Growing Tips: Achillea Ptarmica

Quick Reference:

Perennial, a plant that usually does not flower until the second season and lives and flowers for multiple seasons thereafter. Germinates in 10 to 12 days with an optimum soil temperature of 65 to 70 degrees F. DO NOT cover seed, light is required to germination. Seed spacing 1 to 1 ½ inches. Spacing between plants in the garden, 12 to 18 inches. Plant height, 18 to 30 inches.

Where to plant:

Achillea likes full sun and will grow in any ordinary well-drained soil.

Planting Instructions:

In Alaska, when perennial seed is planted directly in the garden, it is recommended that planting be delayed until mid June to allow the soil to warm.  It is preferred that the seed be started indoors in a container because the environment is easier to control.  Fill a container that has drainage holes with sterilized potting soil, sprinkle seeds on soil surface, DO NOT cover seeds as they need light to germinate and water well for good seed-soil contact. Keep moist and cover the container with clear plastic to conserve moisture.  Remove the plastic as soon as the first seedlings begin to sprout.  When seedlings show their first green leaves water with a liquid solution of plant food and again every two weeks.  As soon as the seedlings have three or four true leaves transplant to individual plastic pots and grow in full sun with cool night temperatures, 50 to 55 degrees F until the garden is ready.  Transplant seedlings outdoors when they are 2 to 3 inches tall, after the last frost.

Care:

Grows in poor soil and requires only a moderate amount of moisture.  Enrich with plant food once a year, excessive plant food will reduce bloom. Do not water plants late in the day. Because of their loose habit it is best they are staked for support.  In winter, protect plants with a light mulch applied after the first freeze where there is not reliable snow cover.