow Grows in Variety of Conditions

Achillea millefolium, Yarrow or Moonshine, is known for its adaptive nature and its eagerness to perform abundantly throughout summer. The foliage is fern like and aromatic. Removing the spent flowers assures months of continuous color.

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

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Daub some yellow into your garden with the bright blooms of ‘Moonshine’ yarrow. This striking perennial brings easy-care beauty to any setting, with a tough-as-nails constitution that doesn’t need pampering. Flowers last all summer long, adding steady color to planting beds or bouquets. ‘Moonshine’ yarrow is one of the more popular perennials, and it’s easy to see why.

If your garden needs players you can plant and forget, consider ‘Moonshine’ yarrow. This beauty is a hybrid formed by crossing the native wildflower yarrow (Achillea millefolium) with Egyptian yarrow (Achillea aegyptiaca x taygetea). Egyptian yarrow is well-known for its gray-green, almost silver leaves and its bright yellow blooms that linger long through summer. Both of these attributes appear in ‘Moonshine’ yarrow. 

Like many other yarrow varieties, ‘Moonshine’ yarrow brings a strong winter hardiness to the garden. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9, this golden yarrow easily suits any garden from Maine to California and everywhere in between. In regions with intense summer heat and humidity, the leaves tend to melt by midsummer. In all other regions, plants flower strongly through summer months.

Flowers on ‘Moonshine’ yarrow open a strong lemon yellow and fade to more of a primrose yellow. Plants pump out flower stalks all summer long. The blossoms attract all kinds of pollinators, which love the flat-headed blooms filled with tiny flowers. Watch for butterflies, hummingbirds, beneficial insects and all manner of bees and wasps to visit these blooms. 

The secret to strong garden performance is giving ‘Moonshine’ yarrow a spot with average, well-drained soil in full sun. Avoid tucking plants into rich, highly fertile soil. This results in lush growth and weak stems that tend to flop easily. Plants grown in these conditions typically need staked to stay upright. In lean soils, stems grow sturdy and are self-supporting. 

‘Moonshine’ yarrow is susceptible to wind damage if it’s planted in the open. Heavy summer storms and high winds can flatten plants. In these settings, it might be wise to stake plants prior to wind damage. Like other yarrows, ‘Moonshine’ yarrow tolerates salt and makes a good choice for a seaside planting. 

Other ways to use ‘Moonshine’ yarrow in the landscape is as part of a perennial border. The yellow blooms pair well with blue-toned blossoms, such as lavender (Lavandula) or Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), both of which thrive in similar conditions as this golden yarrow. You might also consider using it near red-flowered perennials, such as bee balm (Monarda didyma) or blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata). 

Consider including ‘Moonshine’ yarrow in a low water use landscape. Its drought tolerance and strong color contribution makes it a great addition to a xeriscape. This pretty golden yarrow also is a good choice for cutting gardens. Plant a few clumps if you intend to clip flowers for vases. Once you savor these pretty flowers indoors, you’ll want to dry a few for winter enjoyment.

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