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13 Yarrow Companion Plants & What To Avoid! [2023]

Are you wondering what makes good yarrow companion plants? Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just getting the green fingers, you really can’t go wrong with planting yarrow in your garden!

Commonly found in temperate regions and grasslands during springtime, yarrow is a weed-like flower with bright and vibrant foliage that’s not only aromatic and visually attractive but also has great medicinal benefits when made into tea. 

Among all the interesting yarrow plant facts, my favorite thing about planting yarrow is that it makes a great companion plant for many vegetables and fruits because of its vibrant colors that attract pollinating insects into the garden.

yarrow companion plants

Yarrow Companion Plants At A Glance

  • Lavender
  • Rosemary 
  • Oregano
  • Cauliflower
  • Bok Choy
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli 
  • Strawberry
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant 
  • Garlic
  • Onion

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yarrow companion plants

What to Plant With Yarrow

Whether you’re just starting gardening as a hobby or you’re getting back into it, you’re already halfway there! The fact that you’re reading this article and wanting to know more is already half the marathon run. 

Typically, gardeners would use yarrow as a companion plant due to its vibrant weed-like ferns that attract pollinating insects like butterflies and bees.

However, a good thing to also note is that yarrow grows pretty rapidly especially when it has been pollinated by insects.

So keep that in mind so that your yarrow plants don’t overgrow in your garden and make it difficult for other plants to also thrive in your garden. 

Great yarrow companion plants are split into herbs like rosemary and oregano, most brassica vegetables like cabbage, bok choy, and cauliflower, and nightshade plants like tomato and eggplant.

1. Herbs

Aromatic herbs make great yarrow companion plants as their strong scents attract pollinating insects like butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. 

When planting yarrow and herbs like lavender, rosemary, and oregano, they both work in parallel in repelling pests like flying insects, worms, cabbage slugs, and sometimes herbivores like deer.

yarrow companion plants

If you’re thinking about what to plant with yarrow, the safest route is to plant some rosemary or oregano as they both can provide immense soil coverage and mulch, just enough to offer a layer of protection to your yarrow plant from pests or aphids. 

Plus, you can never have too much rosemary and oregano in your garden. It’s convenient to always have access to a sprig of rosemary for steak night!

2. Brassicas

You may have heard about brassicas but are still clueless about what it means. Well, brassica is a genus of plants in the cabbage and mustard family. So this includes cauliflowers, bok choy, cabbage, and broccoli and they are usually an easy target for pests and aphids. 

Growing yarrow close to these brassicas will help your favorite bok choy crops thrive and keep a healthy yield against nasty pests and predatory insects. 

yarrow companion plants

In addition, yarrow also offers helpful shade to ground-rooted brassica plants especially in the summer when temperate seasons may cause bolting. 

With that said, make sure you stay vigilant in ensuring there is enough space for brassicas and yarrow to co-exist without having too much competition amongst each other. 

The last thing we want is for our plants to fight against each other for nutrients, sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. So, let’s not start a massacre in our garden, shall we? Aim for peace and a healthy, growing garden for all to enjoy!

3. Fruits

Fruits, particularly strawberry plants, are always targeted by pollinating insects like bees, wasps, and butterflies. While this may stimulate growth and harvest quicker, they also encourage pollination of the yarrow plant in your garden. 

So, do keep an eye on the yarrow reproduction as it may become unhealthy for your crops. At an optimum amount, yarrow actually improves the flavor and texture of strawberries, making them juicier and sweeter.

yarrow companion plants

4. Nightshades 

Nightshades such as tomatoes and eggplant make great companion plants for yarrow because they easily fall prey to predator insects and aphids. And with yarrow’s vibrant exterior and strong scent, they will help repel any insects and pests.

yarrow companion plants

5. Alliums

Alliums and garlic and onions are great yarrow companion plants, thanks to their strong scent which are helpful when it comes to warding off predator pests like aphids and cabbage slugs. 

If you’re worried about overcrowding, then stick to garlic instead of the onion because onions tend to take up a larger root space to cultivate which might lead to competition and malnutrition. 

It’s really a two-way win-win situation as yarrow, too, has a strong fragrance that would help confuse pests in your garden. Hence, preventing your vegetation from being eaten.

yarrow companion plants

What Not To Plant With Yarrow

Yarrow is famous for being colorful, tall, and a highly competitive plant, so it’s just expected that there will be a few plants that won’t work well with yarrow in the same garden. Here are some of what not to plant with yarrow:

1. Cucumbers, Melons, and Pumpkins

Yes, there is no doubt that companion planting yarrow is great for pest control and boosts nutrients for companion plants.

However, yarrow is also known to carry diseases that may affect all plants in your garden. In particular cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins as diseases spread more quickly in vegetables of the sort. 

2. Coneflowers

Flowers like cornflower, butterfly weed, lamb’s ear, and bee balm are some of the several flowers that might not be suitable to be planted alongside a bunch of yarrows. 

Due to its competitive nature, yarrow will most likely outcompete coneflowers for sunlight and thus, creating unnecessary shade and preventing further cultivation.

Tip: If you’re thinking of cultivating coneflowers, try herbs like lavender or rosemary instead as they complement each other from a nutritional, pollination, and pest control perspective.

What is Yarrow?

If you have ever lived or traveled to Asia or North America, it is a high probability that you’ve seen rows of yarrow on the side of the road or in public gardens.

A herbaceous, perennial flowering herb, yarrow boasts vibrant and summery colors from yellow to pink and dark red. 

yarrow companion plants

Is Yarrow A Good Companion Plant?

