If you’re growing herbs for Italian cuisine, you must include oregano.
When you think of that distinct flavor in pizza or spaghetti sauce, you are recalling oregano!
Named the 2005 Herb of the Year by the International Herb Society, oregano is light green with an aromatic odor and blooms with purple blossoms from July through October.
A member of the mint family, this species is a hardy perennial in warmer climates, is easily grown from either seeds or cuttings, and divisions.
If you are growing from seeds, sow them in rows 18” apart, early in the spring; cover lightly with soil, and thin the young plants to 12” apart.
Once the seedlings have produced at least two sets of ‘true’ leaves they will be ready for transplanting into a larger pot or in the ground in a few weeks.
Oregano tends to spread to nearly 24″ and stays short at an 18″ height.
Every time you snip a few leaves off, you encourage the plant to continue growing and are essentially pruning it.
Oregano doesn’t need much fertilizing as it grows wild in Mediterranean climates, though an annual pruning will help keep up a compact profile and keep it from becoming “leggy.”
Cut the oregano plant back by two-thirds every year in the spring to regenerate it.
Not a fussy plant, oregano does fine in average soil, and will tolerate dry soil conditions.
Oregano is a native of the Mediterranean region, it is perfectly capable of withstanding droughts.
You may want to use oregano as a small-scale ground cover if you like its ornamental look.
If you live in a mild winter area, oregano will grow year-round in the garden.
Cold climate gardeners should move potted oregano indoors during the winter or protect oregano planted in the garden with a layer of mulch for insulation.
Grow Oregano Indoors!
Oregano is not only a useful and usual addition to any herb garden, it also makes a wonderfully easy-to-grow houseplant!
While it is still small, place it in a sunny window in well-drained soil and watch it grow!
Thank god for expanding varieties of almost every culinary plant, including oregano!
Here are some delicious varieties of oregano to grow in your garden:
Interested in more information about growing oregano?
Watch this video by my friend, P Allen Smith.