• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Carla Burke
  • Greg Martin
  • Jay Angler
  • Leigh Tate
  • thomas rubino

yarrow for enhancing flavor?

Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've come across the statements (here and elsewhere) that yarrow (achillea millefolium) can be used as a companion plant to enhance the essential oils of other neighboring plants. Does anyone have any experience trying this?

I think all of the references to this aspect of companion planting with yarrow relate to specifically using the plant as a companion for other herbs (mint, sage, etc..). I'm wondering how it would work for berries, such as strawberries or blueberries, or even with fruit trees? Would the benefits apply if using yarrow as part of a fruit tree guild to make peaches more "peachy" (comparison taste tests would be really interesting)?

I couldn't find any info in a search of peer-reviewed literature relating to this aspect of yarrow. Most of the studies have to do with the medicinal properties of yarrow or analysis of the compounds present in the plant. If anyone has any leads on more definitive studies of the oil enhancing properties, I would be grateful for the information.

There is quite a lot of wild yarrow coming up this year in my orchard. It seems to spread by rhizomes, so I am thinking I may help it along a bit and see if I can get some established near most of my berry plants and trees. Even if the oil enhancing experiment doesn't work out, yarrow is still good as an insectiary, edible and medicinal plant...
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
yarrow good, yarrow bad, very very bad (when he was good he was very very good and when he was bad he was horrid)

I have a yarrow lawn near my garden area in the North and was "allowing" yarrow to grow around some of my fruit trees and berry bushes cause I THOUGHT it was a good idea from my permaculture reading..

Well in some cases I was very very wrong.

I just spent a couple of days last month digging yarrow OUT OF my blueberry beds..the yarrow was strangling my blueberries ..literally.

the roots of yarrow are about the same as quackgrass..as a matter of fact if you have both in an area it is somewhat difficult to tell the difference, although they do have similar actions their appearance are a bit different. The yarrow are thicker and more pervasive than quackgrass !!!

I managed to get it all pulled out..for now. man that stuff is pervasive.

I still have it growing around an apple tree, very thickly, figuring the apple tree might be ok with it..however, I planted a couple of comfrey around the apple tree hoping to shade the yarrow out??

please be careful when you introduce something to your garden that you are not familiar with it's growth habits..good idea checking here first as you did as now you may be a bit more careful..it is way worse than mint and highly invasive.
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you very much for the words of warning, Brenda!

I will restrain myself from intentionally spreading it around, for the most part. I'm still curious enough to try a few experiments, at least

It sounds like you found that pulling it up, roots and all, was the only way to get rid of it... Have you tried chop and drop cutting of it to keep it more controlled?

The plans in my area are getting ready to flower, so it is supposed to be a good time to harvest for medicinal and edible uses. I'll see if it bounces back with renewed vigor!
Collection of 14 Permaculture/Homesteading Cheat-Sheets, Worksheets, and Guides
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic