What is the Best Time to Harvest Oregano?

Oregano is a perennial culinary and medicinal herb that can be easily grown in the home garden. It has been used for centuries. But when is the best time to harvest oregano?

The best time to harvest oregano is in the late summer or early fall right before the plant has flowered and in the morning after the dew has evaporated. If you harvest oregano too early, the leaves will be small and the flavor will be mild. If you harvest oregano too late, the flavor will change.

To harvest, cut off the top 4-6 inches of the plant. Be sure to leave enough of the stem so that the plant can regrow. Only the leaves and stems are edible. The leaves can be used fresh or dried.

In the following, you will find more information on the best time to harvest Oregano and possible issues if oregano is harvested too early, too late, or at the wrong time of the day.

If you want to know how to grow oregano then consider reading our guide right here.

Perfect time to harvest Oregano

Oregano is a perennial herb that can be harvested throughout the growing season.

There are many different types of oregano, but the two most common are Italian oregano and Greek oregano. Greek oregano is more pungent and has a stronger flavor, while Italian oregano is more mild.

In general, Greek oregano is ready to harvest when the leaves are dark green and slightly dry to the touch, while Italian oregano is ready to harvest when the leaves are bright green and still slightly moist.

The best time to harvest oregano is just before the plant flowers which is usually in the late summer. Or anytime after the plant has flowered, which is usually early fall, depending on the type of oregano. 

Right before the oregano flowers, the leaves will be at their peak flavor. 

The best daytime to harvest oregano is in the morning, after the dew has evaporated but before the sun gets too hot. This allows the plant to retain as much moisture as possible, which results in a more flavorful herb.

To harvest oregano, cut the stems at the base of the plant using sharp shears. You should cut the stem just above a leaf node, where the leaves are attached to the stem.

Only the leaves and the flowers of the oregano plant are edible. The stems and roots are not edible and should not be consumed.

Possible Issues if Oregano is Harvested Too Early

If you harvest oregano too early, the leaves will be small and the flavor will be mild. The plant will also be less productive overall.

Possible Issues if Oregano is Harvested Too Late

If you harvest oregano too late, the leaves will be tough and the flavor will be stronger and slightly different. The plant may also become woody and produce fewer leaves.

Possible Issues if Oregano is Harvested at the Wrong Time of Day

If you harvest oregano at the wrong time of day, either in the morning before the dew has evaporated or in the evening after the sun has gone down, the flavor of the herb will be affected. The leaves may also suffer from frost damage if they are harvested when it is cold outside.

Should you let oregano plants flower?

If you are growing oregano for its leaves, you can let it flower before harvesting. Oregano plant produces more oil when it is in bloom, and this oil is responsible for the plant’s flavor. 

How to store Oregano leaves

To dry oregano, hang the stems upside down in a cool, dark, and dry place. Doing this will allow the leaves to retain their flavor and color. 

You can also lay the stems on a cooling rack covered in paper towels. Place the rack in a warm (not hot), dry place for about a week. 

Once the oregano is dry, remove the leaves from the stem and store them in an airtight container. 

Be sure to label the container with the date so you know when they were dried. 

If you live in a humid climate, it is best to dry your oregano in the oven. 

Preheat the oven to its lowest setting and place the stems on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Bake for about an hour, or until the leaves are crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Dried oregano is typically good for 2-3 years.

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Written By Vincent

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