Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
The beauty of this herb is that it is as effortless to grow as it is flavorful and culinarily useful. Common oregano is one of the many beloved European herbs in the mint family. Its flavor is especially prominent in southern Italian, Spanish and Greek cooking. The tough herbaceous perennial is quite hardy and spreads vigorously via rhizomes. In fact, it can become quite weedy if not regularly maintained.
The upright stems of this clump-forming herb are lined with highly fragrant, small, oval leaves that may be bright or dark green. The strong fragrance comes from oil-filled hairs along the surface of the leaves, called trichomes. In summer, clusters of small white, lavender or pink flowers appear at the stem tips. These attract many insect pollinators, especially bees. Once spent, the flowers should be cut off to keep the plants looking clean and to encourage foliage development rather than seed.
There are a number of excellent cultivars available, some that are ornamental and others for cooking. The less aggressive 'Aureum Crispum' has ruffled chartreuse leaves, and the tidy, mound-forming 'Compactum' is a bit smaller than average.
Full sun and moderate to poor soil with good drainage will suffice for this Mediterranean plant. It is not picky. Plants that are too happy become rampant fast, a lot like vigorous Monarda. Gardeners remedy this problem several ways. Some plant oregano in large pots to keep them contained. Others simply divide them every two years or so and share the divisions with herb-loving friends.
An herb garden is not complete without oregano. The leaves can be enjoyed fresh or dried and taste excellent in pasta sauce, on meat, fish and vegetables. Mix a little crushed oregano, fresh chopped garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice with some olive oil for a light all purpose marinade for barbeque.
10 - 2
4 - 9
H1, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
12"-30" / 30.5cm - 76.2cm
12"-16" / 30.5cm - 40.6cm
Summer, Late Summer
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall
White, Light Pink, Lavender
Green, Dark Green
Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall
Preferred Commerce. All Rights Reserved.