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If we can believe the Greeks, oregano was made by the goddess Aphrodite as a symbol of luck and prosperity. You can find oregano as a wild plant in Italy and Greece. But wherever it comes from, I love the sweet, pungent taste of oregano and I grow it in my backyard. If you clicked through to this article you want to know how to grow oregano, so read on and you’ll know everything you need to know.
What is oregano?
Oregano or Origanum vulgare comes from around the Mediterranean sea. it’s a perennial herb that can grow from 20 centimeters, 7.9 inches to 80 centimeters, 31.6 inches high, depending on the species you grow.
Oregano is well known as a culinary herb. It’s used for the flavor of its leaves. Really good oregano can almost numb the tong with its strong flavor.
The taste of the leaves will be stronger or less strong depending on the climate, the temperature and the soil you grow it in.
where to grow oregano?
The Oregano plant is a fast-growing plant that can adapt quite quickly and take over the soil it’s growing on. It needs a fairly dry soil with a lot of sunlight.
I personally always grow my oregano in pots because I know it quickly takes over all the planting space available. You could compare it to mint plants.
The second advantage when growing in pots is the fact that you can bring the pots indoors when temperatures drop. Oregano won’t survive freezing temperatures and really moist weather.
When to grow oregano?
Oregano can be started indoors really early in spring if you can put the pot on a windowsill with lots of sunlight. Once the last frost is over, you can put the pot outside or plant the oregano outside. When you have the opportunity to grow oregano indoors, it doesn’t really matter when you start. You can take cuttings as long as the plant is not flowering.
Taking care of oregano
Part of knowing how to grow oregano is knowing how to take care of your plants, so here we go.
Oregano prefers a PH-value between 6 and 8 although it will grow in a lot of different soils.
The best soil for oregano would be a well-draining rather dry soil with a minimum of fertility. The plant doesn’t need fresh compost to thrive.
Try to water the plant quite deep but wait to water again until the soil is dry because oregano doesn’t like wet feet.
Sowing oregano should be done with the overseeding method. You have to sow a lot of seeds because oregano is normally a multitude of tiny plants that grow together and form a soil cover.
When sowing oregano, keep in mind that the plant does sprout in 2 weeks but it takes ages before it grows quite big. Oregano starts off really slow.
Make sure you press the soil quite firmly before sowing. Because the seeds are really tiny and they need a good contact with the soil.
Don’t cover your seeds with soil. When you have sown the seeds, just mix the seeds into the soil really shallow and press it again but now lightly.
Always water from the bottom up otherwise you’ll splash all the seeds around.
transplanting or planting oregano
Transplanting or planting oregano is really simple. There isn’t much that can go wrong. You can even take cuttings from the oregano plant and plant them right out. Some will die but a lot of the cuttings will start rooting and start growing like a new plant.
When transplanting a plant that is overcrowding the pot or container, it’s really easy to divide the roots by cutting the soil in two pieces and planting out both pieces. You can plant each piece in a new pot and you’ll have two new oregano plants. You can keep on dividing the plants this way.
Oregano can be harvested as soon as the small green branches have reached 4 inches or 10 centimeters. You just cut off what you need and let the plant grow. Just cut above 2 leaves and you’re done. I can even say that you’ll get more oregano than you can handle if you treat the plant right.
diseases and pests
Aphids tend to come back time after time and every gardener has to deal with them sooner or later. While sucking out the life of your plants, aphids can spread diseases with their saliva.
You can treat the infestation with a hard spray of water or with a homemade insecticidal soap mixture. In any case, you’ll have to treat several times. Keep an interval of 5 to 7 days to kill off the critters and the eggs.
Spider mites, from the family Tetranychidae, will weave webs, mostly on the underside of leaves. They are not insects, they belong to the spider-like animals or arachnids.
Once they take over the whole plant will be covered in web.
In the beginning, you can see yellow dots on your leaves. If you look at the underside of the leaf, you’ll see the critters. Not all spider mites make visible webbing but there’s always a sign when they are around.
Spider mites are really small and difficult to see with the eye. But if you shake a leaf above a white sheet of paper, you will see some of them falling off the leaf onto the paper.
Mint rust or Puccinia Menthae
Puccinia Menthae is a fungus disease. Oregano can be infected by this disease because it is part of the mint family. You will see orange or yellow pustules on the undersides of the leaves. The leaves will start dropping and new shoots will be pale, stunted and start dying off.
Removing the plants and the roots is the only thing you can do when the plants are infected. Make sure you take care of mint plants in the surrounding area and disinfect the tools you used.
Botrytis cinerea or gray mold has a lot of plants it can affect. It mostly comes up when the time is cold to mild and really damp. As the name suggests, you’ll start to see gray mold on the plant. There’s no real treatment for this fungus so removing the plant and cleaning your tools is the only option to stop the fungus from taking over your garden.
Conclusion on how to grow oregano
Growing oregano is not difficult at all. If you can start the plant from cuttings, you’ll have a harvest much sooner as oregano tends to sprout really slowly.
Don’t stare to the diseases and pests too much because under normal circumstances your oregano will be fine.
I know I didn’t mention all the diseases and pests but if I come across something I’ll be adding it to this article.
Now you know how to grow oregano and you can multiply your plants as you wish.
So this is it for this article on how to grow oregano, I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.
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Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.