UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA


Garden Help > Herbs

Tarragon is one of the classic fines herbes used in French cooking (parsley, chives, and chervil are the others). When purchasing a plant, it is important to be sure it is "French tarragon" and not "Russian tarragon", which does not have the characteristic anise-like flavor. Unlike Russian tarragon, French tarragon does not flower. Tarragon is a popular seasoning with chicken, fish, or salads. It is also used to infuse oil or vinegar.

How to grow

Tarragon is typically winter-dormant, and may not survive a hard freeze.

  • Type: Perennial, tender leafed, winter dormant
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: Well drained, loamy soil
  • Water: Moderate. Do not overwater
  • Size: 2-3' high, spreads slowly via rhizomes

When to plant/propagate

  • From seed: Not recommended. Most seed that is sold is Russian tarragon, so it's preferred to either purchase a seedling or get a root division from a friend
  • Transplants: Plant transplants in spring
  • Cuttings & divisions: Propagate via root division in spring


Indoors: Tarragon can be grown as an indoor plant with 6 hours of bright light from a sunny window, or 12-16 hours of supplemental light provided by cool white fluorescent or LED lamps

More information

  • Grow Herbs!, UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County



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