Oregano is recognized to be of two main types, Mexican ( Lippia graveolens ) and European ( Origanum vulgare ). The latter is also called wild marjoram. The two types are dissimilar in taste, but alike in usage. The European is much milder. Both types may be grown from seed sown in the spring or propagated by cuttings. Cut the tender tops of both herbs just as flowers begin.
How to Grow
Oregano may grow two feet tall with a rounded, sprawling spread of 18 inches. White or pinkish-purple flower spikelets appear in mid to late summer. The cultivar ‘Aureum’ has golden yellow leaves and develops into an 8–10 inch mound. Use oregano in Spanish, Italian and Mexican cooking.
Plant oregano in full sun and well-drained soil. The gold leaf variety needs partial shade to help prevent leaf scorch. Plants may be started from seed, cuttings or crown division. Seed grown plants may not have good flavor. Propagate oregano by stem cuttings or crown division. Space plants 10–12 inches apart. Plants respond well to clump division every 2–3 years. This helps restore vigor and improve flavor.
Leaves can be snipped as needed. For best flavor, harvest leaves just as flower buds form. To dry, cut stems and bag dry or tray dry. When leaves are brittle, rem
Horticulture Agent IV
County Extension Director