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Tarragon is a perennial herb in the family Asteraceae, originating from Western Asia and Europe and then brought to North America by the French.
It grows best in loose, well-drained soil and requires only moderate watering during the growing season.
Does Tarragon need full sun? You’ll find out about the sun requirements and other conditions tarragon needs to flourish below.
Tarragon has been used as a culinary herb for cooking with foods such as eggs, meat, sauces, and salad dressings for a very long time. It has a licorice-like, peppery flavor.
There are 3 types of tarragon available: French, Russian, and Mexican tarragon. The Russians use it as a spice in cooking, while the French use it more for sauces and vinaigrette. The Mexicans use it for flavouring.
Likewise, it possesses medicinal properties. Tarragon boosts digestion, takes care of inflammation, improves cognitive functions, and is a natural pain reliever.
Tarragon grows 45 to 50cm in length and the leaves are narrow and oblong. The plant thrives in dry soil and produces small white flowers during its flowering period from June to September.
Want to learn more about how to grow this wonderful herb? Keep reading!
Although tarragon is best grown from cuttings, divisions, or seedlings, some varieties can be reproduced from seeds. Tarragon seeds should be planted indoors around April or before the last expected frost in your area.
The easiest way is to sow four to six seeds in each pot using moist, composted potting soil. Cover the seeds lightly and keep them in the room with dim light.
Once the seedlings begin to sprout or get to a few centimeters (7.5cm) in length and the weather has started to warm up, they can be transplanted to the garden, outdoors.
Tarragon has an extensive root system, making it fairly tolerant of dry conditions. Established plants do not need frequent watering except during extremely dry spells.
Applying a substantial layer of mulch in the autumn season will also help plants through the winter. Tarragon can also be grown indoors as a houseplant or in a greenhouse all year round.
How Long Does Tarragon Need To Stay In the Sun?
Tarragon is one of the few herbs that do not like long hours in the sun. Of course, it will need sunlight to survive but unlike most herbs, more than 6 hours of direct sun is harmful to tarragon.
If you live in a hot, dry climate, your tarragon will have to receive less sun and more shade. For those in milder climates, up to 8 hours of full sun is acceptable.
For a healthy, lush look, tarragon should receive a maximum of 6 hours of full sun in very hot weather and 8 hours of the same in temperate weather every day.
Does Tarragon Grow In Partial Shade?
Tarragon can tolerate shade under different circumstances which is an added benefit of growing it. It grows very well in partial shade.
This is the ideal place to plant tarragon as an alternative to full sun if you live in hotter zones. Those who live in cooler climates should be mindful when planting tarragon in the shade so that it is not affected negatively.
Full sun for extended periods in extreme heat can damage tarragon so partial shade is an ideal condition to grow tarragon in because it offers protection from intense sun and still allows it to get enough.
Does Tarragon Grow In Full Shade?
Tarragon grows in full shade and will not be too affected by lack of full, direct sun except in appearance. If grown in full shade, its flavor and scent will not be diminished but the plant may look droopy.
In addition, tarragon grown in full shade may develop a sparse, gangly appearance but this can be corrected by pruning such twigs to stimulate new growth. This should be done often and all through the growing season to keep the herb looking fresh and lively.
The Effects Of Sun Deprivation On Tarragon
As we mentioned earlier, tarragon planted in any type of shade, partial or full, is not usually affected in terms of taste and fragrance.
The only noticeable distinction between tarragon grown in shade and the one grown in full sun is in outward look.
To find sun, some parts of the plant will grow erratically, resulting in a leggy and scrawny appearance. As long as the flavor is not affected, there’s nothing to worry about.
Is It Possible For Tarragon To Get Too Much Sun?
Tarragon is very sensitive to heat and can get too much sun. In hot weather, the sensitivity increases so it will need protection from the full sun.
The extremely hot sun can burn tarragon leaves, even the roots leading to its death. Tell-tale clues that tarragon is suffering from overexposure to the sun include:
1. Blisters on the leaves or stem
2. Holes on the leaves
3. Discolored spots on the leaves and stem
How To Combat Sun Overexposure
There are ways to reduce the effects of too much sun on tarragon. First, you should have the affected plants moved to a shadier location.
To transplant tarragon safely, dig it up with some earth still around the roots. Dig a hole in the new preferred site and plant it.
Where is the best place to grow tarragon?
Mild European climates are the native home of tarragon. In a sunny or somewhat shaded location with well-drained soil, it is hardy and simple to grow. It does best in springtime temps and struggles in too hot climes.
How often should you water tarragon?
three days a week
Tarragon should always be planted in a raised bed with sufficient drainage if in doubt. In dry conditions, young plants require watering every other day. Water mature plants every three days to ensure a steady supply of new leaves.
Should I let my tarragon flower?
Should I deflower tarragon plants the same way I do basil plants? A. It is advisable to remove the blossoms if they appear on any herb. The plant’s vitality is depleted by the blossoms, causing it to produce fewer and less flavorful
What grows well with tarragon?
Rosemary is an example of a Mediterranean herb that grows nicely next to tarragon.
Can I grow tarragon from a cutting?
Yes, tarragon may be propagated, commonly known as grown from cuttings.
Can you plant rosemary and tarragon together?
Basil, tarragon, and cilantro all prefer full sun and need more moisture to thrive. Together, they grow well since you can water them at the same rate. Sage, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, and lavender should all be planted next to one another if you want to grow herbs that like sandier, drier soil.
Can tarragon be divided?
Since French Tarragon is hardly hardy, relocate in the winter to a protected area. Over the winter, the leafy top will wither away, but early spring should bring forth fresh growth. Plants will persist for a few years, but after around three years, when they can be divided, they will naturally fatigue and produce less growth.
In conclusion, tarragon prefers 6 hours of full sun every day in hot weather and up to 8 hours of full sun in milder conditions. You can grow tarragon in partial shade or full shade.
Tarragon can be burned or killed by long hours of direct sunlight. Provide your tarragon with afternoon shade if you live in a hot area.
Tarragon is much more likely to be damaged by too much sun than too little sun. Receiving little sun does not affect tarragon except in appearance.
Tarragon has many medicinal benefits and it is also thought to improve the flavor and growth of certain crops planted nearby and makes an excellent companion for nightshade crops such as eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers.
Give planting this licorice-like herb a trial this season and see how rewarding it can be.