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Oregano is a perennial herb that comes back year after year in zones 5 and above, and grown as an annual in colder climates. It is a close relative to the herb marjoram, and grows from 20–80 cm or 7″–30″ tall.
There are many subspecies and varieties of oregano with many unique flavors and other characteristics, with tastes ranging from spicy or peppery to more complex and sweet. Oregano leaves are an important culinary herb, normally used in a crushed and dried form which is more flavorful than fresh. It is most commonly used in Italian cuisine.
When starting to grow oregano from seed, plant indoors in early spring, 6-10 weeks before the last frost date. Sprinkle seeds over moist soil in a medium sized pot of 8″-12″ in diameter. Do not plant deeply, as seeds are very tiny. Seedlings can be transplanted outdoors after the last frost date, one plant per medium sized pot. Seeds should sprout in 7 to 14 days.
To eliminate the guesswork in selecting the right size containers for your plants, we’ve put together a list of commonly grown herbs, veggies, fruit and flowers along with the minimum pot sizes required by each. Get the Free Container Size Guide for Small Space Gardening here .
Oregano likes hot and dry conditions, so it is quite tolerant to drought. Water thoroughly when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.
Where Can I Grow It?
Grow oregano in a sunny spot, indoors or outdoors. Remember: more sun = more flavor.
Oregano will overwinter fine if you are in zone 5 or higher. If you are in a colder zone, bring oregano indoors, or treat it as an annual replanting a new one every year.
If you only have a windowsill to grow on and don’t want to create a mess planting, you can get an Oregano Garden-in-a-Bag which is easy to start and take care of.
When plants are 4″ tall pinch off the growing tips to encourage bushier growth.
Harvest leaves or whole stems to be used fresh or dried. Regular trimming will continue to encourage bushier growth.