Oregano is a hardy perennial herb much loved by everyone. It is one of the easy to grow indoors and is one among the favorites list for city-dwellers to start with. If you have a windowsill or patio with 6 hours of full sun, it takes well to pot culture. Oregano is happy to grow on a windowsill in your kitchen or in a tiny plot of your garden. Little upside-down hanging bunches in your home are pretty and functional, and you can just trim a little off as you need it.
Fresh oregano is a great antibacterial agent. It has phytonutrients (thymol and carvacrol), which fight infections such as staph. It's loaded with antioxidants that help prevent cell damage, and it’s an excellent source of fiber, vitamin K, manganese, iron, vitamin E, tryptophan and calcium.
Dried oregano is also healthful (with similar benefits to fresh), but it needs to be handled carefully. Store it in a clean, dry, glass container.
- Oregano loves the sun, choose a location that received at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun light. The more sunlight falling on oregano plant the stronger the flavor!
- When starting indoors, plant the seeds 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost.
- Oregano can easily be started from seeds, though you can also use cuttings from an established plant.
- Plant the seeds/cuttings in well-drained soil any time after the last spring frost. The soil should be around 70 ⁰F.
- Thin plants about 8 to 10 inches apart. The plants will grow 1 to 2 feet tall and spread about 18 inches.
- Oregano makes a good companion plant for any vegetable in the garden.
- Allow oregano plants to grow to about 4 inches tall and then pinch or trim lightly to encourage a denser and bushier plant.
- Regular trimming will not only cause the plant to branch again, but also avoid legginess.
- Oregano doesn’t need quite as much water as most herbs. As the amount of watering depends on many variables, just water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Remember that it’s better to water thoroughly and less often.
- If you have a container, water until the water comes out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the container.
- To ensure the best-quality plants, thin out plants that are 3 or 4 years old in the early spring. Oregano is self-seeding, so the plants will easily grow back.
- You can divide the plants in late spring if you want to put one indoors.
- Harvest the leaves as you need them. The most flavor-filled leaves are found right before the flowers bloom.