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Origanum vulgare

Experiment with several types to find the flavor you like most.
Sprigs with small, rounded leaves and miniature blossoms make an attractive garnish.

Best Climate and Site

Zones 5-9. Full sun to light shade.

Ideal Soil Conditions

Well-drained, average garden soil; pH 6.0-7.0.

Growing Guidelines

Sow seed shallowly indoors in winter for best germination; sow outdoors if soil temperature is above 45 deg F (7 deg C). Plant in clumps 1 foot (30 cm) apart. Prune regularly for best shape. Since seedlings wil not always produce the same flavor as the original plants, take cuttings or divide roots in early spring or fall for best results. Replenish the soil each spring with compost or well-rotted manure. Some varieties may not overwinter outdoors in cold climates.

Growing Habit

Perennial; height 12-30 inches (30-75 cm); herbaceous and shrubby.

Flowering Time

July to September; tubular, rose to white blossoms.

Pest and Disease Prevention

Plant in sandy soil to provide drainage and prevent root diseases. Wash away mites and aphids with a spray of water; spray with a botanical insecticide, like pyrethrin, for stubborn infestations.

Harvesting and Storing

Snip fresh sprigs as needed all summer; cut whole plant in June and again in late August; hang foliage in bunches to dry.

Other Common Names

Wild marjoram, pot marjoram.

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