How to plant and grow Oregano

Herbs are a fantastic way to add flavor to your cooking without having to use salt, and oregano is one of the most versatile. It’s also really easy to grow! All you need is a pot, some well-draining soil, and a sunny spot. Keep reading and we’ll show you how to plant and grow oregano.

Botanical Name:Origanum vulgare
Other Names:Common Oregano, Wild Marjoram
Type of Plant:Perennial herb
Size and Appearance:Grows to a height of 20-80 cm (8-31 in). Has small, pale pink or white flowers. The leaves are opposite, ovate to oblong, and 2-7 cm (0.8-2.8 in) long.

Planting Time:

Spring or summer.

Blossoming Time:

Late summer to early fall.

Propagation:

By seed, cuttings, or division.

Sun:

Full sun.

Temperature:

Between 60°F – 70°F (15°C – 21°C).

Soil:

Well-drained, sandy soil.

Watering:

Water regularly during the growing season, allowing the soil to dry out between watering. Reduce watering during the winter.

Fertilize:

Apply a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season.

Uses:

Oregano can be used in cooking, as a decoration, or in potpourris and sachets.

How to Grow Oregano

  1. Buy a pot or planter and some oregano seeds from your local nursery or garden center.
  2. Fill the pot or planter with good quality potting mix or garden soil.
  3. Sow the oregano seeds on the surface of the soil and lightly cover them with more soil.
  4. Water the soil gently to moisten it, but don’t soak it.
  5. Place the pot in a warm, sunny spot and keep the soil moist.
  6. In a few weeks, you should see little seedlings poking through the soil.
  7. Once the seedlings are a few inches tall, you can thin them out so that only the strongest ones remain.
  8. Keep watering and fertilizing your oregano plants as they grow. They should be ready to harvest in about 8-10 weeks!

In the following, I will cover each step in a little more detail.

Buy a pot or planter and some oregano seeds from your local nursery or garden center.

Oregano seeds can be bought at most grocery stores, as well as online.

The best place to buy them is probably online because you can find a wider variety of seeds and have them shipped directly to you.

Oregano seeds should be sown in a pot because they need to be kept moist in order to germinate.

If they are sown directly in the garden, they may not receive enough moisture and may not germinate.

A perfect pot for Oregano would be a deep pot with drainage holes in the bottom.

Oregano likes to grow in well-drained soil, so the drainage holes are important.

The pot should also be wide enough to allow the roots to spread out.

Fill the pot or planter with good quality potting mix or garden soil.

The perfect potting mix for Oregano should be well-draining with a slightly acidic pH.

This will help the plant to thrive and prevent root rot. Some good examples of potting mixes that would work well for Oregano include:

  • 1 part peat moss to 1 part perlite
  • 1 part coco coir to 1 part perlite
  • 2 parts sand to 1 part peat moss

A 4-inch pot can hold approximately 4 cups of potting mix.

Sow the oregano seeds on the surface of the soil and lightly cover them with more soil.

Lightly moisten the mix and sprinkle the oregano seeds on top.

Gently press the seeds into the mix and cover them with a thin layer of sand or vermiculite.

Water the soil gently to moisten it, but don’t soak it.

Place the pot in a warm, sunny spot and keep the soil moist.

The perfect spot for Oregano indoors in a pot is in a sunny location. Oregano prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade.

It is also important to make sure the pot has good drainage.

Water the oregano right after sowing the seeds. The amount of water will depend on the size of the pot or container.

A small pot will need less water than a large pot. Water the oregano until the soil is moist, but not soggy.

In a few weeks, you should see little seedlings poking through the soil.

Oregano seedlings have long, thin leaves that are green in color. The leaves are arranged in a spiral pattern on the stem.

The flowers of oregano are white or pale pink and grow in clusters.

Once the seedlings are a few inches tall, you can thin them out so that only the strongest ones remain.

To thin oregano seedlings, first, wait until they are big enough to handle. Then, using a sharp knife, cut off the weaker seedlings at the soil line, being careful not to damage the roots of the remaining plants. 

Finally, transplant the seedlings that you want to keep to their own individual pots or transplant them into the garden.

