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Oregano Origanum

Growing Oregano: Tips at a Glance

Oregano is a perennial herb that's among the most versatile you can grow, useful in either an edible garden or an ornamental garden bed. Choose culinary varieties for their flavor (sweet marjoram is milder) and replicate the herb's hot, sunny Mediterranean home for best results.

  • Type Hardy herb
  • Lifespan Perennial
  • Growing Zones 6-9
  • Light Sun
  • Water Drought tolerant
  • When to Plant Sow spring seeds
  • Companions Peppers, parsley
  • Design Tip Aromatic ground cover
  • Peak Season Summer

Oregano: A Field Guide

Oregano can be a best friend to both chefs and butterflies. A hardworking perennial herb that hails from Mediterranean climes, oregano’s many cultivars make it useful as both a culinary spice and an ornamental flower.

The most popular oreganos to grow for cooking purposes fall into two flavor camps: milder and sweeter (Origanum majorana) or strongly herbal (Origanum vulgare). All oreganos share an affinity for sunny climates and dry (or well-drained soil). If you are trying to decide where to plant oregano in your own garden, close your eyes, picture the landscapes of Greece, Italy, or the Middle East—and pick a bright, dry spot where your clump of herbs will thrive.

Ornamental oreganos will grow wild in a garden or in fields, with flowers that attract butterflies and other pollinators. Some of our favorite ornamental varieties—to use as meadow gardens or  ground covers—include ‘Kent Beauty’ (with a blush-pink tinge to its leaves), ‘Hopley’s Purple’, and ‘Aureum’ (a gold-leafed creeper which is edible as well).

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Planting, Care & Design of Oregano

More About Oregano