Tarragon is one of the easiest herbs to grow and propagate in tropical weather conditions. It is an aromatic herb, and is widely used for culinary and medicinal purposes. I use tarragon as an alternative to commercial tea bags. There are many varieties of tarragon, but the one that grows well in tropical conditions is the French Tarragon.
The herb is a perfect candidate for container gardening. When grown in containers, it can grow to about 2 feet tall. The French tarragon variety is normally propagated from cuttings, because it seldom produces any flowers. It likes a hot, sunny spot but it can grow under partial shade as well. It can be planted as a companion with other herbs since it is not an invasive plant, unlike mints.
Good quality soil is important. This means rich, loose and well-draining soil. I typically use my own soil mixture, which is a combination of compost, coco peat and perlite. Pre-mixed potting soil is also commercially available. It’s advisable to condition the soil with additional organic fertilizer once a month. This herb, like most herbs, is not prone to pest attack, but check regularly for any signs of locusts, caterpillars and other infestations.
While tarragon is not a very well known ingredient in Philippine cuisine, I tried topping it over “chicken adobo“ (a popular Filipino dish) once, and the result was amazing. Its mild aroma, similar to anise, blended well with the strong salty and vinegary taste of adobo. It can also be added to fish and egg dishes as topping, to enhance the flavor. Tarragon can not be overcooked, or else it will lose its distinct aroma.