The 10 Best Yarrow Companion Plants for Your Garden

Having difficulty finding the perfect companions for your yarrow? Trust me, I’ve been in your shoes.

After tireless research and hands-on experience, I found some amazing plants that not only grow well with yarrow but also enhance their beneficial properties.

Let’s explore how to cultivate a vibrant garden with yarrow and learn all about the best yarrow companion plants for this beautiful herbaceous perennial—it’s easier than you think.

Get ready to take your gardening game to new heights!

Key Takeaways

  • Yarrow is a versatile herbaceous perennial that attracts beneficial insects and provides shade for other plants.
  • Plants like black-eyed Susan, purple coneflower, coreopsis, cabbage, rosemary, lettuce, tomatoes, garlic, spinach, and blueberries can enhance the beauty and health of your garden when planted with yarrow.
  • However, it’s best to avoid planting ginger, cucumber, and winter squash alongside yarrow as they have different care requirements and may not thrive together.

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Understanding Yarrow: Plant Characteristics and Benefits

dark pink, light pink, and yellow yarrow flowers

Yarrow, scientifically known as Achillea millefolium, is a popular herbaceous perennial renowned for its medicinal properties and charm in the garden.

It flaunts flat-topped clusters of tiny, whimsical white, yellow, dark, or light pink flowers towering over feathery foliage.

These flowers are fantastic pollen and nectar sources, making yarrow plants irresistible to insects like hoverflies, parasitic wasps, butterflies, bees, and lady beetles.

In addition to attracting beneficial insects that ward off common garden pests such as aphids and cabbage worms, yarrow has many medicinal uses, too.

I often utilize this plant for topical pain relief applications—it’s an excellent natural alternative. Yarrow is commonly used as an herbal medicine for digestive issues and minor wounds, and to relieve anxiety and insomnia.

One of the more fascinating yarrow plant characteristics is its resilience in harsh conditions. It’s also drought-tolerant, helping it survive in conditions where other plants wither.

Yarrow can thrive in a range of soil types, from poor sandy soils to rich clay ones—all it needs is a well-draining soil.

All these qualities come together to not just aid your health but also to allow you to seamlessly weave the magic of this wondrous flower into your garden.

The Role of Yarrow in Companion Planting

Yarrow plays a crucial role in companion planting by attracting beneficial insects to your garden and providing shade for other plants.

yarrow companion plants - flowering herbaceous plant growing in a field

Attracting Beneficial Insects

As well as adding delicate flowery beauty to your garden, yarrow plays an essential role in attracting beneficial insects, acting as a magnet for hoverflies, parasitic wasps, butterflies, bees, tachinid flies, green lacewings, and lady beetles.

These insects contribute to your garden’s ecosystem and control pests that could harm your other plants.

The dense foliage of yarrow provides a perfect hiding place for these useful bugs. This is particularly important for predatory mites who seek shelter from harsh weather conditions within its leaves.

Predatory mites are incredibly beneficial to your garden, maintaining and lowering pest populations effectively and organically. 

Moreover, yarrow’s flowers serve as excellent pollen sources and nectar for pollinators such as honeybees.

Having these helpful creatures around significantly enhances the health of your garden while keeping harmful pests under control.

Providing Shade

Yarrow acts as a sturdy parasol for plants that can’t handle too much heat or direct sunlight.

As this perennial flower reaches its full height of approximately three feet, it offers much-needed shade to those beneath it.

Think about your lettuce plants wilting in harsh midday sunlight. Yarrow could be just what they need to beat the heat!

It’s not only beneficial to lettuce; even arugula seems to thrive under the comforting shield that yarrow provides against pests and scorching rays.

The magic of Achillea millefolium extends beyond these leafy greens, too, providing shade for other vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.

So, next time you see your beloved veggies struggling in the summer sun, don’t forget about yarrow’s remarkable ability to provide shade and why it’s a great companion plant for many plants.

