Oregano


What’s spaghetti or pizza without oregano? But did you know that long ago, Oregano was used for it’s medicinal qualities and culinary usage took a back stage? Oregano tea has been known to clear nasal passages and ease sore throats cause by the common cold!

* This perennial her grows up to 2 feet tall.

* Tiny white flowers appear above the leaves in midsummer.

* The stems of Oregano are square. There are varieties of the herb that have either smooth or toothed leaves and the leaves range from ½ to 2 inches long.

* Oregano’s flavor is spicy, pungent, highly aromatic and slightly sweet.

* Since there are a few of varieties of Oregano, you may wish to purchase the “flavor” you are wanting from your favorite nursery. Want to plant the seed? Just plant 3 - 5 seeds in pots indoors at least 8 weeks before the last frost in your area. Plant after the last of the frost. This is a wonderfully easy herb to propagate! Just bend the stems to the ground in the summer and cover with soil. You will be able to transplant the rooted plants in the fall. Take your cuttings in the late spring but before flowering if you chose that way to propagate.

* Oregano likes full sun. I like to experiment with herbs (or any plants for that matter) and I have to tell you that I transplanted some Greek Oregano out of a sun filled herb garden (to make space for a new herb) and planted it under a Sycamore tree. I am not kidding, the plant did better there then in the full sun! What I am trying to say is, there are guidelines and then are exceptions! Don not be afraid to experiment! If there is one thing I have found out through the years of growing herbs, it is that they are very forgiving!

* Again, a well drained soil is a must for the best quality herb!

* Oregano is has been known for aphids, leafminers and spider mites. Don’t let this bother you! You will have root rot and leaf spot if your soil is not well-drained. I have never had any pest problems with Oregano!

* You can harvest sprigs when plant reaches 6 inches tall. Cut the entire plant down to 2-3 inches in August to promote new growth.

* Oregano can stems can be dried upside down or can be dried in a dehydrator.

* Perhaps spaghetti sauce is best known for Oregano but the leaves can also be used in cheeses, eggs, most veggies and in meats.


Tips
* Oregano is delightful in fresh or dried floral arrangements, especially when in bloom. Greek Oregano is used in culinary dishes, though a bit milder in taste. There is a Golden Oregano that makes a great edging plant for the garden too! Be sure to check out all the varieties that are available.

THINK HERBS!