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Catalogs tend to offer the widest variety of oregano plants. Oregano is not a thirsty plant, and it absolutely needs well-drained soil. Sandy loam is best suited for oregano. Although it is grown predominately as a culinary herb, oregano makes a nice edging plant and ground cover, requiring little maintenance. It helps to know the botanical name, although that is not always available. The smaller varieties also do well in rock and alpine gardens. The flowers stalks are spiky and may be white, pink, or purple. Works double duty, beautifying a sill while perking up pastas with its fresh leaves. Its botanical name is: Origanum vulgare var. If your soil is moist with lots of organic matter, oregano will not perform as well as it does in lighter, dryer soil that is typically well-drained. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Oregano is no exception—it will grow in soil that is only moderately fertile. Most of the necessary pruning will be accomplished by regular harvesting, but to keep oregano plants healthy, follow the guidelines for pruning woody herbs. Oregano can thrive in poor soil that is well-drained. Cut sprigs for use. Oregano, a plant from the mint family, is a signature flavor of many Italian, Mexican, and Spanish dishes. Oregano is perennial and can be grown for 3–4 years but is commonly grown as an annual in northern climates. Many herbs are considered weeds and most are not particular about the soil in which they grow. Some varieties have fuzzy leaves, others not. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener. Large amounts of nutrients, such as nitrogen, can change the flavor of this herb. Its compact oval leaves are arranged oppositely and are covered with glandular trichomes (plant hairs). Seeds, divisions, or cuttings are the three ways to propagate oregano: Oregano seeds are tiny, patter them on seed pot and cover with a thin layer of soil. Since different species of oregano will cross-pollinate, you may not get what you expect from seed you saved yourself. Even common oregano, Origanum vulgare, can take many forms. Most have stems that can get very woody. As with most herbs, oregano leaves taste best before the plant flowers. Oregano may need some winter protection in hardiness zones 5 and lower. Fertilizer. Divide plants into segments when the centers begin to die out or the stems become too woody. Oregano is a hardy perennial plant that is easy to grow in the home garden. Varieties of oregano plants can be perennial ground covers, tender perennials, or even small perennial subshrubs. Few pests bother oregano, but keep an eye out for spider mites and aphids. 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