Yes, the small clusters of flowers on the top of the plants attract pollinating insects like bees, ladybugs, butterflies, wasps, and hoverflies into the garden. 

The good thing is that with these insects in the garden, they are of great help when it comes to preventing pests like aphids and slugs from destroying crops and our yarrow bunches. 

But not always. Yarrow grows up to the height of our knees, which is actually relatively taller than most plants like brassicas, alliums, and certain flowers. 

The shade that it provides certain plants is in fact, detrimental to the health of surrounding plants when it comes to competition. So, do keep a vigilant eye on the amount of yarrow you’re growing alongside your other crops in your garden. 

yarrow companion plants

How To Use Yarrow For Your Garden?

The best way to plant yarrow is to plant in an area that gets full sunlight to encourage cultivation and growth. In the shade, yarrow can grow as well, but they tend to grow leggy and becomes taller. 

You may plant yarrow in your garden for medicinal purposes. If you drink it in a tea, there are great benefits to gut health and your digestive system. It also helps calm nerves and boosts your immune system as well. 

Other than that, yarrow flowers are vibrant and beautiful. They lighten up any garden and are really easy to maintain and grow, so there is less effort needed for you to tend to it after you’ve sowed the seeds.

Combine plants that look like yarrow with yarrow plants to create beautiful foliage in your garden!

Last but definitely not least, yarrow provides minerals and healing properties to the surface like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium. All of these are brilliant for soil quality maintenance and the soil can also be added to a compost pile for other plants in your garden. 

Additionally, the soil can also be used as mulch material to layer on top of your brassica crops. This will basically increase the nutrients in the soil, which provides a healthy and nutritious foundation for your yarrow plant to grow and thrive.

yarrow companion plants

When To Plant Yarrow

Yarrow thrives in cooler temperatures, under a full sun on wide pieces of land. So, try planting yarrow in the countryside from late fall all the way to early winter so that by spring comes along, you’ll be able to see your yarrow babies blooming in full.

How Long Does Yarrow Take To Grow

Yarrow takes a little over 120 days (that’s around 3 months) to grow in full, and about 4 months till full bloom. Yarrow grows really easily and quickly with the right conditions and companion plants, so if you have those conditions sorted, your plant will bear breathtaking blooms in no time. 

Tips on Caring for Yarrow

  • To control the over-spreading of yarrow, you need to pull out the new sprouts in early spring because the soil is muddier after rain, making it easier and less messy for you
yarrow companion plants
  • Do not forget to remove dead flowers as they would affect the cultivation of the whole plant overall.
  • We recommend growing yarrow in full-depth planter pots and cutting back yarrow plants within 1 to 2 inches above the soil to ensure enough room for healthy growth, and be ready for harvest in spring.
yarrow companion plants
  • Stay vigilant in checking your yarrow plant frequently to prevent over-cultivation because of its competitive nature
  • During dryer seasons, water young yarrow plants regularly to avoid your soil from drying up and your plant may bolt almost immediately
  • Yarrow should be trimmed to ground level in winter once the birds have had their fill from the seed heads, its foliage makes a useful addition to the compost heap.
  • We recommend digging up old plants in winter, splitting them into smaller new plants, and cultivating them individually to keep the seedlings/sprouts fresh. It’s like giving your old pair of trousers a new life.
  • Have a layer of mulch or organic compost and pour it over your soil to ensure optimum fertilization and nutrients are being disseminated into the soil.
yarrow companion plants
  • Yarrow comes in many varieties of plants, some taller than others! Do make sure you plan out what type of yarrow is suitable for the type of garden you may have and grow them accordingly so that there won’t be an over-population of yarrow which can sometimes be harmful to other plants and crops in your garden.

FAQs On Yarrow Companion Plants

What Plants Pair Well With Yarrow?

Wondering what plants pair well with yarrow? Plants that pair well with yarrow include brassicas like cauliflower, bok choy, and broccoli, aromatic herbs like lavender, rosemary, and oregano, and alliums like garlic and onions. Yarrow also helps nightshades like tomatoes and eggplants.  

Can Yarrow and Lavender Be Planted Together?

So, can yarrow and lavender be planted together? Yes, yarrow and lavender can be planted together. The aroma of the herb will attract pollinating insects and help with the culmination of the yarrow. Plus, the soft violet color of the lavender provides a punch of pastel color to your garden especially when they bloom in late summer. 

Is Yarrow Good For The Garden?

Is yarrow good for the garden? Yes, yarrow is good for the garden. Not only does yarrow improve overall soil quality through its extensive root system that helps aerate hard soil, but yarrow also attracts pollinating insects which bring in valuable nutrients and helps with the culmination of yarrow and your other plants in the garden. 

Can Yarrow and Echinacea Be Planted Together? 

Can yarrow and echinacea be planted together? Yes, yarrow and echinacea can be planted together. Not only does their contrast in color will boost how your garden looks as a whole, but they will also thrive individually as echinacea protects yarrow from intense sunlight and improve water retention in the soil.

yarrow companion plants

Is It Worth Having Yarrow Companion Plants?

In a nutshell, when growing bok choy we highly recommend growing yarrow companion plants to yield a stronger harvest this coming season.

Whether it is herbs like lavender to rosemary or brassicas like bok choy and cauliflower, yarrow is great for pest control and improving your overall harvest.

Start now – or better still early fall all through winter to get a full blooming party by spring! I swear it’ll be worth the perseverance, sweat, and careful gardening.

It just takes a bit of planning, knowing what type of companion plants work, and following some tips and tricks from enthusiasts and that’s about it. Good luck!

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