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Oregano - Origanum

Oregano Herrenhausen

Oregano plants are indispensable in Italian cuisine. To season pizza and pasta with this tasty treat is a delight and therefore this herbaceous perennial should not be missing in any herb garden. Origanum vulgare, also known as oregano or wild marjoram, can also be grown in a pot on a balcony or terrace. It is a very robust, problem-free plant that grows quickly and requires little maintenance. It can also be used as an ornamental plant in a garden or on a balcony. This abundant flowering herb is also a blessing for bees and other insects. For these reasons, it is always worth buying an oregano plant. In addition, this culinary herb is also an important medicinal plant that helps against flu and other viruses. The popular spice is often used in the form of oil or tea.

Buy the Best Oregano Plants

The classic oregano plant or wild marjoram belongs in every herb garden. It shouldn't be missing on the edible balcony or herb patio either. This wild form is extremely robust. The plants bloom nicely from July to September. They attract bees and butterflies and provide plenty of fresh spice for Italian cuisine. This variety is also ideal for drying and use as a pizza spice. The garden variety 'Aromaticum' grows a little more compact than the wild form and it blooms particularly beautifully, with somewhat larger, stronger flowers. It grows around 40 centimetres high. This variety is suitable for perennial beds as well as for the kitchen garden. It is also a good choice for pots and other containers. The hybrid variety Origanum laevigatum 'Herrenhausen', which is very well known and popular in the garden area, is a hybrid of the garden type. It is normal to grow this plant in a perennial border, and this breed is also suitable for a herb garden or a larger pot.

   
 
   
 
Oregano

The Right Location For Oregano Plants

Most of the different species from the genus Origanum come from the Mediterranean, where they grow in mountainous, sunny, hot locations. It also occurs north of the Alps. Here it grows preferably in sunny meadows and on hot, stony slopes. This herb needs a sunny, rather dry location. The soil should be calcareous, nutritious and well-drained. Oregano plants are usually placed as high as possible and on the sunniest side because they like it hot and dry.

Grow Oregano Plants in the Garden

Growing this popular kitchen herb yourself in the garden is very easy. The young plants are placed in loose, humus-rich soil, and watered well. A planting distance of 30 to 40 centimetres is left between the plants. Two or three plants are enough for an entire family. Apart from planting and watering well, you don't have to do much. These perennials do not need any supports and are otherwise very easy to care for. As soon as the plants have settled in, they grow well even when it is dry and do not actually need to be watered, unless they grow in a pot.

Origanum vulgare on a Balcony

Oregano plants are also great for balconies and patios. Therefore, you always have fresh spice for homemade pizzas and other recipes. The best way to plant the oregano is in a terracotta pot with a diameter of about 30 centimetres. They can also grow in somewhat larger containers, where they become correspondingly wider and larger because the roots have more space. The ideal substrate is potting soil that is very permeable. Soil for herbs is also suitable. Or you can mix conventional standard balcony soil with sand. This is important: the pots/containers must have drain holes. A drainage layer made of gravel or expanded clay should be added to the bottom of the vessels because waterlogging is harmful to this Mediterranean herb.

Care and Propagation

Origanum vulgare can simply be grown wild, the perennials, despite their origin from the south, remain vital for several years. Marjoram (Origanum majoranum), however, often disappears after a year or two. Then the root ball should be dug up and divided early in the spring. This way, the herbaceous perennials stay vital longer. Other varieties can also be divided well for propagation every few years. In the spring, the root balls are dug out and cut into two or four pieces with a knife or with a sharp spade. Re-plant each piece and mix some compost into the soil. Otherwise, these grateful spice plants hardly need any care. It is also possible to sow oregano in seed trays on the window ledge starting in February. From April onwards, the herbs can then be sown directly outdoors.

Harvest Oregano Plants - When and How?

Most people know the dried herb Origanum vulgare as a spice for pizza and pasta. The recipes are numerous. But the egg-shaped, slightly hairy leaves and the pink flowers can also be used fresh for recipes. Depending on the origin, most of the recipes come from the south. The tart, aromatic taste is an integral part of Mediterranean cuisine. As soon as the perennials grow vigorously in the spring, the shoot tips can be harvested regularly and used fresh for pizza and other recipes. However, the actual harvest of these kitchen herbs only takes place as soon as the flowers open. This is when the aroma is most intense and the taste has fully developed. The square flower stalks are cut about 15 to 20 centimetres long and tied into small clusters. These are then hung up to dry in a shady or dark, airy place. As soon as they are completely dry, the leaves and flowers are stripped from the stems and finely crushed or stored in larger pieces, if desired. They must be kept in airtight jars or cans in a dark place to keep the full aroma.

Are Oregano Plants Hardy?

Although their origin is in the Mediterranean, these popular culinary herbs are completely hardy and can, therefore, spend the winter outside in the garden without winter protection. Only in a pot on the balcony should the oregano plants be protected a little. Like all plants, oregano in pots is more sensitive than outdoors in the garden. This is because the temperature fluctuations are greater in the pot and the root ball freezes faster. Marjoram is a little less hardy and is therefore sown anew every spring as an annual plant.

Origanum vulgare For Health

These well-known culinary herbs are also an ancient medicinal plant to promote health. Especially in the form of oil, this Mediterranean plant is a popular natural remedy that is used a lot. Oregano oil is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. It is also used in alternative medicine against resistant viruses and bacteria, for example against the flu or the new Corona virus. The herb with the typical bitter taste and sunny aroma contains essential oils such as thymol, carvacrol, p-cymol and borneol. Oregano tea is mainly used against colds that include cough and bronchitis. For home use, making tea is a simple means of promoting health. Depending on the taste, it is used together with other plants such as thyme or mint. For use as a tea, the flowers and leaves of the plants are dried and kept in the kitchen. A bath with dried Origanum vulgare or oregano oil can also support health and help with flu, colds and other bacterial or virus-related diseases.

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