Approximately 1000 seeds
Achilleas are back in fashion and this is one of the biggest, with flat, plate-like heads of deep yellow flowers held high on tall stems, with ferny foliage beneath. 'Cloth of Gold' is long-lasting, and drought-tolerant, but needs a lot of space to spread out so bear this in mind when choosing a final spot for it. Try it in a sunny spot at the back of a herbaceous border, or among grasses, but be sure to stake it, as it tends to flop over in wet weather. It makes an excellent cut flower so plant a few extra to use in arrangements.
SITE: full sun
FLOWERING MONTHS: June to September
SOW UNDER COVER/PLANT INDOORS: February to June
SOW DIRECT/PLANT OUTDOORS: May to June
CARE TIPS: Achilleas do not like wet soil. Stake using bamboo canes or brushwood before the flowers appear. Cut down to the ground in late winter, but resist the urge to do this earlier, as the seed heads look lovely in the winter light. Pull out seedlings as they appear, as they rarely match the host plant.
Yarrow germinates freely and can be sown at any time of year when conditions are suitable for growth. Sow the seeds into cells or pots containing good quality seed compost. Sow on the surface and do not cover as light aids germination. Water from the base of the tray and place in a propagator or warm place, ideally at 18 to 25°C. Keep the compost moist but not wet at all times. Germination takes 5 to 10 days. Prick out each seedling once it has its first set of “true” leaves and transplant into 7.5cm pots or trays to grow on. Gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost has passed. Transplant to full sun and light soil (if the soil is rich, the stems get floppy). Plant 30 to 60cm apart.