Tarragon has antioxidant properties that can help neutralize the actions of free radicals throughout the body. Throughout history, tarragon has been widely used as an aid for toothaches. It can: relieve common digestive problems, relieve anxiety and stress, support cardiovascular health, increase muscle creatine absorption..
This classic herb provides delicate flavor with minimal effort. French tarragon plants grow up to 24 inches high and 12 inches wide in two years. The leaves are narrow, up to 2 inches long, and have a fresh green color. The flowers are tiny, pale green, and sterile.
Hardy in zones 5 to 9. Needs well-drained soil and full sun.
French tarragon resembles a tall grass, medium in texture with slender leaves, but on branched stems growing 18 to 24 inches tall and semi-erect. It grows without flowers or distinctive form to set it apart. In an herb bed, it becomes one of a cook’s resources to create a memorable meal, but for the gardener, the ingredient is less remarkable. Plant adjacent to more architectural plants such as lemon grass or rosemary. Contrasting plants with large or colorful leaves, such as sweet basil or Purple Ruffles basil, will help set tarragon apart in a garden bed. Well-behaved in the garden, French tarragon does not spread underground like other herbs, nor will it reseed. In fact, it rarely flowers and never produces seeds. That means that new plants must be produced from rooted cuttings in order to have the classic tarragon flavor. Russian tarragon is seed grown and less desirable in flavor. French tarragon has a fleshy root system that prefers a loose, soil enriched with organic matter. However, it must be well-drained. In fact, it is quite drought tolerant. If your soil is heavy and your climate hot and humid, you will have the best chance of success by planting in a container or hanging basket where it drains well and has good air circulation. Be sure to locate plant in a bed that drains well, or the roots can rot. If your container plant turns brown and looks dead in winter, even if it is in your house or greenhouse, cut it back and give it time. It is probably just dormant for the season. French tarragon is a traditional seasoning with eggs, poultry, salads, cheese, and fish. Tarragon chicken salad is a particular favorite, ideal for a summer lunch. Include it in seasoning blends such as fines herbes and bouquet garni. It is a must-have ingredient for Sauce Béarnaise. Also, French tarragon makes an excellent herb-flavored vinegar, alone or in combination with other herbs.