Growing and Caring for Oregano Plants, Varieties of Oregano. Trouble Shooting Oregano. Health Benefits of Oregano.
Growing Your Own Oregano. Oregano can be grown throughout most of North America but its hardiness varies from variety to variety. Some varieties are hardy as far North as zone 3 & 4. Most withstand a moderate freeze. In marginal areas, grow oregano as an annual or in containers that can overwinter indoors.
Indoor Oregano – Indoor oregano has the same needs as oregano grown outdoors. The plants thrive under the same conditions, temperature, humidity, nutrients, moisture. At night, temperatures near a window will generally plummet ,the same happens in nature. Try to keep the plants from coming in contact the glass to prevent it from becoming overly chilled in colder weather. Dry forced air, from heating systems, is hard on any herbs, A misting 2 – 3 times weekly will help or a humidity tray in the vicinity.
Oregano as a Companion Plant – Oregano has a symbiotic relationship with most plants as it repels pests. Asparagus beetle, Tomato hornworms, many mosquito varieties, thrips, and smaller flies are deterred in most cases, but not all.
Oregano Varieties – In the kitchen oregano is a useful herb, but it is not a single plant, there are actually several plants that bear the moniker ‘oregano’ and some are not even related to the others. Mexican oregano for instance is not oregano per say, it is an entirely different genus of plant that bears similarities in taste. Marjoram is frequently mistaken for Oregano, and yes it is similar but generally milder and has a sweeter aroma , with a slight after taste of mint. Oregano is a stronger and has a very slight hint of a peppery taste. Oregano is sometimes referred to as wild marjoram and Pot Marjoram is referred to as Cretan oregano. Both plants are of the same genus, but are not the same. Italian Oregano is actually a hybrid of common oregano and sweet marjoram – talk about inbreeding.
Golden Oregano [ Origanum vulgare Aureum] has a slightly different flavor than some other varieties. It is pleasant but not as pungent as more commonly grown oregano. It is a perennial in zones 4-9 but can be grown as annual elsewhere. It makes an attractive ground cover, if left unkempt it can attain a height of 6 – 12 inches but can be trimmed and harvested frequently.
Mexican Oregano is not true Oregano, it’s more closely related to Lemon Verbena. It shares a similar trenchant flavor with true oregano and also has a slight citrus twang. It is also not as hardy as true oregano and only grows as a perennial in Mexico, the American Southwest and some hot dry southern regions [USDA zones 7b and 11.] it can be grown as an annual elsewhere that has reasonably long warm summers. It is suitable for indoor gardens so long as the temperature is kept above 50 F and ample light is provided.
Health Benefits of Oregano
Health Benefits of Oregano. Oregano is a common seasoning / herb. It has been used in the culinary arts for Centuries, but it also has multiple medicinal uses that modern science has been verifying. Its not something big pharmaceutical conglomerates want to become public knowledge but Oregano actually works better as an antibiotic than many of the commercial antibiotics.
Herbal Ice – Freezing is a very economical and efficient way to preserve summers bounty. Freezing herbs in some instances leeches away much of its flavor and essential oils. One method of freezing herbs that works exceptionally well is freezing herbs in ice cubes. Herbs can be frozen individually or in conjunction with other herbs that will compliment one another’s flavors.
Marjoram and Oregano are frequently mistaken for one another Marjoram is generally milder and has a sweeter aroma , with a slight after taste of mint. Oregano is a stronger and has a very slight hint of a peppery taste. Oregano is sometimes referred to as wild marjoram and Pot Marjoram is referred to as Cretan oregano . Both plants are of the same genus, but are not the same.
Indoor Herbs – Many common herbs for culinary, aromatherapy and medicinal purposes can easily be grown indoors year-round. Kitchen garden gourmets enjoy the convenience of having fresh herbs available as needed right in their own home. The kitchen or any sunny room is the perfect setting for an indoor herb garden, you can harvest fresh herbs as you go and use them in recipes on demand.