The Art of Propagating Yarrow: A Guide to Successful Growth

The Art of Propagating Yarrow: A Guide to Successful Growth

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a versatile and resilient herbaceous perennial known for its feathery foliage and clusters of vibrant flowers. Propagating yarrow is a rewarding endeavor that allows gardeners to multiply their plant stock and enjoy its numerous benefits. This guide will explore the various methods of yarrow propagation, shedding light on the steps to ensure successful growth.

Understanding Yarrow

Before delving into the propagation techniques, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of yarrow. This hardy plant is native to Europe and Asia but has adapted well to various climates around the world. Yarrow boasts fern-like leaves and flat-topped flower clusters that can be white, pink, yellow, or red, depending on the variety.

Photo Credit: Alicia Lamborn

Propagation Methods

Yarrow can be propagated from seeds, providing a cost-effective and straightforward method. Collect seeds from mature yarrow plants in late summer or early fall. Sow the seeds in well-draining soil, either directly in the garden or in seed trays indoors. Keep the soil consistently moist until germination occurs, typically within two weeks. Once seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant them to their permanent locations.

Division is a reliable method for propagating yarrow while rejuvenating older plants. Divide established yarrow clumps in the early spring or fall when the plant is dormant. Using a sharp spade, separate the clump into sections, ensuring each division has both roots and shoots. Replant the divisions in well-prepared soil, spacing them appropriately to allow for future growth.

Other methods that are often used but not as popular include root cuttings and softwood cuttings.

Care Tips for Propagated Yarrow

Regardless of the propagation method used, certain care practices contribute to the success of young yarrow plants:

  • Yarrow thrives in full sun and well-draining soil. Ensure that the planting site receives at least six hours of sunlight daily and use soil that allows water to drain freely.
  • While yarrow is drought-tolerant once established, newly propagated plants require regular watering. Keep the soil consistently moist until the roots are well-established.
  • Apply a layer of mulch around yarrow plants to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.
  • Yarrow generally doesn’t require heavy fertilization. A balanced, all-purpose fertilizer applied in spring can support healthy growth.

Propagating yarrow can be a rewarding process that allows both novice and experienced gardeners to expand their yarrow collection. Whether through seeds, division, root cuttings, or softwood cuttings, understanding the specific requirements of each method is crucial for success. By following these propagation techniques and providing proper care, you can enjoy the beauty and versatility of yarrow in your garden for years to come.

For more interesting facts on this plant, you can visit “yay for yarrow” | Gardening in the Panhandle ( or consult your local extension office. Supporting information for this article can also be found by clicking the link below Yarrow.pdf (

Amarylis – The Botanical Fashion Statement

Amarylis – The Botanical Fashion Statement

Gardening is a year-round activity here in the deep South. As the rest of the states bundle up for the upcoming winter, North Florida’s gardens are bustling with activity. There is still plenty to do this November in North Florida. Amongst the many tasks include planting the subtropical amaryllis, Hippeastrum spp. It’s a beloved choice for gardeners due to its hardy nature and minimal maintenance requirements. The good news is, you can welcome these wonderful amaryllis into your garden this November, bringing a burst of beauty to your outdoor space in the coming spring without much fuss.

Amaryllis is a low maintenance, reliable bulb for Florida. Credit: fotofrogdesigner/iStock/Thinkstock, © fotofrogdesigner


Imagine flowers that open up like grand trumpets, each one stretching up to a generous six inches in diameter. What’s more, these magnificent blooms don’t make a solo appearance; they often arrive one after the other, as if in a graceful floral procession. Amaryllis doesn’t just shine in one color but offers a whole palette of choices – from vibrant reds, warm oranges, and delicate pinks to the purest of whites. And for those who adore the extraordinary, there are amaryllis varieties with stunning stripes as well. The plant itself boasts glossy, elongated leaves, each one measuring about 1.5 inches wide and 18 inches in length. With amaryllis, nature’s paintbrush knows no bounds.


