Growing: Rue

Botanical Name:

Ruta graveolens

Common names:

Garden Rue, Herb of Grace


Garden Rue is primarily grown as a garden ornamental. One advantage to Rue is it's usually successful where other plants fail to grow. At its mature height, the rue is 18 to 36 inches tall with green to blue-green foliage (some varieties with creamy flecks) and small, bright yellow flowers. The rounded leaves have a bitter taste and pungent scent that many people find unpleasant.


Life Cycle:



full sun


Rue can grow in almost any type of soil as long as it's well drained. Sow seeds directly in the garden in the spring or transplant cuttings taken from non-flowering shoots in the summer. Plants make an attractive informal hedge if spaced 16-18 inches apart. Regular trimming will keep their shape compact while encouraging new growth. If you have sensitive skin, take care when handling Rue. Skin contact causes severe allergic reactions in some people, especially when handled in bright sunlight.


cuttings, division and seeds

Parts Used:

leaves and roots

Harvesting and Storage:

seldom harvested for use

Medicinal Uses:

seldom used. Should not be taken when pregnant.

Culinary Uses:

seldom used; use sparingly due to strong flavor

Other Uses:

insect repellant


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