What Are the Best Tips for Growing Oregano?

Amber Eberle

Oregano is an herb used in cooking in many different types of cuisine. When growing oregano, seeds can be planted or seedlings can be purchased. Oregano can be planted either indoors or outdoors, and indoor planting is recommended for cold climates since oregano can not tolerate freezing temperatures. The plants require well-drained soil and ample light, either from the sun or growing lights.

Oregano is used in many types of cuisine.
Oregano is used in many types of cuisine.

Growing oregano can be done with seedlings or from seeds. It is recommended that seeds be started indoors in seedling pots. They can be placed just under the soil in the pot and then gently watered and placed in a window that receives full sun. Germination of the seeds should occur within one week. Seedlings are ready to plant after purchase, but they should not be planted outdoors until late spring.

The soil used for growing oregano does not need to be very fertile in order for the plant to thrive. Oregano is a hearty plant and its main requirement is that the soil is well-drained. Using a fertilizer while growing oregano is not recommended as it can alter the taste of the herb. A watering schedule should be based on the moisture level of the soil the oregano is planted in. The plant should be watered when the soil is dry to the touch, but over-watering should be avoided.

If growing oregano in a garden, the seedlings should be planted 12 inches (30 cm) apart in an area that receives at least eight hours of ample sunlight each day. Oregano also grows well in pots. The plants do not tolerate very cold weather and should not be planted outdoors in cold climates. Indoor cultivation is possible so long as the plants can receive adequate light, like that from being placed on a window sill, in window boxes, or under indoor growing lights. A fan should blow on the plants for two hours each day to simulate a natural growing environment.

Oregano plants usually grow to be 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) tall. After the plant reaches 6 inches (15 cm) in height, the leaves can be cut to be used in cooking. Regularly trimming like this and removing any flower buds on the oregano plant will help it grow better, produce more edible leaves, and have a stronger flavor. The lifespan of an oregano plant is two to four years. After this time period, the herb will no longer produce viable leaves and new plants will need to be grown.

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