Does oregano come back every year, or is it planted and harvested within one year? Let’s find out in this article.
Oregano, also referred to as wild marjoram, or the joy of the mountain, originates from the Greek countryside and now grows across the world.
Oregano is one of the must-have herbs in your culinary garden. Its pungent, spicy, and slightly bitter flavor goes well with almost any type of vegetable. It is easy to grow like chives, even for first-time gardeners.
What is Oregano?
Oregano is a herb that grows indoors or outdoors when given the right conditions requiring low maintenance.
It comes in two varieties – the Mediterranean and Mexican. The Mediterranean is a member of the mint family, and the Mexican is a relative of lemon verbena. Their flavors differ slightly, but they grow similarly.
Does Oregano Come Back Every Year?
Oregano is a hardy perennial that returns year after year. It thrives in a warm climate and does not require much maintenance. Perennial means it will come back for more than two years. It can live up to 10 years or more, but its potency decreases 3 to 4 years after planting. It starts to regrow in spring and takes around 6 to 8 weeks to grow to its original size again.
When it seems like it has died at the end of its production, please do not cut it down because it will regrow in the spring of next year. Many gardeners make the mistake of thinking Oregano has died once it dies back and cuts it off.
Be patient and don’t cut it off; wait until next year. If the plant does not show any signs of life until the end of spring, then it’s safe to assume that the plant has actually died.
During winter, when the plant is dead, do not water it; it is harmful to the plant and can kill it. The best advice we can give you is to leave the plant where it is during winter. In spring, you can go ahead and stimulate its growth by putting the plant in a sunny spot to give it a good amount of warmth.
Do not prune the plant at the end of the year or harvesting season; wait until the next year when the plant regrows and starts cutting the dead branches. Otherwise, you could end up damaging the plant unintentionally.
How to Grow Oregano Every Year
Growing Oregano is easy, but there are important aspects to consider. They include:
- Where to grow Oregano. Oregano is commonly grown along a path or within the landscape. It is best grown as a garden anchor because it comes back every spring and provides height and dimension to the garden. It grows well in containers and gardens alike, requiring enough light and warmth.
- How to grow Oregano. You can grow this herb from seeds or by dividing the clumps, or from cuttings taken from a healthy, established plant. When growing from seed, plant them outdoors about 6 weeks before the last frost. If you are growing oregano from cuttings or transplanting a seedling, ensure the soil temperature is at least 70 degrees F.
Use soil that is well-drained and light. This herb thrives in moderately fertile soil with no fertilizer or compost needed.
Grow your oregano in partial to full sunlight but allow a full day of sunshine as it matures to enhance its flavor. Even though oregano grows well indoors, the plant must receive adequate heat and sunshine to grow.
Don’t overwater Oregano as this will kill the plant. Water it adequately only when the soil is dry to the touch.
Space the Oregano about 8 to 10 inches apart when planting. It grows up to 2 feet tall and spans about 18 inches wide. If you plant oregano in a container, use a pot that is 12 inches in diameter. Allow your herb enough space to grow!
Oregano is a great companion plant almost to anything. You can plant it next to other crops like pepper, tomatoes, etc. In case you notice aphids have attacked your Oregano, don’t worry. This herb attracts flower flies (syrphidae) which then eat up the aphids and small bugs. Oregano’s thick foliage provides humidity that supports pepper’s growth.
You will know your Oregano is ready for harvesting once the stems are at least 4 inches tall. If you aren’t drying out your herbs by the bunch, you only need to harvest the oregano leaves simply by grabbing the stem at about 2/3 down the length and run your fingers along the stem. You will collect your leaves in your hand and trim the leafless stem after harvesting the leaves.
Suppose you want the bunches cut at 2/3 of the plant just above the leaves. Don’t worry if you think you are cutting too much – regular trimming encourages new growth and eliminates too much growing.
To get your oregano at the right flavor potency, harvest these leaves just before the plant flowers. To get this correct, you can time it perfectly. You can use these flowers to subtly flavor salads.
Once harvested, go ahead and use your herbs in whatever dish you desire. These herbs can be used in various recipes, and you can discover more if you research on the internet.
Oregano Benefits Conclusion
Now that you know the difference between oregano coming back every year and not cutting it down when it is resting from growth, you can take better care of your plant.
Though your plant will look like it’s dead after its production time is over, don’t mistake that for real death. It is just resting from production and getting ready to re-growth and reproduction.
Oregano can be described as those animals that go on and hibernate during winter, only for them to resurface after the cold season and normally live again.
Oregano is extremely useful among herbs and appears to be used in different recipes. It tastes a bit like thyme and is a great herb to have in your kitchen, especially fresh from the garden.
All the best in growing your Oregano!