Rue plants have bluish-green, fernlike leaves that are bushy and compact. The flowers on the rue herb are yellow with petals that are frilly on the edges and the center of the flower is normally green. Rue normally grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet tall.
Rue does well in a variety of soil but does best in well drained soil. In fact, it will do well in the rocky, dry soil that many other plants have a difficult time surviving. It needs full sun to grow well. It is drought tolerant and rarely, if ever needs to be watered.
Care should be taken when handling rue plants. The sap of the rue plant is often irritating and can burn or leave rashes on people’s skin. Rue can be harvested and used in the house as an insect repellent. Simply cut some of the leaves and dry them, then put the dried leaves in cloth bags. These sachets can be placed where ever you need to repel bugs.
Rue is mostly grown today as an ornamental specimen for its attractive grey green foliage.
In naturopathic and Chinese medicine, it is still used to treat earaches, bring on menses, and relax the smooth muscles of the digestive system. It is used as an aid to spasmodic coughs. The leaves can be chewed to relieve tension headaches, ease palpitations and other anxiety problems. It also increases peripheral circulation and lowers elevated blood pressure.
Most cats dislike the smell of it and therefore it can be used as a deterrent to them