This shrubby aromatic herb has been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for centuries. It is rarely used nowadays in American cuisine because the leaves have a bitter flavor. Rue grows best in full sun but tolerates light shade. It must have good drainage to survive, however. Rue has fine-texture blue-green foliage and bears yellow flowers in summer. Rue self-seeds, so remove flower heads before they set seed to avoid more plants. This shrub can be clipped into a neat hedge, making it an ideal herb for knot gardens.
Light: Part sun, Sun
Type: Herb, Perennial
Height: 1 to 3 feet
Width: 18-24 inches wide
Flower color: Yellow
Foliage color: Blue/Green
Seasonal features: Summer bloom
Problem solvers: Deer resistant, Drought tolerant
Special features: Cut flowers, Low maintenance
How to Grow Rue Herb
Rue herb does well in a variety of soil but does best in well drained soil. In fact, it will do well in the rocky, dry soil that many other plants have a difficult time surviving. It needs full sun to grow well. It is drought tolerant and rarely, if ever needs to be watered.
Care should be taken when handling rue plants. The sap of the rue plant is often irritating and can burn or leave rashes on people’s skin.
Rue can be harvested and used in the house as an insect repellent. Simply cut some of the leaves and dry them, then put the dried leaves in cloth bags. These sachets can be placed where ever you need to repel bugs.