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Rue (Ruta gaveolens)

By Contributor ; Updated September 21, 2017

This small evergreen shrub plant is also known as the herb of grace. It takes well to poor garden soil where it makes a compact and attractive plant. The scent is somewhat unpleasant.


Rue is raised from seeds sown in spring or cuttings taken in summer. Select a sunny, well drained site. Space plants about 18 inches apart for an attractive small hedge. The plant will benefit from a hard pruning in the spring to encourage new growth. Rue is frost sensitive but will self-sow freely.


Since it's seldom used in cooking and medicinal use should be approached with caution, the primary uses for this plant are decorative. The seedheads are particularly attractive and make nice dried flowers. Rue is also used as a companion plant for roses and raspberries because it helps to deter Japanese beetles.


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