Tarragon-French

  • Plant Type: Perennial, zones 5 to 7; Winter annual in zones 8 and 9
  • Sun: Full sun/Part shade
  • Plant Size: 2 feet tall
  • Culinary Use: Fresh or dried leaves for vegetables, chicken, and fish dishes

French tarragon is the delicately flavored herb that has made tarragon chicken salad a staple of ladies’ luncheons. In the garden, the strongly aromatic plant features dark green leaves and small white flowers. Unlike the seed-grown tarragons that can be rather tasteless, French tarragon must be grown from cuttings and purchased as a plant. Plant French tarragon in slightly dry, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.

Plant Spacing: 18 inches. Plants Per Person: 2 to 3.

Secrets to Success »

In hot climates, give this plant some shade. French tarragon spreads to make a mass of stems and works well in containers, where it will spill over the edge of a pot. Growing in containers helps keep the foliage dry.

Harvest and Use »

French tarragon leaves are best fresh but can also be used dried. Snip fresh sprigs as needed from spring through fall. Before the first frost, harvest the stems by cutting at the base and air-dry, freeze, or preserve them in vinegar.

Try these garden companions »

  • Basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, and lemon balm for making your own Herbes de Provence.
  • Lettuce, red onion, tomatoes for tarragon chicken salad.
  • Bush beans; steam and toss in tarragon dressing.

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