Widely used in Italian dishes.
Days To Maturity
Direct Sow/Indoor Sow
Plant Shipping Information
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Oregano may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, directly sown, or planted as a potted plant.
Sowing Seed Indoors:
- Sow oregano seeds indoors 6-10 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit.
- Barely cover seeds in seed-starting formula.
- Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F
- Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days.
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots.
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Sowing Directly in the Garden:
- Direct sow in average soil in full sun after all danger of frost when temperatures remain above 45 degrees F.
- Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
- Sow seeds evenly and barely cover with fine soil.
- Firm the soil lightly and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings will emerge in 10-21 days.
- Thin to 12 inches apart when seedlings have three sets of leaves.
Planting in the Garden:
- Select a location (out of the way or in a container due to rapid spread) in full sun or part shade with good rich, evenly moist soil.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
- Set the plants 12 inches apart.
- Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker.
- Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For herbs, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Fertilize as needed with Gro-Tone All Purpose Organic Plant Food.
- To propagate, divide the plants in spring.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Harvest as needed and to keep plants most productive and bushy.
- Harvest in the morning when plants are dry. Harvest before flower buds form.
- Cut leaves on a sunny morning. Tie stems together and hang in a dry place away from the sun. OR spread on a cheesecloth or a window screen in a dry, shady location. Or dry herbs in the oven for 2-3 hours on a cookie sheet at the lowest heat, leaving the oven door open. OR use a dehydrator following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- When thoroughly dry, pulverize and store in a tightly sealed glass jar in a dry, dark location, such as a cupboard.
- Oregano may also be frozen either in zip lock bags or finely chopped in water or olive oil in ice cube trays.
SunFull SunDays To Maturity90-200 daysLife CyclePerennialHeight12-24 inchesSpread12-16 inchesSow MethodDirect Sow/Indoor SowPlanting TimeSpring, SummerThin18 inches
Oregano, Greek is rated out of 5 by 4.Rated 5 out of 5 by googoo from Dought survivor Greek Oregano I really do try to grow a great garden, but sometimes I forget to water it. The only vegetable that flourished from my neglect was this plant. tI perked up right away and showed no signs of of the dought we recen tly went through. I used clippings of it chopped in everything from rice medleys, pasta dishes, chicken and fish dishes. A very delicious and versatile herb. Buy it.Date published: 2012-05-09Rated 5 out of 5 by gardenman from Superb Planted indoors , and planted some more outdoors. Turned out great. Within 2 months you can get a decent size plant, that 's ready to harvest. I cut them twice, and they came back as strong. Awesome fragrance and taste with cheese pies...Date published: 2011-06-03Rated 5 out of 5 by ConcreteyardGardener from great perennial This is an excellent and reliable perennial. It's come back for a 3rd season. Very fragrant. You can dry it or use it fresh. It does well in full sun AND part sun/shade (it just might grow a bit slower). It's only March and my full sun oregano is already an inch or two high. Contrary to the seed packet instructions, I found it easier to direct seed outdoors. My indoor ones didn't do so well under the grow lights. I think it grows fast enough to do without the head start, although I can't speak for those below zones 5-6.Date published: 2011-03-28Rated 5 out of 5 by OrganicMan from Greek Oregano Out The Wazoo!! I planted this in early spring of 2009 and all summer long into the fall when I finally harvested the last leaves the other day (November), it has given me abundant oregano to dry, use fresh in sauces and dishes, and to freeze by washing, chopping and dampening with just enough olive oil and the folding them in ziploc bags with all the air pushed out, zipping and freezing them. It spreads like wildfire and is a perennial, so get ready for it year after year!---I planted it in between daylillies, irises and columbines in a bed along side my house that catches great sun exposure without getting too hot. I put Thyme on one end and Oregano on the other, and man, did they spread all in between those flowers beautifully, almost meeting in the middle. I also let them flower too to add color and filler in between the flowers shows. Good buy for what you get.Date published: 2009-11-08