Plant Type
Sunlight Amount
Marjoram Origanum majorana
Credit: Andy Lyons
Marjoram Origanum majorana

Marjoram is a herb from hot, dry Mediterranean regions and is loved by gardeners and cooks for its fragrance, taste, and appearance. This easy-care herb features gray-green foliage and summertime sprays of white flowers. It’s excellent for the middle of the border, herb gardens, or container gardens. It blends beautifully with bean, cheese, egg, root vegetable, and tomato dishes. It’s also terrific in soups, salad dressings, and chicken or turkey recipes. If you plan to use marjoram fresh, add it after cooking as heat diminishes the flavor of the leaves.

genus name
  • Origanum majorana
  • Sun
plant type
  • 1 to 3 feet
  • 12-18 inches
flower color
foliage color
season features
special features
  • 9
  • 10

Planting Marjoram

Marjoram's attractive gray-green foliage adds visual contrast to sun-loving herbs that have dark green leaves, such as chives, mint, and parsley. It's also a good complement to plants with silvery foliage, such as lavender, basil, sage, and thyme.

Because of its tidy size and drought-tolerant nature, marjoram is a natural for container gardens. Grow it with other herbs or vegetables, or enjoy it with low-maintenance flowers.

This easy-care herb is also a natural for rock gardens and flower borders.

Marjoram Care Must-Knows

Like most Mediterranean herbs, marjoram needs a spot that gets plenty of sun (at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sun is best) and good drainage. If the ground stays wet too long, marjoram roots develop root rot and die. If your yard has clay soil, grow it in containers or raised beds.

Once established, marjoram is drought-tolerant and rarely needs supplemental watering. Help it become established by regular watering for a couple of weeks right after planting.

Marjoram is hardy only in Zones 9-10, so most gardeners consider it an annual. It doesn't require much, if any, pruning, though pinching the top inch or so off the new growth will help the plant stay full and bushy. In warm-winter areas where it is hardy, prune marjoram back in spring to control its size.

If your soil is poor and low in nutrients, marjoram benefits from compost or a slow-release fertilizer incorporated into the planting hole.

More Varieties of Marjoram

detail of Variegated Marjoram
Credit: Andy Lyons

Variegated Marjoram

Variegated marjoram shows off gray-green leaves edged in creamy white. It's slower growing and more compact than traditional marjoram. Zones 9-10


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