How Long Does an Oregano Plant Last?

Oregano is a perennial herb that belongs to the mint family. Initially, it has native to the Mediterranean regions but has been established in the Northern Hemisphere where the temperature is moderate. Oregano is mostly used in Italian and Greek dishes such as pasta sauces, pizza, and salads. But how long does an oregano plant last?

Most oreganos will last for 5 to 7 years if they are well-cared for and given proper growing conditions. It is best to cut them back after flowering or to cut off the flowers before they develop to keep the plant at a manageable size.

In the following, you will find more information on the life cycle of Oregano plants as well as how to care for them.

What factors make an Oregano plant live longer?

The life of an oregano plant can vary depending on a few different factors. 

1. The Right Growing Conditions

One important factor is the climate, in which the oregano plant grows. Oregano plants love warm, sunny, and rather dry climates and don’t enjoy colder temperatures or too much water.

Oregano does best in dry, warm conditions and can be sensitive to cold temperatures as well as dampness.

So making sure that your oregano grows in the most optimal conditions will ensure that the plant lives a long and happy life.

2. Watering

Oregano prefers dry air and doesn’t do well if watered too often.

It is prone to root rot, which can happen quickly if the soil stays damp all the time. Root rot can kill your oregano plant quicker than you think.

Approximately 1 inch of water per week is enough for any oregano plant to thrive.

3. Fertilizing Regularly

Oregano grows stronger if fertilized every now and then. It does not need a lot of fertilizer.

Fertilizing an oregano plant once a year with an all-purpose fertilizer is enough and will keep your plant strong and healthy.

What to do if Oregano Flowers

First of all that depends highly on what you want. Some people try to make the flowers last as long as possible, while others prefer to cut the flowers down to prevent the plant from going to seed. Both options are completely fine and will not shorten the life of the oregano plant.

Oregano usually flowers in summer. After flowering, it produces seeds that can be used to plant new oregano plants.

You can either let your Oregano plant flower for a while and then use the flowers for making tea, put them as decoration on dishes, dry them and use them as decoration, or simply cut them off to encourage fresh growth next year.

If you don’t want your Oregano to seed itself out, you need to deadhead the flowers.

The flavor of oregano will change slightly after it flowers which is why a lot of gardeners prefer to prune the flowers to keep the flavor of the oregano fresh and strong. The flavor will become slightly bitter and weaker once the plant flowers.

This change in flavor is not permanent. The plant will revert back to its original flavor after about four to five months.

Will Oregano Come Back After Flowering?

Oregano will grow back every year because it is a perennial herb. Oregano can be harvested anytime, but harvesting it after it has flowered might lead to a milder or more bitter flavor, depending on the variety.

Oregano can survive the winter but it doesn´t like to overwinter outside. So if you are able to then it is recommended to keep Oregano indoors during the cold season.

Does Oregano Regrow After Cutting?

Oregano regrows after cutting. It should be cut back when it becomes too large or unruly. It can also be pruned in late summer to encourage new growth.

To cut back oregano, first, remove any dead or dying leaves. Cut the plant back to about 6 inches above the ground. Be sure to make your cuts clean and sharp so that the plant can heal quickly.

What to do When Oregano Bolts?

If Oregano plants bolt, then it is best to cut the plant back. Oregano is quite resilient and will regrow fast. To keep Oregano from bolting the flowers can be left on the plant to encourage less growth but that will change the flavor of the Oregano plant.

You can also try trimming back the plant when it flowers to encourage new growth the next year. You can cut back an oregano plant when it starts to flower to about half to one-third of its original size.

What to do When Oregano Goes to Seed?

If you want to harvest the oregano seeds, wait until the plant has flowered and gone to seed. Then, cut off the flower heads and shake them over a bowl or container. The seeds will fall out of the flowers into the bowl. You can then use these seeds to grow new oregano plants.

To prevent oregano from going to seed, you can either pinch off the flower heads as they appear or shear the plant back by a third to half after it has flowered.

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Written By Vincent

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