Characteristics Of Yarrow

Plant Family
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil, drought-tolerant
Mature Size
Typically 1-3 feet tall
Soil Requirements
Poor to moderately fertile soil; pH 6.0-7.0
Sunlight Needs
Full sun
Temperature Tolerance
Hardy in USDA zones 3-9
Growth Habit
Perennial herb
Flowering Period
Late spring to summer
Flower Color
Varied colors, commonly white, pink, or yellow
Foliage Characteristics
Fern-like, aromatic, green leaves
Propagation Methods
Seeds or division of established plants
Pruning and Maintenance
Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming; cut back after flowering to promote new growth
Common Pests and Diseases
Few pest or disease issues; occasional problems with aphids or powdery mildew
Companion Planting
Cabbage, rosemary, lettuce, and more
Edible Parts
Edible leaves and flowers (young leaves can be used in salads and teas)
Wildlife Attraction
Yarrow flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies
Special Care Instructions
Yarrow is relatively low maintenance, but it can spread quickly, so consider its placement carefully

10 Good Yarrow Companion Plants For Your Garden

Black-eyed Susan, purple coneflower, coreopsis, cabbage, rosemary, lettuce, tomatoes, garlic, spinach, and blueberries are all excellent companion plants for yarrow in your garden.

1. Black-Eyed Susan

a group of bright yellow black-eyed Susan flowers on a sunny day, with a butterfly settled on one in the middle

Black-eyed Susan is a beautiful flowering perennial that pairs perfectly with yarrow in your garden.

Drought-tolerant once established and able to thrive in direct sun and various soil types, both plants have similar care requirements, making them easy to grow together. 

Black-eyed Susan also invites butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects to your garden. 

With the black-eyed Susan’s pop of vibrant yellow against yarrow’s delicate and feathery backdrop, these two plants create a visually pleasing combination that will enhance the overall beauty of your outdoor space.

Plus, their shared care needs make it simple to maintain and enjoy their stunning blooms all season long.

2. Purple Coneflower

purple coneflowers growing in a garden

Echinacea, also known as purple coneflower, is an herbaceous flowering plant that makes a great companion to any garden. It pairs well with yarrow and has numerous benefits when used as a companion plant.

One of the standout qualities of the purple coneflower is its ability to attract birds like goldfinches and chickadees, thanks to its larger seeds.

This lovely native wildflower also attracts beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps, green lacewings, and tachinid flies.

These insects help control garden pests like aphids, thrips, whiteflies, cabbage worms, and armyworms.

Furthermore, purple coneflower is known for attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies, contributing to the overall health of your garden ecosystem while adding an aesthetically pleasing splash of color. 

3. Coreopsis

row of bright yellow coreopsis (tickseed) flowers

Coreopsis, also known as tickseed, is a beautiful companion plant that amplifies the color palette of your garden. It is known for its bright and vibrant flowers, which come in various shades of yellow, pink, and red.

Coreopsis attracts helpful insects such as butterflies, bees, and hoverflies with its pollen and nectar.

This perennial also loves bright sun and dry conditions, tolerating drought and poor soil well, making its maintenance even easier when planted alongside yarrow. 

Additionally, coreopsis provides shade to other plants, helping them thrive in hot weather conditions.

With its stunning blooms and ability to attract beneficial insects, coreopsis is a great choice for companion planting in your garden.

4. Cabbage

cabbage growing amidst beautiful yellow and orange flowers in a garden

Cabbage is an excellent companion plant for yarrow. Yarrow attracts beneficial insects that prey on common cabbage pests, such as aphids and cabbage worms.

Planting yarrow alongside cabbage plants can encourage the presence of hoverflies, parasitic wasps, lady beetles, and other helpful insects that keep pests at bay.

This natural pest control method can help protect your cabbage crops from damage and reduce the need for chemical pesticides. 

5. Rosemary

rosemary with vibrant indigo flowers growing in a garden

This drought-tolerant perennial not only adds a lovely aroma to your garden but also has culinary uses.

When paired with yarrow, rosemary enhances its shading effect, providing an even more comfortable environment for both plants to thrive.

One great thing about rosemary is its versatility—it can tolerate poor soil conditions and withstand periods of drought, just like yarrow.

