You can grow rue plants for your garden from rue seeds

Rue herb is widely used in cookery and folk medicine. This herb is well known for its bitter taste and very strong aroma. But rue is also a wonderful plant for your garden. As far as it is pretty easy to grow rue, almost anyone can put it in his (her) garden. Plant can be grown from rue seeds (or branches, which can be bought at special stores or ordered through the Internet. But of course as with many other herbs, there are several rules to remember.

Rue herb has been known for a very long time, since the time of Roman Empire. The name "rue" comes from Greek word "reuo", which means "to set free", because it was used to treat many different diseases. Greeks and Romans used this herb in medicine and cookery.

Rue, botanical name for which is "Ruta graveolens", originates from Europe, mostly from its Southern parts. It is an evergreen plant with yellow flowers and bluish-green leaves, which emit strong odour. This plant is blossoming in late summer (usually from late June to September). There are about 60 different kinds of rue (some of them are subdumi), which grow mostly in Mediterranean region and Asia. Strong flavour and bitter taste of rue herb led to a wide use of it in cookery especially by Romans. Rue leaves are usually used to make sauces and meat dishes, but sometimes rue seed can be added also.

These days rue is still used as a kitchen herb - you can try it yourself by adding it to your dishes or putting it into oil or vinegar. Bitter taste and very strong flavour (which is pretty much like a flavour of blue cheese) will definitely change all dishes you make.

Rue herb is used in medicine, because of great number of chemical substances it contains. Essential oil that is extracted from rue contains flavonoids, alkaloids (acridine, quinazoline, and quinoline), furocoumarins, lignans and rutin (the bitter taste of rue herb is caused by rutin). Such substances give rue herb anthelmintic, antispasmodic and sedative effects. Rutin is used to treat fragility of blood vessels. Rue sap and fresh leaves are very irritating and may cause skin rashes and blisters. To make remedies out of rue herb, rue seeds (collected in spring), leaves, flowers (late summer) and root cuttings (late summer and autumn) can be used. Everyone can easily make a rue tea with only 1 teaspoon of rue leaves boiled in a 1 liter of water.

Rue is also being cultivated as garden plant for decorative purpose. Rue can grow almost anywhere, but it prefers sheltered dry places and rocky soil. If you want to grow rue in your garden, then you need to get rue seeds. Many special stores offer rue seeds and everything you need for growing this plant.

First, you need to place your rue seeds into peaty soil (preferably at the temperature about 20°C/68°F) and wait for 8-27 days for germinating. After that rue seeds are ready for transplantation into fertile soil (try to keep it not too wet). When you have well grown plant, you can easily propagate it by the tips of branches - just cut them gently and root into soil. Rue herb can be also grown in pots, but keep in mind that your pets would probably hate it, and it doesn't grow well together with some other plants. This plant will withstand hot and dry climate, but do not forget to water it regularly until it mature. With good care you can get mature plant about 60 cm tall. But in all cases you need to be careful (wear gloves working with it especially on sunny days) with this plant to avoid skin rashes and photodermatitis that fresh leaves sap can cause.

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