Plant Type
Sunlight Amount



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.

genus name
  • Ruta spp.
  • Part Sun
  • Sun
plant type
  • Under 6 inches
  • 6 to 12 inches
  • 1 to 3 feet
  • 18-24 inches wide
flower color
foliage color
season features
problem solvers
special features
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9

More varieties for rue

'Jackman's Blue' rue

Ruta graveolens 'Jackman's Blue' is noted for its especially blue foliage. Like common rue, it bears yellow flowers throughout the summer. It grows 2-3 feet tall and 18-24 inches wide. Zones 4-9

Fringed rue

Ruta chalapensis gets its common name from its fringed yellow flowers, which appear in spring on plants with blue-green foliage that closely resembles that of common rue. Other common names for this variety include Egyptian rue, wall rue, and Aleppo rue. It is a favorite larva plant of swallowtail butterflies. It grows 2-3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 8-10

Plant rue with

An easy-to-grow plant, coneflower thrives in conditions similar to rue. Rue will provide ground-level interest below lofty coneflowers.

Tickseed and threadleaf coreopsis make excellent companions for rue. Their deep gold blooms blend with the yellow hue of rue flowers but stand out against the backdrop of the blue-green foliage of rue.

The yellow-orange flowers of helenium will bring out the blue hues in rue leaves.

The silvery foliage and purple flowers of lavender complement the golden blooms and blue-green leaves of rue. Both plants prefer full sun and excellent drainage.

Santolina naturally forms a small, compact mound, making it a good herbal knot-garden plant. Use either the gray or green form of santolina in combination with clipped rue to create the backbone of the knot.

Contrast the soft foliage of rue with yucca's bold, spiky foliage.

tips and ideas to grow herbs with perennials