Below you will find:
- The 3 main tarragon types
- How to grow tarragon indoors
- Example recipes and cooking advice
Item 1. The 3 Tarragon Varieties
When it comes to tarragon there is a real trade off between the type of tarragon you grow and it’s flavour.
Follow the links below for details, or read on for growing and cooking advice:
One of the most important herbs in French cooking.
Ideal for Mexican and Texan recipes.
Easiest tarragon to grow but weaker in flavour.
How to grow Tarragon indoors
There is a difference in how to grow each type of Tarragon:
Russian Tarragon – easy to grow (from seed)
French Tarragon – great flavour but not as easy to grow
Spanish or Mexican Tarragon – not a good as the French one for cooking but also easy to grow.
Total Time Needed :
Steps showing how to grow tarragon:
Decide which type of Tarragon to grow.
French tarragon is only available as a plan or plug plant.
Put it in a pot filled with compost or soil (as shown on the right)
Russian, Spanish or Mexican Tarragon is available from seed.
When you get the seeds sow thinly into soil at a depth of 6mm
Will germinate in 14 to 28 days
When it has a least 2 leaves move the seedlings into a pot, leaving 60 cm between plants
However if you are into cooking then I would always recommend getting French Tarragon
Put your Tarragon in a warm sunny place.
Tarragon needs at least 8 hours of ‘sunlight’ per day.
There are 2 options if you grow tarragon indoors.
1. You can either place it in a sunny position – like the window sill in the picture above.
2. On the other hand a very easy option is to use a grow light – for example the French tarragon on the right is growing on the kitchen floor using a grow light.
The third element is water – make sure you water regularly.
Tarragon can have quite deep roots, so make sure your water reaches the bottom roots.
In addition spraying them a couple of times per week with water also helps.
In addition make sure you use well drained soil, adding fertiliser or plant food when needed.
Growing Tarragon in soil is not that difficult, but an alternative option is to use hydroponics.
For example the kitchen hydroponic unit (on the right) will work fine with tarragon
The 3 main tarragon types
There are 3 types:
- Russian – easy to grow (from seed)
- French – great flavour but not easy to grow
- Spanish or Mexican – not a good as the French one for cooking but easy to grow.
That is why when growing tarragon at home the key question is – how important is your cooking for you ?
If you are serious about cooking then the French variety will need to be your choice.
The french one has a very delicate aromatic flavour and is one of the most important herbs in French cooking & recipes. Ideal for seasoning salads, sauces, pickles, etc.
However you can’t grow it from seed, as it is grown by root division – best option when growing it at home is to buy plugs.
- Cream (for filling small vols-au-vents, canapes, etc.)
- Sauce (for poached fowl)
- Sauce (for small cuts of beef)
Spanish or Mexican Tarragon
A potential substitute for the French one is the or Mexican one. Which is also known as Mexican mint marigold and Texas or winter tarragon.
The advantage is that you can grow them from seed, and is easier to grow. However it’s important to realise that it has less flavour than the French one, although it does have a slightly stronger aniseed flavour resulting in slighty differently tasting meals.
The Russian one is easy to grow, it can be grown from seed and is a very hardy and fast growing plant. It prefers poor soil and can cope with not enough water and neglect.
However it is much, much weaker in flavour than French (or even Spanish) one and is often not even classified as a herb.
- We haven’t added typical recipes.
- If using the russian one then make sure it’s fresh
- And add 3 to 4 times as much as when using the French one
How to grow tarragon indoors
Growing in pots using soil
Growing the French one is very easy – just buy a plant.
On the other hand Spanish or Mexican one is available from seed and can be planted outside in a pot on a balcony or terrace or inside on a sunny windowsill (or using lighting)
- Sow thinly into soil at a depth of 6mm
- Will germinate in 14 to 28 days
- Thin the seedlings or transplant leaving 60 cm between plants
Growing using Hydroponics or Aquaponics
Tarragon can be grown using both hydroponics and aquaponics.
How to prepare
When you want to use it at home there are 2 items to consider.
Firstly the video below will show you how to cut tarragon:
Secondly, once you have Tarragon at home you will need to consider making Béarnaise sauce.
We make absolutely no excuse in focussing on only 1 recipe – it is simply the one most closely associated with the herb. Again, the video below will provide ‘step by step’ cooking instructions:
How to start
Hopefully our guide showing how to grow tarragon indoors has helped.