Sweet Marjoram is an incredibly flavored herb and medicinal plant similar to oregano but sweeter. Sweet Marjoram grows as a happy perennial in Zones 9 and 10 and as a hardy perennial in other areas. This herb has edible flowers and foliage and attracts beneficial insects.
Planting by Zones
- Oregano is a tasty warm season herb that can grow from early spring until late fall. Southern California growers may grow oregano year-round in frost-free areas.
- Sow seeds indoors 8–10 weeks before the last frost.
Planting Oregano Seeds
- Oregano is best transplanted out into the garden. Sprinkle seeds on the top of moist high-quality seed starting soil and gently press them into the soil. Do not cover with soil; oregano seeds require light for germination. Seeds must remain moist to germinate evenly and quickly.
- Plants can be transplanted into individual containers once the seedlings have 4 true leaves.
- Once the seedlings have germinated and have a first set of true leaves be sure to fertilize regularly with an organic liquid fertilizer.
- Plant your transplants out in the garden when they are 4-5” tall. Space at least 12” apart.
- If you are direct sowing the seeds (not recommended), make sure you sow them in debris-free, well-worked soil that has been deeply watered. Oregano thrives in full sun locations. Follow the same directions as above.
- Keep your plants weed-free by pulling any weeds that may compete with your crop.
Growing Oregano in Containers
- Oregano is an excellent container crop. Make sure your container is at least 10” deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture.
- During hot, dry months move your container into an area of part shade.
- The key to happy oregano is to use it! Harvest oregano stems by cutting about 2” above the base of the plant. For best flavor, harvest just before the plants form flowers. Established plants can be cut back several times during the growing season.
Southern California Pro-tips
- In areas of Zones 9 and 10, oregano is a very easy crop that will give you delicious foliage well into the fall and beyond.
- Cut back prior to flowering (harvest) for repeated foliage.
- Mulch heavily around your oregano plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or heat up too much. Compost added to the soil at the time of planting will help retain moisture in the soil during hot, dry weather.
- Oregano does best in full sun. During our hottest months of August, September, and October, plants can suffer from the heat. Using shade cloth can help protect the plants from extreme heat.
- Oregano is an herb that is also very ornamental when it goes to flower. Interplanting oregano with your flowers is a great way to utilize space and create a beautiful and edible garden. Oregano looks especially beautiful planted with alyssum. It also grows well with other herbs like marjoram, summer savory, and tarragon.
Additional Learning Resources