By Jennifer Poindexter
Are you new to gardening and searching for a plant to start this journey? Would it be even better if you could grow the plant indoors? You’ve come to the right spot because I’m going to share with you everything you should know to grow French tarragon indoors. This is an herb that’s great for culinary uses, adds natural beauty to your living space, and is very simple to grow.
French tarragon makes a wonderful addition to an established indoor herb garden or could be a great starting point to begin an indoor herb garden. Whatever your gardening experience, here’s what you should know to begin raising this herb inside your home.
What You Might Need to Grow French Tarragon Indoors
When growing French tarragon, there are a few things you’ll need. You must have a well-draining planter, well-draining soil, and a flat surface to set the container on.
This flat surface can be a windowsill or a table. You should also consider the amount of lighting the plant needs.
If you can receive it naturally, the placement might be simple for you. However, if you must use supplemental lighting, you’ll need a way to hang the light above the plant’s grow space.
You should also invest in a grow light or other LED lighting system to ensure the plant has what it needs.
In my experience, using shop lights and wire pantry shelving works beautifully when growing plants indoors.
It’s also an affordable option when creating an indoor grow space. Depending upon how you choose to increase the humidity surrounding your herb plant, you may need to invest in a water bottle or a second planter with pebbles.
As you’ll see, humidity is a key ingredient to maintaining a healthy plant. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need prior to growing this herb.
Invest in these necessary items to start your indoor herb growing experience on the right foot.
Growing Conditions for French Tarragon Indoors
French tarragon is a perennial herb that has a few specific needs in a growing space. To begin, the plant needs light, but it must be applied correctly for it to work.
This herb needs eight hours of sunlight, but it should be indirect. If it receives direct lighting it will cook this herb.
Therefore, place the plant in a window which doesn’t receive a ton of light, or place it to the side of a window, which receives direct lighting, to provide protection.
In the event you don’t receive eight hours of sunlight, around your home, you can use supplemental lighting.
However, it’s important to note that for every hour of indirect sunlight you’re supplementing, the plant will need two hours beneath a grow light.
Ensure the grow light is hanging a foot over the herb to avoid scorching it. Once you get the lighting situated, you must supply a container and soil that drains well.
The planter should be a foot deep to accommodate the roots of this plant. They like to stretch out and must have room to do so.
It’s vital that everything surrounding the plant drains adequately to avoid oversaturating the roots. If you can provide these few basic needs, your French tarragon should grow well in the grow space provided.
How to Plant French Tarragon Indoors
There are two ways to start French tarragon. You can grow this herb from a root division or cutting. French tarragon can’t be grown from seed because the flowers the plant produces, which is where seeds come from, are barren.
To grow French tarragon, you’ll need a mature plant to divide, or you must purchase a plant. If you’re dividing your own herb, begin by digging it up. Be sure to moisten the soil surrounding the plant to make the process of digging it up easier.
Ensure you remove the roots of the herb as well. Use a spade to divide the plant down the center. Depending upon how large the plant is, you may be able to divide it multiple times.
However, make sure there are roots attached to each division. Once you’ve divided the plant, transplant each division into its own pot.
Fill the pot with well-draining soil and dig a small hole in the middle of the dirt. Place the plant into the hole and fill it with the remaining soil.
Press firmly around the base of the plant to avoid any air from reaching the roots. The next method for growing French tarragon is from a cutting.
Remove a piece of the mature plant using scissors. If possible, cut a piece right above a node. The cutting should be a minimum of four inches in length.
Dip the cutting in rooting hormone and place it in well-draining soil. Keep the soil consistently moist over the next thirty days.
During this time, the cuttings should form roots. Once the roots have formed, separate the cuttings into different containers and continue caring for them as you would any French tarragon plant.
If you don’t have a French tarragon plant to work with, don’t fret. This plant can be purchased. However, be sure you’re purchasing it from a reputable company as there are multiple types of tarragon.
Caring for French Tarragon When Growing Indoors
Once your French tarragon is growing, it’s time to learn how to care for the herb. This herb requires water, humidity, pruning, and air flow.
When watering French tarragon it’s important to use the deep watering method. This will allow the water to reach the roots, but also gives the plant time to absorb the water completely before more is being added.
To water your herb, using this method, place the container in your kitchen sink. Add water to the soil until it’s flowing from the bottom of the planter.
Allow the herb to drain fully before putting it back in its growing space. Don’t apply any more water without testing the soil first.
Stick your finger into the soil and ensure it’s dry to your first knuckle before applying more water.
The next thing you’ll need to do is keep the humidity up around the herb. You can do this by spritzing the plant with a spray bottle a few times per week, or you can grow it in a naturally humid room of your home.
Your kitchen or bathroom would be a great location for the herb. If this isn’t an option for you, place the planter in a larger planter that has rocks in the bottom. Add water over the rocks. The water shouldn’t reach the bottom of the planter where the French tarragon is growing.
This will keep the humidity levels up surrounding your herb and then it can be placed anywhere in your home.
You will also need to prune French tarragon to make it work for an indoor setting. This herb can grow to be as tall as two to three feet in height.
It’s okay to remove all the stems of the plant with the exception of the main stem of the herb. It’s also wise to keep a fan on your herb for two hours per day. This will increase airflow around the plant and help it to become sturdier.
By providing these few things to your herb, you should have an enjoyable time raising this plant.
Pests and Diseases Which Could Impact French Tarragon When Growing Indoors
There are no diseases which tend to harm French tarragon when it’s growing indoors. However, you should be aware of spider mites and whiteflies.
These pests can be sprayed off of your plants with soapy water. You should also apply an insecticidal spray to ensure they don’t return.
Stay alert to pests which can harm your plant. By catching these issues early, your herb should be able to bounce back from any damage the bugs may cause.
How to Harvest French Tarragon
Harvesting French tarragon is also a simple process. You shouldn’t begin harvesting the plant until it’s a minimum of one foot tall.
Use scissors to cut sprigs of the plant away from the main stem. You should only harvest what you’re planning on using fresh because the herb doesn’t dry well.
You now know how to grow, care for, protect, and harvest French tarragon. This herb isn’t something you see when strolling down most grocery store aisles.
However, you should be able to use this information to make it readily available to you inside your own kitchen. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy exploring this new addition to your indoor herb garden.