- Plant Type: Perennial, zones 5 to 9
- Sun: Full Sun/Part Shade
- Plant Size: 8 inches; 2 feet when in bloom
- Culinary Use: Leaves in European, Latin, and Middle Eastern cuisines
Easy to grow, oregano is a must for gardeners who cook because it is used in so many dishes from pizza and pasta to Greek chicken to Cuban black beans. The bright green leaves of Greek oregano have a characteristic scent (think pizza parlor) and flavor which is even more intense in the dried leaves. When the small white flowers appear on the plant in late summer, it's a good time to harvest leaves for drying because that is when the flavorful oils are most concentrated.
Plant oregano in spring and summer. It stays handy in the garden for months as it withstands frost and light freezes and is evergreen in zones 7 and south. Plant in a sunny spot; in hot southern and desert climates, it prefers a little afternoon shade.
Plant Spacing:12- 18 inches. Plants Per Person: 1 to 2.
Secrets to Success »
Give oregano good air circulation and drainage; it’s perfect for containers. In the ground, it makes a mat, like a ground cover. Water plants until well established, then keep them on the dry side. Feed in spring with Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food, and few more times during the growing season. Mulch in-ground plants during winter to help oregano last until spring; move small containers indoors for the winter. The second year and beyond, remove dead stems in early spring to promote new growth; cut back in late spring to make the plant bushier.
Harvest and Use »
Pinch leaves as you need them throughout the growing season. If you want to dry oregano for later, wait until the plant blooms for the strongest flavor. Pinch the stems often for fresh or dried use in sauces, pizzas, soups, meats, and other recipes.
Try these garden companions »
- Roma tomato, the best variety for tomato sauce.
- Potatoes for Greek roasted potatoes.
- Thyme, also common in sauce recipes, and parsley, to garnish pastas and pizzas.
- Eggplant and zucchini.