Introduction to Growing Tarragon in Containers
Tarragon is a herbaceous perennial in the Asteraceae family. Tarragon is grown for its leaves which are used as a culinary herb. This plant is erect with slender, often branching stems and simple needle-like leaves which are glossy green and very aromatic. Growing Tarragon in containers is easy and needs some care. It is a perennial herb, with a growing season from late spring to early fall season.
A Step by Step Guide to Growing Tarragon in Containers
Growing Tarragon inside is easy if you just follow a few simple conditions. Tarragon grows to 2 or 3 feet tall and likes moderate sun, preferring a little shade during the warmest part of the day. Tarragon plant grows well in rich loamy soil that holds moisture.
Different Varieties of Tarragon
The basic Tarragon varieties are French, Russian, and Mexican Tarragon. There are three main varieties of Tarragon:
French Tarragon – It is the most common to grow in a herb garden. It appears to have the purest flavor and is grown from cuttings rather than seed. The French Tarragon grows to a height of about 2 feet. This plant leaves are smoother, glossier, darker, and more pungent and aromatic than those of the Russian plants.
Russian Tarragon – Russian Tarragon is closely related to French Tarragon but has no flavour. The plant is thought to be less flavorful than the true French Tarragon, and is more robust, growing to a height of about 5 feet.
Mexican Tarragon – Mexican Tarragon isn’t related to Tarragon, but does taste and smell like Tarragon and is therefore used as a substitute in cooking. It grows all spring and summer season before it produces many yellow, single marigold-like blossoms. Try growing Mexican Tarragon plant in a herb garden, flower bed, or container. Let it be the bright spot in your herb garden, which needs a boost by summer’s end. Plants bloom lightly in the spring, then profusely in the fall season.
Soil Requirements for Growing Tarragon in Containers
Tarragon plant doesn’t like wet conditions. It’s a drought-resistant herb and needs a well-drained, sandy, light soil for best plant growth. A rich, moist soil will result in poor growth, rotting plant roots and a reduced flavour. It grows best in temperate climates and can survive some light frost. Tarragon plant will perform optimally when planted in a dry location in full sun. Soil should be light in texture and well-draining, with a pH level between 6.3 and 7.5.
If growing Tarragon in a container, prepare the bottom of the planter with gravel and fill the container with well-draining potting soil. Do not use potting soil with moisture control granules, use ordinary potting soil mixed with ordinary garden soil. Tarragon’s roots have fast-draining soil, or they may rot. Keep an eye on plants during the winter season or rainy spells. Mature plants should be watered every 3 days to encourage a continual supply of fresh leaves. Mature plants can survive for long periods without water, but under these conditions, they will not grow new plant leaves.
Find the Right Location for Growing Tarragon in Containers
Plant Tarragon in full sun or partial shade. Due to its temperamental nature, you will want to plant Tarragon in a place where you can easily manipulate the soil and somewhat control the temperature levels and amount of water it receives. Be sure to plant Tarragon where it can get at least 8 hours of sunlight a day. Tarragon plants aren’t vulnerable to most pests, but to prevent diseases like mildew and rot, pick a location that has good air and water circulation. You may want to consider planting Tarragon near an eggplant. It is believed to be beneficial to the vegetable’s growth.
Tarragon Plant Propagation
Tarragon is easily propagated from cuttings or root division, so you should need to buy one plant. Sow seed indoors in a sunny location or under plant grow lights 6 weeks before the last frost. Propagate new plants from the existing plant every third year. Pot grown Tarragon will have become pot bound and straggly after 3 years or so.
Tarragon Seed Germination Period
The tome required for Tarragon seed germination is about 10 to 14 days and use propagation media like Oasis Root cubes, Rapid Rooters, or Grodan Stone wool. Germinate the Tarragon seeds on a damp paper towel and then plant them into containers. For best success, move your sprouted trays of plants outside after the threat of frost has passed and the temperature is consistently above 12°C.
Growing Tarragon from Seed
To grow Tarragon from seed, start seeds indoors a few weeks before the last frost date. You can germinate the Tarragon seeds on a damp paper towel and then plant them into seed starting trays. Because Tarragon tends to have a low seed germination rate, this ensures you don’t waste your time planting seeds that will never sprout.
Planting Depth – Tarragon plant requires sunlight to germinate, so plant your seeds on the soil’s surface or no more than 1/16 beneath.
Spacing – Tarragon shouldn’t be crowded. Plant or thin 18 to 24 inches apart.
Transplanting – Transplant seedlings after a week of “hardening off”. Be sure to keep seeds and seedlings moist with a sprayer until they are well-established.
If you’re growing Tarragon from seed mainly for its flavor or medicinal properties, pinch off flower heads to preserve the leaves’ potency and taste.
Growing Tarragon from Cuttings
Step 1) First, you can take your cuttings from a mature plant or buy them from a nursery.
Step 2) Wash or clean the planting containers and rinse them thoroughly. Then, fill the containers with sterile potting soil, perlite, or another planting medium.
Step 3) Cut the growing tips from a plant with a sharp knife, making each cutting 6 to 8 inches long. Remove the plant leaves on the lower third of each cutting.
Step 4) Dip the leafless end of each plant cutting into water, then into rooting hormone powder. Then, gently tap excess powder off the cutting and hormone powder is not required, but it enhances root development. The water makes the powder adhere to the surface of the plant cutting.
