If you grow herbs in pots, you shouldn't miss oregano; no matter what you cook, the slightly pungently, aromatic, and earthly flavored sprig of oregano adds an extra kick.
Botanical Name: Origanum
Best time to plant Oregano
If you live in a warm region, sow your oregano seeds in autumn or winter. 15-24 degrees Celsius is the optimum temperature to sow seeds. However, in cool climates, sow the seeds after winter when the weather starts to warm up.
Propagation of Oregano
There are three ways to propagate oregano plants: seeds, division, or cuttings.
Oregano is easy to grow from seed. Spread on evenly and cover it with a thin layer of soil.
Well-established oregano can be divided and planted to multiply them. This can be done in spring or summer.
You can also grow oregano by taking cuttings of 3-5 inches long young shoots. Remove the leaves off the bottoms of cuttings and dip them into the rooting hormone before planting.
Container Size for Oregano
Container size depends on the type of oregano. Regular oregano grows more than 12-18 inches tall in pots. Therefore, you can grow it in an 8 to 12 inches deep container with a similar width. Creeping oregano and golden oregano are some low-growing varieties that can be grown in shallow but wide pots. Plant tall varieties in a 12 inches deep pot.
It likes full sunlight in cool and temperate regions but needs some shade in warm ones.
Make sure you use any good potting soils. They need to be well-drained and loose. You can also include some compost or aged manure to give them extra nutrients.
Keep water levels moderate and water when the top soil seems dry.
For bushier growth of the herb, it's crucial to trim it lightly when it's young. Ensure that the herb is at least four inches tall. Then, prune the top portion along with the first foliage set just above the leaf node. This can help your herb grow thicker and fuller.
Unless you've applied some form of organic material (composter waste, aged manure, etc.), you don't necessarily have to add fertilizer. However, if the plant lacks growth, add NPK 5:10:5 or 10:10:10 liquid fertilizer.
Over-fertilizing plants may reduce their aromas and flavors.
Pests and Diseases
Overwatering causes root rot. Common garden pests such as aphids and spiders mite may cause some trouble. Use organic pesticides if the infestation is too much.
Harvesting oregano when it reaches six feet tall is ideal. Do not harvest more than 2/3 rd of the plant. Harvest before the plant starts flowering or remove the flower buds as and when they appear. You can also store them in an air-tight jar.
Dr. Vandana K.