​How to Grow ​​Tarragon

​A hardy and vigorous plant, spreading at the roots and growing over a meter tall. Russian Tarragon actually prefers poor soils and happily tolerates drought and neglect. It is not as strongly aromatic and flavorsome as its French cousin, but it produces many more leaves from early spring onwards that are mild and good in salads and cooked food. Tasting somewhat like Anise, Tarragon is mildly sweet and adds excellent flavor to sauces, soups, vegetables and even desserts. The young stems in early spring can be cooked as an asparagus substitute. Grow indoors from seed and plant out in the summer. Spreading plant can be divided easily.


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Growing Notes

  • Tarragon is a perenial that will die back in winter and is among the first herbs up in spring.
  • Tarragon seeds naturally show lower germination rates than other seeds, so are best started indoors in flats and transplanted outside once the last threat of frost has passed and evening temperatures exceed 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Start approximately 4-6 weeks before the last frost, and do not tranplant until first true set of leaves have developed and plant has reached a height of approximately 4 inches. Be sure to provide plenty of water to seeds as you await germination, and Tarragon will grow best with full sun, and prefers light, sandy, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5.



Perennial Zones (3-9)


4-14 days at 65-85 F


2 years



Well-drained, fertile soil


Part shade to full sun


12-18" apart


18-24" apart


90+ days


Once established, Tarragon can succeed in less than ideal conditions, surviving and even thriving with variable light conditions, poor soil and limited water. Water immediately in the case of wilting or heat stress.
Tarragon is sensitive to root rot if left out over winter. To protect, cover with a layer of mulch in fall once aerial portions (parts above ground) have started to die off.


The leaves are best collected in the early morning or evening, as collection in the middle of the day can result in mushy,wilting, less flavorful leaves. To cut, us a snip or garden shears and remove branch tips. If drying in quantity, take whole branch.

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