Oregano is an ancient aromatic culinary herb that originated in the hilly Greek countryside. The Greeks called it the “joy of the mountain.” Essentially, a plant of the mint family, Oregano, is now a staple to most kitchen gardens. It’s also a favorite plant to grow in the balconies, terraces, and even indoors. If you are living in apartments and high-rises, growing Oregano in containers is a good idea.
Why Oregano is so much liked is because of its intense and spicy flavor. Although it is now used in one way or the other globally, Oregano has been traditionally identified with Mexican, Italian, and Spanish culinary traditions. Its slightly bitter taste and unique flavor offer depth to the dishes.
The growing popularity of Oregano has something to do with the ease with which it can be grown. If you are a first-time gardener, it is a perfect plant to grow. It is as easy to grow as chives, mint, parsley, and sage. All of them are culinary herbs, and it can be a good idea to grow all of them as potted plants or in your vegetable garden.
Oregano plants: What is it like?
Oregano’s savory and spicy taste and its unique flavor say something about its personality. It’s hardy, perennial, and full of leaves. Just a couple of plants can be enough to supply Oregano to your kitchen round the year. The leaves are dark green, oval, and in opposite pairs. There can be different varieties of Oregano, and accordingly, the leaves may also be slightly different from one another. It begins as a ground-hugging plant distinguished by its rosette of opposite pairs of leaves. The plant grows up to 2 feet tall and roughly the same in foliage.
Is It Worth Growing Oregano?
Surely! Oregano, as the Greek believed, can be the joy of your kitchen. The leaves can add extra flavor and taste variation to any dish or any drink. You cannot simply deny it to yourself. Growing Oregano is simple and easy. It’s a low-maintenance plant that requires occasional watering only when the soil has become dry. And, if you have no vegetable garden, you can grow it on your balcony or even in the living room. For this, all you need is a sunny area for the plant. With such little efforts, you can have unhindered access to an aromatic evergreen culinary herb right in your living room. So, growing Oregano is well worth it.
Oregano can be divided into two main categories – Mediterranean and Mexican. Mediterranean Oregano belongs to the mint family, while Mexican Oregano comes from lemon verbena. Most of the two plants’ things are similar, while there is a little variation in their taste.
Oregano: Age and Potency
Oregano is a perennial plant that grows and keeps well in a warm climate. It comes every year without you having to do anything except for watering it once in a while. It is not unusual for the plants to grow up to 10 years or more. But the potency of the taste and flavor decreases after the oregano plant is 3-4 years old. As far as the yield is concerned, the older plants offer similar delicious, healthy, copious amounts of leaves.
Oregano: How to Plant
Where: In the garden, Oregano looks good along the edges and a part of the landscaping. Oregano brings height and dimension to the landscape, acting as a garden anchor. The leaves come afresh every spring. You can plant it in the garden or in containers. It is a hardy plant that does not require extra care and attention. You can keep it in your living room as well. It only needs sun and heat. A sunny area inside your home is the right place for this plant to keep. It will add aesthetics as well as flavor to your home.
When: You should plant the seeds outdoors, but the time it well – about 5 weeks before you expect the last frost. If you plan to use a small plant, a cutting, or a seedling, you should aim the ground temperature to be 700F.
Oregano: How to Cultivate
Soil: Oregano needs light and well-drained soil. Moderately fertile soil without any fertilization or compost is considered for this plant.
Sun: Oregano needs sun and heat. So, when you are growing it indoors, keep this in mind. Oregano’s flavors intensify with more sunshine.
Water: Oregano does not need much water. Touch the soil, and if it’s hard to touch, then only water it.
Spacing: Oregano grows about 2 feet tall and takes up about 18 inches horizontally. Spacing the plant 10 inches apart would be just fine. If it is going to be containers, use those with a 12-inch diameter.
Companion planting: Oregano will get along with any kind of plant in its vicinity. It is one of the most amiable companion plants. Oregano’s intense flavor and taste keep most pests away, and other plants benefit from this. It attracts flower flies that finish off aphids that are also attracted to Oregano. Its thick foliage helps maintain humidity, which is good for the growth of some plants.
Oregano: How to Harvest
Harvesting oregano is simple, and you can take the first harvest any time after it’s 4-5 inches tall. You can cut 2/3 of the stem from the top. Regular trimming is helpful for Oregano and encourages new growth.
Tip: Like everything about Oregano, harvesting, too, is simple. You can cut its small branches and dry them in a dark place. If you want to retain the stems and branches, you simply need to grab the leafy stems and run your fingers to pick and collect the leaves in your hand. After the leaves are picked, you can trim the stems.
For oregano leaves to have maximum potency, you need to harvest the leaves just before the flower blooms. You must time it well. The flowers can be used as a garnish in salads. One of the best ways to harvest Oregano is to trim the plant at once and use a dehydrator to dry the leaves before preserving them.
Uses Of Oregano
Fresh or dried leaves tomatoes, cheeses, eggs, beef, pork, poultry, she potatoes, sauces; Flowers floral arrangements, Dried branches baths
Preservation Of Oregano
Clip fresh as needed.
Harvest at the time of bloom and hang dry or freeze.