For amaryllis in North Florida, it’s ideal to plant them during November and December. Find a spot with some sunlight and good drainage, not too much shade or full sun. These bulbs are tough; just dig a hole deep enough, but for top performance, prepare the soil by tilling it, mixing in organic material and some complete fertilizer. Plant bulbs about a foot apart, with their necks above the ground. Water them when you first plant and keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged until they’re settled in.


Amaryllis plants can keep on blooming if they get what they need and the bulbs can be left in the ground for years. To keep them happy, put some mulch down when you plant and get rid of any weeds that show up. In the growing season (from March to September), you can feed them with fertilizer, but be sure to follow the instructions on the label. When they’re growing and blooming, make sure the soil stays moist. Once they’re established, they can handle dry spells and only need water if it’s been super dry for a while. After the flowers are done, you should remove the old flower stems, and this not only keeps things looking nice but also helps prevent diseases. Every now and then, amaryllis might get a fungus problem called “red blotch” or “leaf scorch,” and you might also spot some chewing insects like caterpillars or grasshoppers.

Red blotch disease of Amaryllis. Credit: Bob Rutemoeller


Amaryllis creates a stunning landscape display when planted in masses of 10 or more, all with the same vibrant color. You can place them right at the base of evergreen shrubs to create a beautiful backdrop. If your house and shrubs have dark colors, go for amaryllis with bright, eye-catching flower colors. On the other hand, if your house and surroundings are light or white, the darker-colored amaryllis will really stand out. These versatile plants have many uses in your landscape, whether you’re decorating terraces, creating tree islands, sprucing up slopes, adding a welcoming touch near a gate, enhancing borders, or simply scattering them around for a pop of spring color.

Amaryllis has many landscape uses. Credit: squirrel77/iStock/Thinkstock, © squirrel77

The beautiful amaryllis offers a glimpse into the resilience and wonder of nature, reminding us that even in the face of changing seasons, life and beauty continue to thrive. Why settle for ordinary blooms when you can have the show-stopping drama of amaryllis? This November, ditch the dull and dive headfirst into the dazzling world of these majestic bulbs.

 For more information about growing amaryllis, contact your local UF/IFAS county extension office.

A beautiful plant with a confusing parentage

A beautiful plant with a confusing parentage

Plant names in today’s industry are not as simple as the established binomial (genus and specific) and a common name. Many of the plants that you get for your landscape are varieties, cultivars, and hybrids. To make matters more complicated, there are trade names that are given to plants to aid in marketing.  We see the Endless Summer® hydrangea or Purple Pixie® Loropetalum.  Throw into the mix the work of plant taxonomists who are always reclassifying plants and we can all be truly confused about a plant’s name. 

Even as names change, it is still fun to learn plant names.  Just recently, I sent plant pictures to the UF Herbarium to help get a clarification on the plant I was calling Georgia savory, Clinopodium sp.  This is one of my favorite plants because it makes a spreading groundcover that grows about 1.5 feet tall and has tubular flowers in spring and fall. Many pollinators visit the flowers.  It also grows well in sandy, well drained soil and thrives on occasional water.  I have a single plant in my backyard that only gets water from rain and has grown to five feet wide over several years.  It is definitely a low maintenance beauty.

‘Desi Arnaz’ hybrid Georgia savory. Photo by Beth Bolles, UF IFAS Extension Escambia County.

My results back from the UF Herbarium did not completely clear up this plant’s name. There are reports that it is a hybrid of Clinopodium georgianum ×  Clinopodium ashei ‘Desi Arnaz’. Other information suggests that it is an intergeneric hybrid between Clinopodium and Conradina named x Clinadina ‘Desi Arnaz’.

The lesson from all this confusion is to just do your best. Realize that all of us can be mistaken on a plant’s name and even those that study plants in depth don’t always agree on a name.  In the world of plant names, change can happen.   

