Achillea millefolium ‘Red Velvet’ – The Resilient Red Velvet Yarrow
Background: Achillea millefolium ‘Red Velvet’, commonly known as Red Velvet Yarrow or simply Yarrow, is a magnificent addition to any garden. This perennial plant graces the landscape with long-lasting clusters of striking, non-fading deep-red flowers that adorn tall, sturdy stems. Its aromatic, fern-like green foliage is disease-resistant and beautifully complements the cheerful flat umbel flowers. This plant thrives with minimal care, making it an excellent choice for novice and experienced gardeners.
Family and Heritage:
It’s important to note that Achillea, commonly known as Yarrow, belongs to the Asteraceae family. This plant family encompasses other well-known members like asters, chrysanthemums, and sunflowers.
Native to Europe, Western Asia, and North America, the Achillea millefolium species has a rich history of herbal use. Its name derives from the hero Achilles in Greek mythology, who reputedly used the plant to heal wounds and stop bleeding. This historical significance adds to the plant’s charm and allure.
The genus Achillea, named after the legendary Achilles, is celebrated for its versatility, ease of propagation, and availability of various sizes and colors, making it a valuable addition to gardens and landscapes, offering summer-long beauty and ecological benefits. However, it’s essential to be aware that this plant can be toxic to dogs, cats, and horses, so precautions should be taken in areas where these animals are present.
Description: The ‘Red Velvet’ Yarrow reaches a height and width of up to 30 inches, forming sturdy, upright clumps that create a visually appealing presence in your garden. It’s known for its aromatic, fern-like green foliage and long-lasting clusters of striking, non-fading deep-red flowers.
Flower and Foliage Description: The flat umbel flowers of ‘Red Velvet’ Yarrow are deep red and non-fading, providing enduring beauty to your garden. The green foliage is fern-like and exudes a delightful aroma.
Cultivation of Achillea millefolium ‘Red Velvet’:
Sunlight Requirements: Achillea millefolium ‘Red Velvet’ thrives in full sun, showcasing its best coloration and blooming when exposed to direct sunlight. While it can tolerate light shade, the most vibrant displays occur in full sun.
Soil and Moisture Needs: This Yarrow variety prefers well-drained soils with average to dry moisture levels. It exhibits remarkable tolerance to various soil conditions, including sandy or gravelly soils. However, it is sensitive to poorly drained soils and excessive winter moisture, which can lead to a leggy or floppy appearance. Planting in raised beds or sloped areas can help ensure the plant’s survival in wet conditions.
Watering Requirements: While not as drought-tolerant as cacti, ‘Red Velvet’ Yarrow can thrive in desert-like climates. The amount of water needed will depend on the specific varieties and the soil’s water-holding capacity. Native species rarely require supplemental watering once established. However, hybrids bred for garden conditions may need additional watering during prolonged dry spells.
Pruning and Deadheading:
Achillea millefolium ‘Red Velvet’ generally requires minimal pruning. However, removing the stems after the initial flowering period can promote new foliage growth and potentially trigger a second flush of blooms. Deadheading spent flowers also helps prolong the flowering period. Leaving a few seed heads on the stalks toward the end of the season can allow for natural reseeding.
Pests and Diseases: While Achillea millefolium ‘Red Velvet’ doesn’t face serious threats, it’s essential to be vigilant for potential issues. It’s generally resistant to pests and diseases.
Propagation: ‘Red Velvet’ Yarrow can be propagated by division in early spring. Divide the clumps into smaller sections and replant them.
This perennial plant graces the landscape with long-lasting clusters of striking, non-fading deep-red flowers that adorn tall, sturdy stems. Its aromatic, fern-like green foliage is disease-resistant and beautifully complements the cheerful flat umbel flowers. This plant thrives with minimal care, making it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.
Thriving with minimal care, Achillea ‘Red Velvet’ is drought-resistant, heat-tolerant, humidity-resistant, and unappealing to deer and rabbits. This perennial stands out not only for its captivating appearance but also for its resilience.
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