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Savor true Italian flavor with garden-fresh oregano. This sprawling herb pumps up the taste in tomato sauces, pizza, and Mediterranean cuisine. An easy-growing perennial, oregano thrives in planting beds or containers. Plant it in a pot with rosemary, sage, and thyme for a flavorful quartet you can place near the kitchen door, handy for snipping and sprinkling into dishes. In the ground, plants will flower and set seed, which shortens the harvest season. Pinch flowers from stems to keep plants in top snipping form.
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1 to 3 feet
2-4 feet wide
how to grow Oregano
Pick leaves as needed throughout the growing season. Flavor diminishes after plants bloom; for best taste, harvest leaves before flower buds open. Savor oregano's spicy taste on grilled meats or seafood, sprinkle it onto cooked vegetables, or stir it into pasta sauces. Gather fresh flowers to add to salads.
Oregano's flavor doesn't dissipate with drying. To dry a large amount of oregano, cut stems back to 3 inches (before flower buds open); cut again in the same way in late summer. Dry the stems by bundling them together and hanging them upside down in a dark place with good air circulation. When leaves are dry, crumble them from stems; store leaves in an airtight container. When cooking, if a recipe calls for dried oregano, you can substitute twice the amount of fresh for the same flavorful result.