How to Harvest Oregano Without Killing the Plant

Oregano is one of the best aromatic herbs, native to the Mediterranean region. In another article we already explained how to grow oregano, now we are going to explain how to harvest oregano without killing the plant.

With aromatic herbs, it is important to know how and when to harvest them correctly because this will vary the quality and flavor of the aromatic herb to be harvested.

Oregano is a plant that is grown and cared for correctly and should be harvested all year round, that is why here you will learn how to harvest oregano without killing the plant and have a continuous harvest.

When to Harvest Oregano

When to Harvest Oregano? By the time the oregano plant is approximately 60 days after sowing and 6″ (15 cm) tall is a good time to harvest the oregano without killing the plant. It’s possible to harvest oregano when it is smaller, for example at 4″ (10 cm). However, it could be damaging to its development. Therefore, to harvest oregano without killing the plant, you should never harvest when the plant is smaller than 4″ (10 cm).

To obtain a good aroma and flavor in oregano, it is best to harvest oregano in the morning after the dew dries. The more you harvest, the more you encourage the oregano plant to continue to develop.

Oregano leaves and stems should be harvested all year round, but if you want to harvest oregano flowers, you should wait until the end of summer. Before the oregano plant begins to flower is the time when oregano leaves and stems are most aromatic.

Many people also consume the oregano flowers which are very aromatic, but to harvest the oregano flower you must wait until the end of summer. You should also be able to obtain new oregano seeds if you wait for some flowers to dry out.

On warm mornings, the essential oils of oregano are more concentrated, and it is a good time to harvest oregano. In the first oregano harvest, do not harvest more than 1/3 of the oregano plant so that it recovers correctly. After a while, you should be able to harvest up to 2/3 of the oregano without killing the plant.

when to harvest oregano
When to Harvest Oregano? To harvest oregano without killing the plant, wait until the oregano plant is at least 6″ (15 cm) tall.

How to Harvest Oregano Without Killing the Plant

How to Harvest Oregano Without Killing the Plant? Harvesting oregano without killing the plant is very simple, you must first use sharp, disinfected scissors so as not to damage the oregano plant. I do not recommend pulling the leaves and stems of oregano to avoid damaging the plant.

In the first oregano harvest, do not pick more than 1/3 of the plant and give it time to recover. Then you should be able to harvest up to 2/3 of the oregano plant without killing the plant. Harvesting oregano will often encourage the plant to continue its development and grow properly.

Always start harvesting oregano from the top and allow a few inches (cm) for proper regrowth. After harvesting oregano, water the plant so that the oregano plant can recover faster.

Oregano does not grow well during the winter, protect your oregano plant from frost and stop harvesting oregano 2 weeks before winter. If you live in a very cold climate it is best to protect the oregano, in warm climates you should be able to harvest oregano all year round without problems.

how to harvest oregano without killing the plant
How to Harvest Oregano Without Killing the Plant? To harvest oregano without killing the plant, always use sharp scissors and never pull the stems to pick the oregano.

How to Store Oregano

How to Store Oregano? You have just learned how to harvest oregano without killing the plant, now I will explain several ways to store oregano. A single oregano plant can provide plenty of oregano throughout the year. It is best not to water the oregano plant the days before harvesting so that the aromas are more concentrated.

Storage of Fresh Oregano

Fresh oregano should be kept in the refrigerator for about 3 days, but you should extend the shelf life of fresh oregano in the refrigerator in the following way:

  • Wash the fresh oregano to be stored.
  • Wrap the oregano in moist paper towels.
  • Store oregano in the refrigerator, this way you should be able to store oregano for a week, even longer.

You should also place a few oregano branches in a jar with water and change the water every two days.

Fresh oregano should be frozen, wash the oregano leaves and dry them a little. In a freezer bag store the oregano and place it in the freezer, this way you should be able to store the oregano for a year.

How to Dry Oregano

Storing dried oregano is very simple and is one of my favorite ways to store oregano. You can dry oregano naturally or with a dehydrator.

how to dry oregano
How to Dry Oregano? Oregano drying naturally, this process can take 4 to 6 weeks.

Drying Oregano Naturally

Select the oregano to be dried and wash it to clean the oregano. Dry a little, the oregano stalks that you select and tie with a thread the oregano stalks to be able to hang them.

Hang the oregano in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place to dry. This way you will have dried oregano in 4 to 6 weeks. Then store in a hermetic jar for up to one year.

Dry Oregano in a Dehydrator

With a dehydrator, you should dry oregano and many other foods for quick and long-term storage. Select only the oregano leaves that you are going to dry (here you will not use the stems) and place them in the dehydrator tray.

Set the dehydrator to the lowest possible temperature, usually 100 °F (38 °C). Depending on the amount of oregano to be dried, the oregano drying process can take between 2 and 4 hours. Check every 30 minutes how the oregano is drying to make sure.

Once the oregano has finished drying, let it cool and then store it in a hermetic jar for better preservation.

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About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgan family, 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 TheGardenStyle.com 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.