How to Grow Oregano – Step by Step

In this article we will talk about how to grow oregano, being this plant part of the Origanum family, being the most used oregano cultivar Origanum vulgare.

This plant can reach a height of 8” to 31” (20 cm to 80 cm), being the conditions in which it is cultivated the great responsible for the flavor that it will have from its leaves and flowers. This plant is widely used for medicinal purposes and a great variety of dishes.

oregano plant

Factors to Consider About How to Grow Oregano

Weather for Oregano

Oregano is a plant capable of growing best in moderately warm climates, however, the cultivation of oregano can withstand temperatures ranging from 39.2°F to 89.6°F (4 ° C to 32 ° C)., being ideal a temperature ranging between 69.8°F to 77°F (21 ° to 25 ° C).

Luminosity for Oregano

Oregano requires a lot of light and needs to receive direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day. If you want a spicier oregano crop with a stronger aroma you should expose the plant for a longer time to sunlight.

Soil for Oregano

One point to keep in mind about how to plant oregano is that the soil should be well-drained and preferably fertile, despite what was said above, this plant can grow even in poor soils. The plant is quite tolerant to the pH of the soil, the ideal being a pH between 6 and 8. Another point to keep in mind about how to grow oregano is that the soil must be calcareous.

Watering Oregano

A tip on how to grow oregano is that this plant should be watered frequently to keep the soil moist. Once the crop is well developed, the soil can be allowed to dry out for a short period. Nor should the oregano crop be allowed to become waterlogged, since both the lack and excess of water can damage this plant.

How to Plant Oregano

Oregano can be grown either by seed, by the division of rhizomes (consists of cutting the subway rhizomes, so that new plants grow) or by cuttings (consists of planting small cuttings taken from the stems, roots, or leaves that are planted in a humid environment, so that new plants grow), the latter two being the preferred methods in terms of how to plant oregano since planting by seed requires more time for the growth of plants and their harvest.

The seeds can be sown directly in the place where they will grow, they can also be sown in seedbeds, small pots or cups made of newspaper with a measure of 4” (10 cm) in height and 2” (5 cm) in diameter. In the latter cases, the plants should be repotted from the seedbed when they have four pairs of definitive leaves. Germination usually occurs within two weeks.

oregano potted

In places where winter is not too severe, the plant can be grown as a perennial, forming clumps with tangled roots. You can divide this plant every 2 to 3 years and use them to increase the number of oregano crops. The disadvantage of this method is that the old plants produce leaves without much flavor in contrast to the leaves taken from the young plants.

Cultivation by cuttings taken from the branches of healthy plants is the ideal method, as it produces plants very similar to the parent plant and these take less time to grow. The branches should be cut approximately 6” (15 cm) long and the leaves should be removed, leaving only those at the nearest end of the branch (3 or 4 pairs of leaves). Finally, the lower part of the branch should be submerged in a container with water until the roots grow, and then it should be planted in the chosen place.

The separation between oregano cultivations can be 12” (30 cm), however, this value can vary according to the size of the oregano cultivation.

This plant can also be grown in pots and containers of medium or large size, being the care of oregano in pots the same.

Another point to keep in mind about how to plant oregano is that we must remove all traces of invasive plants as they absorb nutrients and resources.

oregano flower

How to Grow Oregano: Harvest

The harvest of its leaves can begin when the plant is about 8” (20 cm) high, it is thought that its leaves have a better flavor when they begin to sprout flowers. The flowers can also be used as a condiment when they open.

The flavor of the leaves is strongest when they are dried, and this is the form in which it is generally used. The fresh leaves can be dried in a dark, warm, dry, and well-ventilated place.

Oregano can produce between 4 to 5 years if grown in a suitable climate and with good growing conditions.

harvest herbs garden crop
About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgans, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.