Preserving Yarrow

Yarrow adds color to gardens in the spring, but by the middle of July the flowers fade and turn brown. Usually, the stems and leaves are still green. How can the intrepid gardener maintain the color in the garden? Yarrows are perennials. You can’t pull them out to replace them. Cutting the spent flowers leaves the stems, which are not ugly, but lack color. But, there is a low-cost, easy way to maintain the color until the end of the year.

When most of the color had faded, I cut a “V” slit in a paper plate, slid it under each of the dry flowers, and sprayed yellow paint on the flowers. This was just ordinary canned spray paint, costing less than four dollars. The plate protects the stems from the paint. Later in the season, I used orange paint to give the flowers a fall hue; then, after Thanksgiving, my garden got a red spray.

My neighbors wanted to know what kind of flowers these were to change color the way they did. If you try this method, be careful not to drip paint off the plate. Change plates if the paint accumulates. These pictures show the before and after flowers as well as the paper plate positioning.

by David Pojmann

Yarrow Before Painting
Before
Yarrow read to paint
Ready to Paint
Yarrow after painting
After