Often confused with the more pungent, white-flowered True Greek variety, common oregano, also called wild oregano or wild marjoram, has a milder flavor, and is the traditional variety for medicinal use. Leaves can be used as a fresh or dried herb. The pretty pink to lavender flowers appear from midsummer to fall.
• Botanical Name: Origanum vulgare
• Family: Alliaceae
• Native: Asia, Southern Europe
• Hardiness: Frost-tolerant perennial in USDA zones 5 and warmer
• Plant Dimensions: 18" tall, spreading
• Variety Information: ½"–¾" oval, dark green, lightly fuzzy leaves. Pink to lavender flowers bloom from midsummer to fall. Stalks become woody with age.
• Exposure: Full sun
• Attributes: Cut Flower, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Good for Containers
• When to Sow Outside: 2 to 4 weeks after your average last frost date, when temperatures are warm and settled, and as late as 2 months before your first fall frost date.
• When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 6 to 8 weeks before your average last frost date. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 70°–78°F.
• Days to Emerge: 5–10 days
• Seed Depth: ⅛"–¼"
• Seed Spacing: A pinch of seeds every 20"
• Row Spacing: 24"
• Thinning: When 2"–3" tall, thin to 1 every 20"
• Harvesting: Cut stems when needed after the plant is at least 6" tall. Some oregano aficionados claim the best flavor comes just before the plant flowers. Pruning the stems also encourages fullness and fresh, new growth on the plant.