Step 5) Make a hole in the potting mix with your finger. Insert the cutting, taking care not to scrape off the hormone powder on the soil. Firm the soil gently around the cutting.
Step 6) Place a plastic bag around each pot to raise the humidity to encourage plant root growth. Put the pots in indirect light and then keep the soil evenly moist. The cuttings must be rooted and ready to transplant in three to four weeks. It grows well as a potted plant, so you can root the cuttings directly in their final growing container and skip transplanting.
How to Grow Tarragon Indoors
Tarragon plant is an attractive herb with slender, slightly twisted leaves. Tarragon is a perennial and will reward you will many seasons of flavor if you care for the plant well. It grows as a many stemmed bush that can get semi-woody as it ages. Most herb plants thrive in full sun; Tarragon seems to perform best in a lower or diffused light situation. Allow a location of at least 24 inches height for growing Tarragon plant inside. If your kitchen has a window facing anywhere but south, you can successfully grow Tarragon plants. The leaves are a useful part of the Tarragon plant and are best used fresh.
You can grow Tarragon in a container indoors if you’re lucky enough to have a spot that gets 6 hours of sunlight or more a day. Make sure to use a deep pot that has 10 to 12 inches is about the minimum you should consider. If you have potted Tarragon growing or your patio, you can bring it indoors during the winter months if you can provide good light.
Planting Tarragon indoors in the kitchen herb garden is an excellent method to take advantage of this fresh herb. Herb plants need good drainage so the choice of the pot is important. A clay pot is good for this plant that is not glazed will allow excess moisture to evaporate. The pot needs several drainage holes and should be at least 12 to 16 inches deep. Use 3 parts of good potting soil with the addition of 1 part sand to give the mixture good tilth and enhance draining. Add other herbs with similar requirements when planting Tarragon indoors in containers. This will give you many flavors and textures to choose from when cooking.
Give Tarragon growing in containers at least 6 to 8 hours of light. Fertilize the herb with a dilution of fish fertilizer every 2 weeks. Don’t overwater when growing Tarragon in containers. Indoor herbs must be kept on the dry side. Provide a thorough watering and provide humidity by spritzing the plant with water every couple of days.
Water Requirements for Growing Tarragon in Containers
How much you water your Tarragon plant will depend on the weather conditions and the maturity of the plant. Young Tarragon plants will benefit from watering on alternate days if you’re experiencing prolonged hot, dry spells. Mature Tarragon should be fine with a light watering every few days. These Tarragon plants can cope in dry ground, and care should be taken not to overwater as this will diminish growth and flavor intensity. Although it will survive with little water, if it’s left too dry, it can impact the growth of the leaves.
The right amount of water is essential to maintaining the plant’s health. If it is outside in the summer months, you will want to water the Tarragon plant daily. You will want the soil to go almost dry between watering, followed by soaking. Avoid over-watering your Tarragon plant and letting the soil get soggy. This will kill your Tarragon.
Tarragon Plant Growing Problems
Tarragon plant tends to have few pest problems, though it’s well known for attracting bees and butterflies. Tarragon plant suffers from the main disease caused by too much water, like root rot and powdery mildew. You can keep the rates of the disease down by mulching around the base of plants to keep moisture near the surface and away from the roots.
Tarragon is not bothered by many insect pests but is susceptible to plant diseases like downy mildew, powdery mildew, and Rhizoctonia (root rot). To prevent these fungal problems, plant in areas that provide good air circulation and water on bright sunny mornings to allow the plant leaves to dry by evening.
Symptoms – Yellow or white color spots on the underside of leaves; bright orange or yellow pustules on the underside of leaves; leaves may turn yellow; growth is stunted and the plant may become stunted.
Management – Remove all crop debris and infected leaves; avoid the use of overhead water in the morning to allow plant foliage to dry during the day; ensure plants are well spaced to promote good air circulation around plants.
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When and How to Harvest Tarragon
When to harvest – Pick young, top leaves in the early summer season for best flavor. Cut back leafy top growth several times during the season to encourage the plant to bush out with new plant growth. Plant stems can be pruned in early summer and again at the end of the season.
Once your Tarragon plant has grown at least 10 inches tall, you may begin harvesting. Choose small stems in Tarragon to trim with scissors for fresh use. You can harvest both the leaves and flowers of Tarragon plants. Harvest Tarragon 6 to 8 weeks after transplanting outside. Handle plants with care as they bruise easily and then pick in the morning after the dew has dried for the best flavor. Snip Tarragon leaves and stems by using a garden pruner or scissors. Handle leaves gently; they bruise easily. Dried Tarragon stored in an airtight container for a few weeks longer.
Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Tarragon in Containers
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Does Tarragon need full sun?
Tarragon plants should be grown successfully in areas where receiving full sun. Space Tarragon plants about 18 to 24 inches apart to ensure adequate air circulation. They should be located in well-drained, fertile soil.
How often should you water Tarragon?
Young Tarragon plants need to be watered every other day during dry weather. Mature Tarragon plants should be watered every three days to encourage a continual supply of fresh leaves.
Is Tarragon annual or perennial?
Tarragon is a perennial herb.
How do you store Tarragon at home?
Store Tarragon in the fridge by using a damp paper towel or placed in a plastic bag or a jar of water loosely covered in plastic. It is not well-suited for drying, as it loses a lot of its flavor.
Is Tarragon easy to grow?
Tarragon is an easy to grow herb. Tarragon best suited to cool to warm climate conditions. Plant Tarragon in some well-drained soil with added organic matter.
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