By Bonnie L. Grant
Growing tarragon indoors allows you easy access to the herb and give it protection from cold temperatures. Tarragon is only half hardy and does not perform well when exposed to winter chill. There are a few tips to learning how to grow tarragon indoors. Herbs generally like dry soil, bright light and temperatures near 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Growing tarragon inside is easy if you just follow a few simple requirements.
How to Grow Tarragon Indoors
Tarragon is an attractive herb with slender slightly twisted leaves. The plant is a perennial and will reward you will many seasons of flavor if you care for it well. Tarragon grows as a many stemmed bush that can get semi-woody as it ages. While most herbs thrive in full sun, tarragon seems to perform best in a lower or diffused light situation. Allow a location of at least 24 inches height for growing tarragon inside.
If your kitchen has a window facing anywhere but south, you can successfully grow tarragon. The leaves are the useful part of the plant and are best used fresh. They add a light anise flavor to foods and are good paired with fish or chicken. Tarragon leaves also impart their flavor to vinegar. Tarragon also lends its flavor to sauces, dressings and marinades. Planting tarragon indoors in the kitchen herb garden is an excellent way to take advantage of this fresh herb.
Herbs need good drainage so the choice of pot is important. A clay pot that is not glazed will allow excess moisture to evaporate. The pot also needs several drainage holes and should be at least 12 to 16 inches deep. Use 3 parts of a good potting soil with the addition of 1 part sand to give the mixture good tilth and enhance draining. Add other herbs with similar requirements when planting tarragon indoors. This will give you many flavors and textures to chose from when cooking.
Give tarragon growing indoors at least 6 to 8 hours of light. Fertilize the herb with a dilution of fish fertilizer every two weeks. Do not overwater when growing tarragon inside. Indoor herbs should be kept on the dry side. Provide a good thorough watering and then allow the plant to dry out between periods of irrigation. Provide humidity by spritzing the plant with water every couple of days.
Moving Tarragon Outside
Tarragon can get almost 2 feet in height and may require pruning or division. If you want to just move the plant outside and get a smaller one for indoors, you need to acclimate it first. Move the plant outdoors for gradually longer periods over two weeks. You can also cut the root ball of the tarragon in half and replant both halves in different locations for more plants. If the tarragon growing indoors is well cared for, it will need pruning. Prune back to a growth node or remove entire stems back to the primary stem.