So, if you’re looking for a reliable and low-maintenance companion for your yarrow, consider planting some rosemary in your garden!

6. Lettuce

lettuce growing in neat rows in rich, healthy soil

Lettuce is one of the top companion plants for yarrow. It benefits from the shading abilities of yarrow, which helps keep it cool and protected from excessive sunlight.

Additionally, yarrow attracts beneficial insects such as green lacewings and ladybugs that feed on common pests that feed on lettuce.

These helpful bugs help keep your lettuce plants healthy and free from damaging pests.

By planting lettuce alongside yarrow, you can create a symbiotic relationship between the two plants, promoting a thriving and pest-free garden.

7. Tomatoes

close up of two healthy, plump red tomatoes growing on a vine

Tomatoes and yarrow make a great team because yarrows attracts insects that help control tomato pests like aphids, thrips, and whiteflies.

These pests can cause damage to tomato plants, but with yarrow nearby, natural predators such as predatory wasps and lady beetles are drawn to the garden.

These helpful insects feed on the harmful pests, keeping them in check and protecting your tomatoes.

Plant yarrow alongside your tomatoes to create a balanced ecosystem that supports healthy plant growth and reduces the need for chemical pesticides.

8. Garlic

garlic sprouting in a vegetable garden with a wooden border

Garlic is a fantastic companion plant for yarrow. Not only does it provide shelter and prevent pest attacks, but it is also an easy crop to grow.

Garlic is definitely one of the top choices when looking for companion plants for your yarrow.

With its strong aroma, garlic helps protect yarrow plants from pests, making it a super partner in your garden.

Consider planting some garlic alongside your yarrow for added protection and ecosystem benefits. The best part? You can harvest the garlic to use in your kitchen!

9. Spinach

rows of spinach growing in the ground

Not only does it make a delicious addition to your meals, spinach also benefits from having yarrow nearby.

Yarrow attracts beneficial insects like green lacewings and ladybugs, which can help protect your spinach from pests such as aphids and thrips.

These insects feed on the harmful bugs that commonly affect spinach, keeping them under control naturally.

Plus, yarrow and spinach have similar care requirements, making them easy to grow together.

So, if you’re looking to boost the health of your spinach while adding beauty to your garden, consider planting it alongside yarrow!

10. Blueberries

close up of a cluster of blueberries growing in a garden

Blueberries are fantastic companion plants for yarrow in your garden. Both blueberries and yarrow thrive in well-drained soil and can handle periods of drought, making them a great match.

They also have similar care requirements, including needing full sun and well-draining soil.

One benefit of growing blueberries alongside yarrow is the aesthetic appeal—the attractive flowers of yarrow can enhance the visual beauty of blueberry plants.

In addition, the root secretions of yarrow can enhance the fragrance, flavor, and color of nearby plants, including blueberries.

Why not plant some delicious blueberries next to your yarrow to create a stunning, aromatic garden space?

Plants to Avoid Planting Near Yarrow

Avoid growing ginger, cucumbers, and winter squash near yarrow.


You don’t want to grow yarrow next to ginger. Ginger and yarrow have very different care requirements and may not thrive when planted together.

They may compete for nutrients and space, resulting in stunted growth.

Additionally, ginger and yarrow have different watering and sunlight needs, making them incompatible companions.

It’s important to consider these factors when planning your garden to ensure the health and success of your plants.


Cucumbers should be avoided as a yarrow companion plant. This is because yarrow’s competitive growth can limit sunlight, leading to overcrowding and stunting the growth of cucumber plants.

Yarrow has a robust root system that may overpower the slower-growing cucumbers. Additionally, yarrow does not repel the pests that commonly affect cucumber plants.

Since cucumbers and yarrow have different growth rates and preferences, they are unsuitable companions in the garden.

So, if you want to plant this crunchy vegetable in your garden, instead, choose more suitable cucumber companion plants

Winter Squash

Winter squash should be avoided as a companion plant for yarrow. The aggressive growth and spreading habit of yarrow may overshadow and hinder the growth of winter squash plants.

