Though technically considered an herb, rue has toxicity issues that render it strictly an ornamental garden plant rather than a utilitarian one. Originating from southern Europe and Southwest Asia, it is an evergreen subshrub that thrives in hot, dry climates. Mature specimens are bushy and have attractive, feathery, blue-green leaves. Historically, its bitter leaves were used to in Mediterranean cooking and to treat various ailments, but it is now known to be dangerous to ingest.
The small, waxy, green to blue-green leaves of rue are feathery and compound. They have strong-smelling surface oils that repel insects and can be irritating to the skin. In early or midsummer, clusters of yellow-green flowers are produced. These are marginally showy and attract bees.
Full sun is needed for bushy growth and best appearance. Established plants are resilient to hot, dry weather. Soil should be well-drained with average to poor fertility. The stems of older specimens become woody and can be pruned back to keep plants smaller and bushier. Always wear protective gloves when handling rue and wash any skin exposed to the leaves or stems. The leaves of rue are phytophototoxic, meaning sun exposure worsens the effects of rue oil on the skin. (info source: Learn2Grow.com).
Genus - Ruta
Species - Graveolens
Common name - Garden Rue
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 5 - 9
Height - 0,60 m
Spread - 0,30 - 0,60 m
Plant type - Perennial herb
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Loam, Sand, Well Drained
Water requirements - Drought tolerant, average water
Landscape uses - Border, ornamental, foliage, dried arrangements, walls, rock garden. Spring interest. Culinary and Medicinal use
Bloom season - Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Light Green, Blue Green, Gray Green / Yellow, Yellow Green
Surface sow at 1,5 mm in pots or trays with good seeds compost in late winter till late spring or late summer/autumn.
Seeds need light for germination, so cover with clear plastic only.
Keep the compost moist but not wet.
Germination in 7 - 20 days at +20C.
Transplant the indoor seedlings when large enough to handle into pots and grow on. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Their ideal position would be in full sun, with a fertile soil that is not too wet. Water regularly until mature.
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