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Oregano (Origanum vulgare)Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

Oregano Plants

Origanum vulgare

The details

Origanum vulgare

Pot Grown Herbs
  • Height: 45 cm
  • Spread: 45 cm
  • Colour: dark green foliage, purple/mauve flowers
  • Flowers: July-August
  • Uses: culinary, herb garden
  • Spacing: 25 cm
  • Scent: aromatic
  • Habit: forms a mound
  • Life: hardy perennial
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Description

Origanum vulgare

Oregano has an abundance of dark green, gorgeously aromatic and very slightly hairy leaves that in summer to form a gentle undulation but lie lower throughout winter. The summer also sees clusters of tiny, tubular mauve flowers which transform it into a plant worthy of any border or to grow in decorative pots on a terrace. The flavour of the leaves in this country is less pungent than when it grows wild in the Mediterranean from where it originated. Our summers are just not hot enough to achieve that but nonetheless it adds heft and depth to any Mediterranean cooking. Another essential from our range of herbs and vegetables.

A Mediterranean herb for an English herb garden

Rather like mint, there are many varieties of oregano, including pot marjoram, which has a similar but slightly less strong flavour. As well as its herbal use, Oregano is a vital component in a Mediterranean garden filled with scented herbs like rosemary and thymes.

An accommodating plant, it requires the minimum of watering once established and if you grow it in pots, just give it a liquid feed of fertiliser after flowering. Also, trim it at the same time to stop the plant becoming leggy. And pick the leaves fresh whenever they are around. The leaves can be frozen, but the flavour is best preserved by dunking several sprigs in oil or vinegar and leaving them to macerate to impart their taste. Pots should be protected against frost over winter and all plants cut down to about 6 cm from the soil.

Oregano Features

  • Height: 45 cm
  • Spread: 45 cm
  • Colour: dark green foliage, tiny purple/mauve flowers
  • Flowers: July-August
  • Uses: culinary, herb garden
  • Spacing: 25 cm
  • Scent: aromatic, the pizza herb!
  • Habit: forms a mound and mat in winter
  • Life: hardy perennial
Did You Know?

Although oregano did originally come from the Mediterranean, it has adapted to whichever country it has been imported to form its own native version. The Greek oregano, Origanumn vulgare ssp hirtum, is probably the most pungently aromatic, and they use bunches of it to baste the lambs that are slaughtered and then roasted on a spit on the street at Easter time.

This plant is also known as wild, English, or grove marjoram.

Aftercare

Water sparingly once established, especially if in pots because oregano does not like having wet feet. Feed after you have cut back the spent flowers. As an aromatic plant, pests rarely trouble it. Protect against frost in winter.
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