Leafy tarragon sprigs are used fresh or dried as a culinary herb.

How to Grow French Tarragon Inside in a Pot

by Jenny Harrington

French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus “Sativa”) works hard in the kitchen by providing flavor to shellfish, meat, vegetables and sauces. It's just as attractive in a pot as it is in an herb garden, and a pot takes up minimal space. French tarragon grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8. Like most herbs, it requires little maintenance to grow well and it rarely falls prey to pests or diseases.

1 Fill a 3-gallon pot with a standard potting soil. Add 1/2 tablespoon of 16-16-8 fertilizer to the soil and mix it in thoroughly. Only use pots with bottom drainage holes when growing tarragon.

2 Make a hole in the soil the same depth as the tarragon's nursery pot. Slide the tarragon from the pot and set it in the hole, adjusting as needed until the tarragon is at the same depth it was growing previously. Fill the hole with soil and firm it lightly around the base of the plant.

3 Set the pot in a location that receives six or more hours of direct sunlight and is sheltered from high winds.

4 Water the tarragon when the top 1 inch of soil begins to dry. Sprinkle the water on the soil at the base of the plant until the excess begins to drain out of the bottom of the pot. Potted tarragon may require daily watering during hot weather.

5 Cut back the stems by up to 1/3 their length at any time during the summer growing season. Cut back to maintain the shape of the tarragon or to harvest sprigs for culinary use.

6 Prune back the entire plant by 1/3 of its height in fall before the first frost. Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of 16-16-8 fertilizer on the soil surface and water immediately. Bring the plant indoors and overwinter it in a sunny window until frost danger is past in spring.

Items you will need

  • 3-gallon pot
  • Potting soil
  • 16-16-8 fertilizer
  • Shears

Tip

  • French tarragon rarely flowers so it doesn't produce seed. It's usually planted from nursery transplants or started from root divisions or stem cuttings.

About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images