These two plants may also compete for nutrients and space, making it challenging for both to thrive together.

Furthermore, when yarrow reaches its mature height, it provides shade that can negatively impact the growth and development of winter squash by limiting sunlight exposure and airflow.

Keeping these two plants separate in your garden is best to ensure optimal growth for both.

How to Effectively Use Yarrow as a Companion Plant

Yarrow is a versatile companion plant that can benefit your garden in various ways.

Here are some tips on how to effectively use yarrow:

  • Plant yarrow near your vegetables and herbs to attract beneficial insects like hoverflies, parasitic wasps, butterflies, and ladybugs. But first, do your research to find out which vegetables and herbs are the best companion plants for yarrow. 
  • Use yarrow as a natural shade provider for heat-sensitive plants.
  • Pair yarrow with herbs like rosemary to create a beneficial environment for plants like lettuce, spinach, and tomato. These two herbs work well together to attract beneficial insects that feed on these vegetables.

Final Thoughts

Adding yarrow to your garden can have numerous benefits for both your plants and the surrounding ecosystem.

By attracting beneficial insects and providing shade, yarrow creates a harmonious environment for plant growth.

Pairing it with companion plants like black-eyed Susan, purple coneflower, and coreopsis can further enhance these benefits.

Just be sure to avoid planting yarrow with ginger, cucumbers, and winter squash, as they may not thrive in its presence.

FAQs About Planting Yarrow In Your Garden

What can you not plant with yarrow?

Yarrow should not be planted with vegetables from the Allium family, such as onions and garlic, as it may inhibit their growth due to its allelopathic properties.

What is yarrow a good companion plant for?

Yarrow is a good companion for various flowering plants, herbs, and vegetables. Yarrow can also enhance nearby plants’ health and flavor and attract beneficial insects that help with pollination and pest control.

Can I plant yarrow in my vegetable garden?

Yes, you can plant yarrow in your vegetable garden. Yarrow can benefit vegetable plants by attracting beneficial insects and improving soil health. However, avoid planting it near Allium family vegetables, as mentioned earlier.

Will yarrow choke out other plants?

No, yarrow is not known to be an aggressive or choking plant. It generally grows in clumps and doesn’t aggressively spread or overtake other nearby plants.

Where should I plant yarrow in my garden?

Yarrow prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade. It grows well in various soil types, including well-draining and poor soils.

Plant yarrow in a location with good air circulation to help prevent diseases.

What animal eats yarrow plants?

Deer, rabbits, and some other herbivores may eat yarrow plants. They are considered deer-resistant, but in areas with high deer populations, yarrow may still be at risk of being grazed.

Does yarrow attract hummingbirds?

Yarrow flowers are not typically known for attracting hummingbirds. They primarily attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators due to their nectar-rich blooms.

Is Yarrow low maintenance?

Yes, yarrow is generally considered a low-maintenance plant. Once established, it is drought-tolerant and requires minimal watering.

It is also relatively pest and disease-resistant, making it a low-maintenance addition to the garden.

How do companion plants benefit yarrow in the garden?

Companion plants can benefit yarrow by attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies, improving soil health through nitrogen fixation or nutrient uptake, and providing shade or support to enhance its growth and overall health.

Can I grow vegetables as companion plants alongside yarrow?

Yes, certain vegetables can be grown as companion plants alongside yarrow. Some suitable options include tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, and cucumbers.

However, it is important to consider their individual growing requirements before planting them together.

How tall does yarrow grow?

Yarrow can grow up to three feet tall. Its tall, slender stems make it a great addition to garden borders or as a background plant.

Is yarrow a perennial plant?

Yes, yarrow is a perennial plant, which means it will keep coming back year after year without needing to be replanted.

What should I avoid planting next to yarrow?

It is best to keep certain plants, such as those susceptible to powdery mildew, away from your yarrow. These plants may not thrive near yarrow.

Can I use yarrow as a natural herbicide?

While yarrow has properties that can help control weeds, it is not a strong enough herbicide to eliminate them entirely.

However, it can still be used as a companion plant to help suppress weed growth.