Does Tarragon Need Full Sun?

Tarragon needs some full sun to look healthy and lush, but can also thrive in indirect light or shade. Unlike many herbs, tarragon is not overly fond of long hours of direct sunlight, especially in hot climates. 6 hours of direct sunlight per day is perfectly fine, but more than this may have a negative effect. If you live in a particularly hot climate, it may even be better to plant your tarragon in dappled sunlight where some afternoon shade is available.

Does tarragon need full sun?

How Many Hours of Sun Does Tarragon Need?

Tarragon should have 6 hours of full sun each day in order to look healthy and attractive. This perennial herb can be grown in a variety of conditions, including indirect light, partial shade, or dappled sunlight as well. So, tarragon can be grown in a variety of locations.

  • Most tarragon plants do well with 6 hours of full sun daily.
  • In mild climates, up to 8 hours of daily sun is acceptable.
  • Tarragon also thrives in dappled sunlight or partially shaded conditions.

Sometimes, tarragon thrives on more than 6 hours of sunlight per day. If you live in a mild climate, up to 8 hours of full sun each day is ideal. However, too much sunlight in hot climates can harm your tarragon.

Can Tarragon Grow in Indirect Sunlight?

Tarragon will grow well in indirect sunlight. In fact, if you live in a hot climate, indirect sunlight is sometimes preferable to planting your tarragon in full sun. Tarragon will tolerate indirect light, but harsh, direct sun in a hot weather zone can be detrimental to its health.

  • Tarragon thrives in indirect sunlight.
  • In hot climates, indirect light is better for tarragon than direct sunlight.

Dappled sunlight is a great environment for tarragon. When grown in these conditions, your tarragon receives some sunlight, but also has some protection. Consider planting your tarragon in an area of your garden where indirect light or dappled sunlight will be its main environment.

Can Tarragon Grow in Shade?

Tarragon can be grown in the shade. Not getting direct sunlight will not typically affect its flavor or fragrance. However, plants may have a tendency to look a bit floppy if grown completely in the shade. Additionally, tarragon may take on a somewhat leggy appearance if kept from the sun.

  • Tarragon will grow well in partial shade, provided it receives some sunlight.
  • Tarragon may droop in the shade, but this usually doesn’t compromise its flavor.
  • You can prune leggy or floppy tarragon plants to restore them to a lively appearance.

If you snip off the droopy stems throughout the season, the rest of the plant should bounce back immediately. It will take some time before the plant becomes floppy again. If you don’t mind pruning every so often, there is no reason not to grow tarragon in the shade.

What Happens if Tarragon Doesn’t Get Enough Sun?

Tarragon will be largely unaffected by a lack of sun exposure. Its distinct flavor and aroma will remain the same. Essentially, the only difference between tarragon grown in the shade and tarragon grown in bright sun is its appearance.

  • Sun-deprived tarragon may not look healthy.
  • Tarragon that receives inadequate sunlight can grow spindly or leggy.
  • The quality of tarragon is not typically affected by lack of sunlight.

All herbs will grow a bit wild in an effort to find the sun, so your tarragon might look a bit leggy and spindly if it is planted in complete shade. As long as you are not growing it for decorative purposes, though, there is nothing to worry about.

Can Tarragon Get Too Much Sun?

Too much sun can burn a tarragon plant down to its roots, which will lead to its quick death. Additionally, the leaves or stems might develop yellow or brown spots, or even blisters or holes. Tarragon is extremely sensitive to sun overexposure, especially in very hot weather. So, it should be protected from excessive sunlight.

  • Excess sun can scorch tarragon, killing it.
  • Blisters, holes, or yellow-brown spots on the leaves or stems are all signs of too much sun.
  • Move tarragon to a shadier area of your garden if signs of sun scorch occur.

If you see any of the signs of sun scorch, immediately provide shade for your tarragon, while ensuring it’s getting enough water. If your tarragon is planted in full sun, consider transplanting it to a shadier section of your garden. While tarragon can grow well in full sun, this is not always the case. Monitor your plant to see whether it thrives in the sun or requires some shade.

How Much Sun Does Tarragon Require?

The key to planting tarragon in the proper sunlight conditions are: 

  • Tarragon often likes 6 hours of full sun per day.
  • You can grow tarragon in indirect sunlight or partial shade.
  • Tarragon can be burned or killed by long hours of direct sunlight.
  • Provide afternoon shade to your tarragon if you live in a hot climate.
  • Tarragon is far more likely to be harmed by too much sun than by too little sun.

Tarragon is a unique perennial herb because it is quite sensitive to sunlight. While many herbs, such as rosemary, thrive on long hours of sunlight, tarragon prefers more shade. So, it’s often a good idea to choose a shaded portion of your herb garden when planting tarragon.

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