Gardening Tips

Rue plant: care

Rue plant: care

A plant to which a certain magical power has been attributed for many centuries is rue (graveolens route), of which it was said that when it was dry it could absorb negative waves or bad energies from its surroundings. It is a very pretty and perky looking plant with a bluish or grayish green branch-like stem and striking yellow flowers.

Many people choose to have it at home because of its appearance and its medicinal properties. Therefore, in EcologíaVerde, we tell you more about the rue plant and its care.

How is the rue plant: characteristics

The rue (graveolens route) It is a perennial plant with no specific requirements regarding growing conditions. This is a plant that renews itself fairly quickly and stays green even during the harshest of winters.

Is about a bush which has between 50 cm and 100 cm. tall, woody stem, branchy and round. Its leaves are fleshy bluish green, whitish or grayish. They are alternate, petiolate leaves and are provided with glands that give off a powerful ocher and bitter odor when rubbed. The rue flowers are grouped in showy yellow bouquets and its plum-shaped fruit is a capsule with numerous black seeds.

In addition, the rue fruits They carry a drug known as harmala in India. There are different varieties of this species, but the one that is usually used in gardening is the common rue (graveolens route) and the wild one, which is one of the most toxic.

Rue plant: care - How is the rue plant: characteristics

Properties of rue as a medicinal plant

It is possible to distill its essence using the stems, leaves and flowers of the rue, but due to its toxicity it is recommended to be careful when handling it and not to mix it with other plants. This essence is colorless or slightly yellowish. Its essential oils are rich in acids and other substances, such as rutin, coumarins, alkaloids, tannins and vitamin C, among others, which make rue a medicinal plant. Its active ingredients are distributed throughout the plant.

Thus, these active ingredients make these the main properties of tuda as a medicinal plant:

  • Analgesic: due to the anisic, caprylic or salicylic acids, this plant allows pain relief.
  • Venotonic and vasoprotective: rubifacient properties that activate circulation and strengthen blood vessels).
  • Emmenagogue: property that facilitates menstruation and helps reduce pain or discomfort that can be felt in this part of the cycle).
  • Antispasmodic: helps stop muscle spasms, especially in the digestive system.
  • Antiparasitic and vermifuge: so it is good for deworming internally.

These properties mean that it is used both to apply in poultices, to take as an infusion and to add it to soaps so that the skin benefits on a daily basis, without the risk of poisoning. In this other article from EcologíaVerde we talk about How to make natural handmade herbal soaps, where you will find a recipe with the rue plant.

How to care for a rue plant: care guide

Rue is a plant commonly used in gardening, so when it comes to keeping it healthy, a series of tips should be taken into account. Some of the basic care of the rue plant are:

Location and light for rue

The plant should be placed in a place where it receives plenty of natural light, but without receiving direct sunlight, since the excess of these could harm it, burning its leaves and stems and being able to kill it.


This plant is very affected by excessively low temperatures, so if you live in a cold climate, you should protect it. It is much better that it has warm temperatures and it withstands high temperatures better than low ones.


The watering of this plant should be done in moderation, which should not be more than twice a week, but taking care to water it weekly because its drought can leave it exposed to pests, such as mites or whiteflies.

Soil and compost

It is best that this plant is grown on alkaline soil, in this way it will produce a greater number of flowers and much more beautiful and healthy. Organic soil can be added and used as a cover to protect the roots. It is also a good idea to add a little organic or natural fertilizer to the soil from time to time.


It is recommended to prune the rue during the winter, but not more than 10 centimeters from the ground, to stimulate its growth. In addition, it can be trimmed to shape and thus improve its decorative appearance.

diseases and pests

The main threats to rue are mites, whiteflies and fungi, especially if there is excessive irrigation. In this other EcologíaVerde article you can learn how to make homemade fungicides for plants.

How to plant rue and its reproduction

Rue can be reproduced at home by seeds or cuttings.

Reproduce rue with seeds

In case of reproducing them by seeds, they require sunlight and well-conditioned soil, keeping it moist to promote growth. No need to use soil to cover them. For its development to be successful, about 20 degrees of temperature must be provided. If these conditions are maintained, the plant can take two or three weeks to germinate and in approximately two and a half months they can be transplanted to the place you want, leaving a minimum distance of half a meter between plants.

Reproduce rue by cuttings

If you want to reproduce it by cuttings, these should be obtained in summer or spring from woody branches of intermediate hardness. The reason is that if they are too tender they will not withstand the transplant and if they are already dry, very woody, they do not have enough strength and sap running through the stem to get ahead. These cuttings must be planted and covered with soil, leaving a small part on the surface.

How to dry rue for infusions and condiments

The rue drying process to prepare infusions and condiments It is not too complex, you just have to follow these instructions:

  1. Cut the fresh branches with rue flowers, but make sure they are healthy branches.
  2. Hang the branches and leaves of the rue plant in a cool, dry place for 2 weeks about.
  3. If it is to be used as an aromatic condiment in cooking, the plant has a strong aroma and flavor. It is also possible to make rue tea, which also has a strong flavor, so many people sweeten it to drink from time to time.
Rue plant: care - How to dry rue for infusions and condiments

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  • Cebrian, J., (2012), Dictionary of medicinal plantsBarcelona, ​​Spain, Integral RBA Books.

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