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Description

Achillea 'Moonshine' is a robust and colorful perennial yarrow that grows to 2 ft. tall and 2-3 ft. wide. It produces bright yellow flower heads from mid spring into summer that contrast nicely against gray-green feather shaped foliage. Flowers are used in both fresh and dried floral arrangements; butterflies are attracted to their nectar.

This is one of the most popular and vigorous of the yarrow cultivars that is widely planted as a foliage and flowering accent plant in Mediterranean and southwestern style gardens. It is combined with other flowering perennials and planted around rocks and dry stream beds. It grows best in full sun, on well-drained soils and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer. Deadheading in the summer helps maintain good appearance.

Water Needs

The Moonshine yarrow is one of the easiest plants to grow in Inland Empire gardens in areas of full sun and when sustained with low amounts of summer water. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months marked by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water and you should make irrigation adjustments based of field observations of growth and character.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Perennial
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Clumping
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 2 ft.
Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Gray green
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: All day sun
Function: Rock gardens, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Grouped, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, Borders, Attracts butterflies, Small spaces

Maintenance

Moonshine yarrow can be a low maintenance perennial or higher maintenance, depending on how one chooses to maintain it. Usually, flowers are allowed to fade and dry on the plant, creating an attractive contrast between new, active, and dried flowers. Some people prefer to dead head (cut off) fading blooms. This is best done by cutting off most of the stem attached to the flower (either entirely or down to where there are small leaves). This will extend the bloom cycle, but because Moonshine yarrow is a prolific bloomer, it also creates much more work in the garden. The plant does not care either way. Cutting back the whole plant hard (down to just above the lowest leaf buds, or no taller than a couple inches from the soil level) as soon as flowering is complete and stems are looking ragged will stimulate new growth, the next round of flowering, and maintain a tidier appearance (S). Every few years, especially if plants have begun to loose vigor, divide them. In very early spring, cut them into chunks with a sharp spade and dig the chunks (divisions) out. Only replant divisions that have vigorous looking root systems, usually from the outer areas of the clump. Depending on the age of the plant, or time since last division, the inside part might be woody, with few healthy roots. These parts should be discarded, or removed from the healthier parts and discarded, as you will still have more plants than you started with. Extra plants that you do not need in the garden can be put in a pot with potting soil, grown out until their roots form a new healthy root ball, and planted in new gardens. Divisions directly and newly planted in the garden need to be treated like newly planted plants, with regular water and extra attention (S).

References

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