The first thing you need to understand about yarrow is that as companion plants go, yarrow is one of the very best. Companion planting is all about putting things together that work. Maybe it’s because of how they look together, their similar needs, or the places they’re from that make them work well. But with yarrow, it’s all about how they can help others grow. So, when it comes to yarrow companion plants, you might be more than a little surprised…
OK, your first surprise. If you’ve seen some of our other companion plant guides, then you might be a little surprised to essentially see crops on this list instead of your standard flowering plants, but that’s just because yarrow works especially well with crops. And garlic, possibly most of all.
You see, yarrow is an amazing plant because it repels harmful insects, whilst attracting beneficial ones. It’s also a natural fertilizer for the soil and works amazingly well with aromatic crops like garlic.
Ordinarily, garlic can be quite hard to grow and get a good yield because their aromatic smell is a big welcoming sign to insects to let them know that they can come on down and have a feast. But those insects won’t come if yarrow is around.
Yarrows are strong plants that will work with almost any crop (with the exception of crops that are susceptible to powdery mildew, because yarrow is too, and spreading that illness would be much easier if plants that suffer from the same ailments are nearby). So, plant yarrow to keep nasty bugs away.
If you were hoping to plant yarrow with plants that are a little more garden friendly and less crop focussed, then lavender is especially great, for a number of reasons too.
You have the obvious one, being that lavender is also an incredibly aromatic plant like garlic is, and this can mean insects flock to lavender plants and damage them. This, of course, won’t happen with their old friend yarrow around to dissuade the insects from coming near.
But another great reason for them growing together is their colors. Yarrow typically has white flowers, but can have yellow or pink varieties too, but regardless of which variety you have, it’ll work great with the beautiful purple of lavender.
Another way yarrow plants benefit their companions is that they actually put more nutrients into the soil than it takes when it grows. That means having yarrow is beneficial to every plant nearby, and that’s true of lavender too, keeping both plants looking great and staying healthy!
Yes, not only will yarrow work great with crops and vegetables etc., but they also work great with herbs. In fact, the benefits are two-way here between both the herbs, in this case rosemary, and the yarrow.
Yarrow repels insects because of its potent scent, which some people liken to intense pine needles. Now, a lot of people love that smell, but many others think that it’s a little strong even for them. Well, herbs are great at masking smells.
Rosemary is especially good too, since rosemary’s scent is quite strong, but without quite the same potency as yarrow. By growing them together, you can certainly lessen the yarrow scent.
But don’t worry, that won’t be lessened for the nasty insects you don’t want around, who will still smell the yarrow and avoid your lovely herb garden, all whilst attracting pollinators to keep your garden buzzing with activity!
4. Grape Vine
Maybe you’re not thinking of starting your own at-home vineyard, and that’s OK, but it’s still interesting to know that yarrow has been used on vineyards for many years, and all because of their natural ability to keep insects away.
A good yield is really important when you’re growing a grape vine, because you need them to be outdoors and open to the elements to get the best possible grape flavor, but this also means the grape vines are at risk from insects.
We already know that yarrow can keep them away, but more importantly for winemakers, especially, is that the yarrow’s scent doesn’t impact on the flavor or scent of the grapes at all.
This is true of all crops, which is what makes yarrow companion plants so easy to find. Basically, if you think your plant would benefit from having less harmful insects around and more good pollinators, then yarrow is the perfect plant for you.
Yarrow companion plants: Final Message
Unlike many plants, you won’t struggle to find yarrow companion plants that will thrive in their presence. We could have replaced any of the fruit, veg, or herbs on this list today with almost any other and the benefits yarrow brings to them would be the same. Just be cautious about powdery mildew, and really yarrow can make a great companion to many different plants!