Savor true Italian flavor with garden-fresh oregano. This sprawling herb pumps up the taste in tomato sauces, pizza, and Mediterranean cuisine. An easy-growing perennial, oregano thrives in planting beds or containers. Plant it in a pot with rosemary, sage, and thyme for a flavorful quartet you can place near the kitchen door, handy for snipping and sprinkling into dishes. In the ground, plants will flower and set seed, which shortens the harvest season. Pinch flowers from stems to keep plants in top snipping form.
Type: Herb, Perennial
Height: 1 to 3 feet
Width: 2-4 feet wide
Flower color: Blue, Pink, White
Seasonal features: Fall bloom, Summer bloom
Problem solvers: Deer resistant, Drought tolerant, Groundcover, Slope/Erosion Control
Special features: Attracts birds, Fragrance, Good for containers, Low maintenance
How to Grow Oregano Plant
Growing oregano is easy. Oregano can be grown from seeds, cuttings, or purchased container plants.
Seeds should be started indoors prior to your region’s last expected frost. There’s no need to cover oregano herb seeds with soil. Simply mist them with water and cover the seed tray or container with plastic. Place this in a sunny location such as a window to germinate. Oregano seeds usually germinate within about a week or so. Once the seedlings have reached approximately 6 inches tall, the plants can be thinned down to about a foot apart.
Established plants do not require much attention. In fact, these drought-tolerant herbs need watering only during excessively dry periods. Oregano doesn’t need to be fertilized either, as these hardy plants can typically take care of themselves. For optimal flavor (if growing oregano for kitchen use) or more compact plant growth, flower buds can be pinched out as they begin to bloom.Oregano plants can be set out or transplanted in the garden once the risk of frost has passed. Locate oregano in areas receiving full sun and in well-drained soil.
Harvesting Oregano Herb
Oregano herb plants are commonly used for cooking. Plants can be harvested anytime once they have reached 4 to 6 inches tall. Harvesting oregano leaves as flower buds form will oftentimes yield the best flavor. Harvest oregano leaves in the morning hours once dew has dried.
Oregano leaves can be stored whole, placed in freezer bags and frozen. They can also be dried in a dark, well-ventilated area and stored in airtight containers until ready to use.
Oregano plants should be cut back to the ground and covered with a layer of mulch for over wintering outdoors. Container grown plants can be brought inside for growing oregano indoors year round.
Now that you know how to grow oregano, you can add this tasty herb to your herb garden and enjoy it!