Blue Blooming Beauties of the Florida Panhandle

Blue Blooming Beauties of the Florida Panhandle

It’s no secret that fall, October specifically, is the best month for wildflower watching in the Panhandle.  From the abundant vibrant yellow-gold display of various Sunflowers, Asters, and Goldenrods to the cosmopolitan bright pinks and purples of Mistflower, Blazing Star, and False Foxglove, local native landscapes light up each year around this time.  However, if you’re lucky and know where to look, you can also spot two species, Azure Blue Sage (Salvia azurea) and Forked Bluecurls (Trichostema dichotomum) that sport that rarest of wildflower hues – vivid blue. 

Forked Bluecurls begins its flower show in late summer, picking up steam in fall, and reaching its peak now as nights get cool and the days grow short.   The species’ flowers are easily among the most unique around.  Each flower has two distinct “lips” – the lower lip is white and dotted with blue specks, while the top is distinctly pure blue – with characteristically curled blue stamens rising to preside over the rest of the flower below.  Though individual flowers are very small and only bloom in the morning, they appear by the hundreds and are very striking taken together.  Various pollinators, especially bees, also find Forked Bluecurls flowers to their liking and frequent them on cool fall mornings. Though the flowers are obviously the highlight, the rest of the plant is attractive as well, growing to 3’ in height and possessing small, light-green fuzzy leaves.   Forked Bluecurls, while not exceedingly common, can be found in sunny, sandy natural areas throughout the Panhandle, including well-drained flatwoods, sandhills, and open, disturbed areas.

Forked Bluecurls blooming in an open natural area in Calhoun County, FL. Photo courtesy of Daniel Leonard.

The second blue bloomer, Azure Blue Sage, is possibly even more striking in flower than Forked Bluecurls.  Aptly named and blooming around the same time as Forked Blue Curls, Azure Blue Sage is a much larger plant (often 4-6’ in height) and holds its abundant sky-blue flowers high above the surrounding landscape.  Because of their height and their propensity to occur in bunches, Azure Blue Sage’s brilliant tubular flowers are immediately noticeable to passersby and the myriad bee and butterfly pollinators that visit.  Beyond its flowers, Azure Blue Sage is a very unusual looking perennial plant, tall and spindly with dark green, narrow leaves held tightly to square stems, a giveaway of its lineage in the Mint family.  The species can be found in similar areas to Forked Bluecurls – natural areas in the Panhandle that possess abundant sunshine and sandy, well-drained soil. 

Azure Blue Sage blooming in a recently replanted pine forest in Calhoun County, FL. Photo courtesy of Daniel Leonard.

Both species would make excellent additions to mixed perennial landscapes where the soil and sun conditions were right, as they are exceedingly low-maintenance and have the propensity to reseed themselves from year to year.  Unfortunately, they are rarer in the nursery trade than they are in the wild and can only be found occasionally at nurseries specializing in Florida native plants.  (Visit to find native nurseries in your area!)  However, even if you are unable to source a plant for your home, both these somewhat rare, blue-blooming fall beauties, Forked Bluecurls and Azure Blue Sage, are worth searching out in the many State Parks and public natural areas across the Panhandle!  For more information about Forked Bluecurls and Azure Blue sage or any other natural resource, horticultural, or agricultural topic, contact your local UF/IFAS County Extension Office. Happy fall wildflower watching!

The Enchanting Allure of the Purple Coneflower

The Enchanting Allure of the Purple Coneflower

Article Written By: Khadejah Scott, Horticulture/Agriculture/Natural Resources Extension Agent, University of Florida/IFAS Extension – Wakulla County

Among the notable floral species is the striking and resilient Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). With its enchanting blooms and remarkable adaptability, the coneflower has captured the attention of both nature enthusiasts and gardening enthusiasts alike. The Purple Coneflower has fascinating characteristics that thrive in our unique region. 

Purple coneflowers
Purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea). Photo Credit: University of Florida/IFAS


On top of sturdy, hairy branches, this hardy perennial produces daisy-like flowers with a cone-shaped center and petals in pink, lavender, and purple hues that are either horizontal or drooping. In the spring and summer, the flowers are displayed atop sturdy, 2 – 4-foot stalks that are known to tolerate wind and rain. Nothing compares to a Purple Coneflower in full bloom. 