The ideal spot for oregano in the garden is in a sunny location with well-drained soil. Oregano is a Mediterranean herb that thrives in hot, dry conditions. It is also a perennial plant, meaning it will come back year after year.

If you transplant your seedlings into the garden, make sure to prepare the soil first. The soil in the garden should be prepared by loosening it with a spade or hoe. The depth of the loosened soil should be at least 8 inches.

If the soil is too compacted, it will need to be amended with organic matter such as compost or peat moss. Once the soil is loose, level it out with a rake. 

Oregano prefers well-drained soil, so make sure that the garden bed is not in an area that collects water. If it does, you will need to build up the bed so that the roots are not sitting in water. 

Another obstacle that could be encountered when preparing the soil is rocks. Large rocks should be removed from the area and smaller ones can be turned over so that they are buried.

Keep watering and fertilizing your oregano plants as they grow. They should be ready to harvest in about 8-10 weeks!

Oregano plants need very little water and can even thrive in dry conditions. They should be watered only when the soil is completely dry.

A well-balanced fertilizer with a ratio of 5-10-5 or 6-12-6 is appropriate for oregano. Fertilize every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season, and apply a light layer of compost in the fall.

Oregano is a heavy feeder and benefits from regular fertilization.

The best time to harvest oregano is in the morning after the dew has evaporated but before the heat of the day. This is when the essential oils in the plant are at their peak. Cut oregano back by about one-third to encourage new growth.

Cutting back an oregano plant in the spring encourages new growth. To do this, cut the plant back to about 6 inches above the ground. This will stimulate new growth from the base of the plant. Be sure to remove any dead or dying leaves or stems before cutting back the plant.

How to use Oregano

Oregano is a common ingredient in many Italian and Greek dishes. It can be used to flavor pasta sauce, pizza, or chicken. Oregano is also a popular herb for making tea.

Medical uses for oregano include treating respiratory infections, digestive problems, and skin conditions.

Oregano oil is also said to have antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Esoteric uses for oregano include using it as incense for purification rituals. Some believe that oregano has the power to ward off evil spirits. 

Pests and Diseases of Oregano Plants

The most dangerous pests and diseases for Oregano are aphids, beetles, whiteflies, spider mites and powdery mildew. pests can be removed by hand or with water, neem oil, or insecticides. Powdery mildew can be fought by removing infected leaves.

There is a lot more to know about pests and diseases so if you want to know how identify what kind of pests are on your Oregano plant and how to fight them properly then consider reading our guide on pests and diseases of Oregano plants right here.

How Much Water does Oregano Need?

Oregano only needs to be watered once a week. Oregano is very drought-tolerant and does not like much water. Giving the plant about 1 inch of water per week is often enough.

You can read more about watering oregano right here if you want to know more.

What is the Best Time to Harvest Oregano?

The best time to harvest Oregano is right before it flowers in late summer or early fall. Harvesting Oregano too early will result in a very mild flavor while harvesting Oregano right before flowering will result in the best flavor.

When you harvest Oregano after it has flowered then the flavor can be a little bitter.

We have a full article that covers the best time to harvest Oregano and how to harvest Oregano in more depth.

What are the Best Types of Oregano for Cooking?

The best types of Oregano for cooking are Greek Oregano and Italian Oregano as these two types have the strongest flavors and both can be grown quite easily.

We have a detailed article where we explain exactly why these two types of Oregano are the best for cooking and what other types of Oregano there are.

Common Issues When Growing Oregano

The most common issues when growing oregano plants are over-fertilizing, overwatering, pruning too much, poor soil quality, or too little sunlight for the plant.

We also have a full article about common issues when growing oregano and how to avoid them that you read by following the link.

How Long Does an Oregano Plant Last?

Oregano can last for 5 to 7 years if the plant is cared for properly.

We have a full article on how long oregano plants lives that also explaines how to extend the live of your oregano plant.

Facts about Oregano

  • The name “oregano” comes from the Greek words “oros” and “ganos,” which mean “mountain” and “joy.”
  • Oregano is a member of the mint family
  • Oregano is used in many cuisines, including Italian, Greek, Turkish, Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian, Palestinian, Moroccan, Egyptian, Chilean, Mexican, Thai, Filipino, Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani

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Written By Vincent

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