Growing Tarragon

French Tarragon is a cook’s staple for seasoning fish and poultry, eggs and salads.  Tarragon is also commonly included in blends of herbs.  French Tarragon is hardy to zone 4.


Sun Requirements:  6-8 hours full sun, will benefit from some afternoon shade in warm regions.

Soil:  Prefers a light loose soil, but is not terribly fussy.  Must be well drained.

Moisture:  Average moisture requirements, do not over water or allow soil to remain wet.

Spacing:  18 to 24 inches apart

Feeding:  Very little fertilizer is necessary.  An occasional spray of fish fertilizer or compost tea during the growing season is adequate.

Growing from Seed:  Grow perennial tarragon from root cuttings or from bedding plants.  Tarragon grown from seed, Russian tarragon, does not produce desirable flavor for cooking.

Problems:  Virtually free of disease problems, may occasionally be bothered by spider mites or whitefly.


With a garden or kitchen shears snip off only the young tender growth from all over the plant.  The woody base will continue to produce new tender growth for harvest.  Strip the leaves off the stem by running your thumb and forefinger along the stem from top to bottom.


Wrap fresh stems in paper towel and refrigerate in a plastic bag for 2 to 3 weeks.


Freeze or dry leaves without heat so they retain their essential oils.  Try not to store dried leaves too long, they do lose flavor.

Sharon Dwyer