The Purple Coneflower is an incredibly useful landscape plant, and there are several cultivars available. The Purple Coneflower’s rigid look contrasts nicely with the softness of other perennials and fine-textured plants. Because of the gorgeous blossom, the plant draws a lot of attention and works well as part of a mixed perennial border. Coneflowers are also well-suited for bulk plantings since they look stunning in drifts and draw a ton of butterflies.  


Purple coneflowers prefer well-drained, acidic to slightly alkaline loam and clay soil. They thrive best in a light shade as improved drought resistance and enhanced flower and leaf color result from protection from the late afternoon sun. To encourage additional flowers, remove fading blossoms, and divide clumps every few years to maintain healthy plants. Watch out for powdery mildew and whiteflies. During damp weather, fungus-related leaf patches could emerge as well.  

The Purple Coneflower stands as a remarkable testament to nature’s ingenuity and beauty. Its stunning petals, growing properties, and ability to attract a myriad of beneficial insects make it a true gem in any garden. The Purple Coneflower is more than just a visually captivating plant—it is a symbol of resilience, healing, and harmony with the natural world. For more information about Purple Coneflower, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office.

Incredible Crinums

Incredible Crinums

It’s always nice to find an easy-to-grow landscape plant that stuns with its beauty. The many varieties of Crinum lilies do just that and are a great addition to the north Florida landscape. Crinum lilies are not truly a lily, but a member of the Amaryllis family which also includes other familiar north Florida landscape plants such as onions (Allium), agapanthus (Agapanthus), daffodils (Narcissus), and other “lilies” such as spider lily (Hymenocallis) and hurricane lily (Lycoris). While there is one species of Crinum that is native (Crinum americanum), most of our cultivated species originate in Africa and/or Asia.

Crinums are considered to be among the largest of the true bulbs. Most should be treated with caution since they can be poisonous to children and pets, mostly through ingestion of plant tissue. Their leaves are typically long and strap-like with a glossy green color. The flowers are the real treat, appearing on the ends of bare stems, typically held above the plant’s foliage. The flowers can be used for cut flowers, too.

Below are some of the more common Crinums that can be successfully grown in north Florida:

Crinum asiaticum

Giant Crinum, or poison bulb, is the largest of the Crinums and one of the more common ones to see in the landscape. The bright white flowers with showy, purple-tinged stamens are impressive.

The giant Crinum’s stunning bloom. Credit: Mark Tancig

Crinum zeylanicum

This Crinum is often called the milk-and-wine crinum for the white and red striped flowers.

The milk-and-wine Crinum. Credit: The Trustees of the British Museum, Creative Commons.

Crinum x amabile

The Queen Emma Crinum is a hybrid of the first two – C. asiaticum and C. zeylanicum. It has the size and shape of giant Crinum with maroon-tinted flowers and leaves.

The Queen Emma Crinum. Credit: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Creative Commons.

Crinum moorei

This Crinum goes by the common name natal lily and is native to the southern horn of Africa. This species has wider leaves than most with the natural flower color being a light pink. There is a white-flowered cultivar named ‘Alba’.

Crinum moorei, variety ‘Alba’ used in a container. Credit: Erik Taanman, Creative Commons.

Crinum x powellii

This Crinum is a hybrid between C. moorei and C. bulbispermum. The most common cultivar is the ‘Cecil Houdyshel’ which has fragrant, rose-colored flowers.

In the landscape, these can be used as specimen plants, especially the giant Crinum or Queen Emma Crinum, or planted in mass. They all prefer full sun but wouldn’t mind afternoon shade, and can handle partial shade, though blooms may be less showy. Most prefer moderately-drained soil, but can handle sandy sites with irrigation, especially during dry times. These plants come from warm climates and may get zapped by our winter cold snaps. Fortunately, their bulbs, have stored energy to flush out new growth the following spring. Pests and diseases are few, with grasshoppers and leaf spots in the summer being the main concerns.

There are many hybrid Crinums available to experiment with but look for those that are hardy to Zone 8. You can read more about Crinums on the UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions website or contact your local county extension office.