French Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) cannot be grown by seed as its flowers are sterile. This is unfortunate because only the French Tarragon has that rich aromatic flavor we so love to use in our favorite culinary recipes. An essential ingredient in Bernaise sauce, French Tarragon has a special affinity for poultry, egg and mushroom (especially cream of mushroom soup) dishes. A true Mediterranean native, it likes a hot, sunny spot without excessive watering, and goes dormant during the winter. One of the four "fine herbs" of classic French cooking, the flavor is unique: sweet, woody, and delicately anise. The herb has dark green lanceolet leaves on thin woody stems and grows to a height of 12" - 18". Keep it pinched back (and use those clippings) to keep it bushy. Be sure to provide a spot with good sunshine and drainage. Hardy to Zone 4(b) with winter protection. One 4" pot will ship at a time favorable to its growth in your zone in Spring.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Rich in phyto-nutrients that are necessary for optimum health. In fact fresh tarragon has one of the highest antioxidant ratings among the herbs. Tarragon' s essential oil eugenol is used by dentists as a local-anesthetic and antiseptic. Tarragon has traditionally been used to stimulate appetite, cure hiccups and treat flatulence, but modern studies suggest it can do so much more -- it can help lower blood-glucose levels, prevent heart attacks and stroke and aid insomnia. A powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, tarragon is a very rich source of Vitamins A, Bs,and C as well as minerals such as calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc.
CULINARY: As I grow various mushrooms, my favorite dish is a simple melange of sauteed spinach, mushrooms, tarragon and a splash of white wine used as a bed for serving chicken or fish. But the range for tarragon is enormous. Just google "tarragon recipes" and you will be astounded.
INSTRUCTIONS ON RECEIPT: Open immediately and give a drink of water, preferably filtered water. If using tap water, allow the water to “breathe” overnight before using to dissipate any chlorine which can be fatal to delicate organic seedlings. Put under grow light or near a natural light source, preferably without cold or drafts for at least a few days to settle down from its journey, keeping it moist but not waterlogged. If weather is not permissible you can hold your seedling for some time, potting up as necessary after a month. (Keep in its original pot for that long if you are not moving to the garden, as a new growing medium or too large a pot could cause failure.) If weather is permissible, begin your hardening off process of very gradual exposure to outside elements – 15 minutes at a time, graduating up to a full day by 15 minute to half hour increments. Watch carefully! If it is warm already in your growing zone, you can quickly lose transplants by rushing this process. Patience is rewarded with a vigorous transplant. When fully hardened off, situate to their permanent garden spot and let rest a day or two there, again, watching carefully for any sign of distress. Then, when you have a nice cloudy day in the offing, transplant into the garden, providing any support or cover required, giving a shot of organic fertilizer (I recommend Espoma). Keep watered, but not waterlogged. Keep a watchful eye on your baby.