Often referred to as “the king of herbs” in France because of its huge influence on French cuisine, tarragon is one herb many can’t do without.
The highly aromatic plant has subtle undertones of anise, a spice in the same group as fennel, licorice, and parsley.
Today, tarragon is not only used in France and has now gained some popularity outside Europe. You can find dried tarragon in the spice aisle of most supermarkets, and it’s also available online from major retailers.
However, fresh tarragon may be a little trickier to find as it is not as common as other herbs. That’s why planting your fresh tarragon is a good idea.
Growing tarragon is fairly easy. Light soil that drains well and the right atmospheric conditions do a world of good for it but how much water does tarragon need?
This article aims to shed light on how much water tarragon needs to prosper where it is planted and how to properly meet this need.
You will also see the risks and challenges involved in watering tarragon wrongly and how to correct any mistakes.
Types Of Tarragon And Their Peculiarities
Tarragon is classified into two major types, the French tarragon, and the Russian tarragon. There is a third type, the Mexican tarragon but it is not considered a major type because it is not in the same family as the French and Russian kinds.
French and Russian tarragon are the herbs of interest.
True French tarragon has the purer taste of the two. Its leaves are smoother, more shimmery, darker, and more pungent and aromatic than those of its Russian counterpart.
French tarragon is preferred for cooking over any other type because it delivers its strong, signature essence.
Lastly, you must propagate French tarragon vegetatively by division or stem cuttings because the seeds are sterile.
Russian tarragon is taller, has pale leaves, and is bushier than the French type. It is also less aromatic and flavorful.
On the flip side, it is easier to find because it grows easily from seed and does not need to be intentionally planted.
Read More: Does Tarragon Need Full Sun?
How Much Water Does Tarragon Need Every Day?
Tarragon is a drought-resistant herb so good news for those who live in hot climates and want to plant it.
The amount of water given matters too.
How much water does tarragon need? 1 to 2cm of water sprinkled every 3 days keeps the plant fresh without overly soaking the soil.
Watering deeply in intervals of 3 days is much better than light sprinkling daily. The only exception to the rule is if you consistently experience drought.
If you want your tarragon to remain fragrant and fresh, you must follow this regimen closely.
What Is The Best Soil Condition For Tarragon – Wet or Dry?
Tarragon can thrive in dry soil for a longer time than most plants but that doesn’t mean it should be left like that. Moist soil is best for tarragon.
The roots of the plant grow extensively and on top of the soil so water balance is crucial. Too much water can flood the soil, causing them to rot and soil that is too dry can destroy the flavor of the leaves and kill the plant.
The growth leaves can also be adversely affected when the soil is too dry. Keep the soil irrigated every 3 days with about 2cm of water to prevent mishaps.
The soil for planting tarragon should be loose and drain easily. Sandy soil fits the description well.
What Is The Correct Way To Water Tarragon?
The best way to water any plant is to make sure enough water gets to the roots for ease of absorption. For tarragon, you can achieve this with drip irrigation and micro-sprinklers and it should not receive more than 1cm of water to a depth of 7cm after every watering session.
Tarragon leaves are delicate and should be sprinkled on carefully. The roots must have fast-draining soil, or they may rot.
Keep an eye on plants during the winter or rainy spells. Whenever you’re in doubt, plant your tarragon in a raised bed where good drainage is ensured.
Can Tarragon Be Overwatered?
It is certainly possible for tarragon to receive excessive amounts of water. Water should never be allowed to pool where it is planted as this brings the same results as if the plant was watered unnecessarily.
The amount of rain your zone gets should also be put into consideration when planting tarragon. You should give less water and less frequently to your tarragon if it is always raining where you reside.
How much water does tarragon need? To prevent overwatering tarragon and the myriad of problems that come with it, ensure that the plant receives no more than the necessary amount of 2cm of water every week.
Signs And Effects Of Overwatering Tarragon
If you are still not sure if your tarragon plants have been getting too much water, we are here to help you understand the signs of overwatering in tarragon, the effects, and how to save your plants.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the tarragon plant dies before anything can be done to save it. If you are lucky enough to spot powdery mildew and grey mold on time, you may be able to come to your tarragon rescue on time.
Finding wilted tarragon where the weather is not extremely hot is another indication of overwatering.
How To Rescue Overwatered Tarragon
To save tarragon from certain harm, plant container-grown ones in good potting soil with holes drilled in the bottom of their containers.
Remember that plants grown in pots should receive less water than those grown in the garden because their soil dries at a slower rate.
Consider transferring outdoor tarragon from garden soil into a raised bed to combat excessively wet soil.
If your tarragon roots have already begun to decay, gently snip away some with sterile pruners and be careful not to remove too much. Apply mulch around the shallow roots to preserve moisture and reduce the need for irrigation.
Finally, slowly withdraw water application for a while till the soil feels dry. Hopefully, your tarragon will bounce back from the trauma.
How To Know If Tarragon Needs To Be Watered
Finding out if tarragon needs water or not is very simple. You can perform the finger test to check for dryness.
To do this, stick a finger into the soil and if it is dry for up to a depth of 1cm, you should water your plants. If your tarragon begins to develop yellow spots on the leaves and stems, urgent watering is needed.
Does tarragon like direct sunlight?
Tarragon needs a sunny, warm, and protected area to grow and yield leaves with a rich flavor. For instance, French tarragon prefers loose, sandy, low-nutrient soils and benefits from good drainage.
Why is my tarragon plant wilting?
Your tarragon plant may wilt if it receives too much or not enough water. Remember that a tarragon plant may not always need to be watered. Tarragon plants may wilt if they get too much water.
Where does tarragon grow best?
Tarragon plants should be grown in areas with direct sunlight. To ensure proper air circulation, tarragon plants should be spaced around 18 to 24 inches (45–60 cm) apart. They must also be placed in healthy, well-drained soil..
Can tarragon grow in shade?
The best ways to cultivate tarragon are from cuttings or seedlings, and it likes morning sun and afternoon shade.
Can tarragon grow in pots?
Although tarragon may be grown in containers due to its quickly spreading serpentine roots, it normally only grows well in them for two to three years before needing to be replanted in the ground or potted up into a larger container.
How do you harvest tarragon so it keeps growing?
Remove the baby, light-green shoots. Fresh growth can be seen on the tarragon’s aged, woody branches. After being removed, the shoots should be gently patted dry before being washed in cool water. When you’re ready to utilize them, you can separate the individual leaves by tracing your fingertips along the stem’s length.
Why is my tarragon going brown?
Usually, improper watering, sunburn, or inadequate drainage will cause leaves to become brown. Make sure the soil drains well to prevent overwatering, and don’t add more dirt until it has dried 2 inches down. Never, however, let it completely dry.
Is tarragon difficult to grow?
Relocate in the winter to a protected spot because French Tarragon is not particularly hardy. The leafy top will wither away over the winter, but new growth should appear in the early spring. While plants can be divided after three years, they will naturally tire and produce less growth after a few years of survival.
How tall does tarragon grow?
A fully developed plant should cover around 12 inches of soil. The plants ought to grow to a height of 2 to 3 feet. Most garden vegetables go nicely with tarragon.
Tarragon resists meager water conditions better than most herbs. It should only be watered once every 3 days and no more than 1cm of water should be given each time.
When you water tarragon, you should do so, deeply soaking the soil to a depth of 7cm and ensuring you follow a watering schedule. This will help you avoid giving excess water to tarragon and the problems that come with it.
If you keep to these instructions, in no time you will be enjoying some tarragon tea made with fresh tarragon from your garden!