Learning how to grow oregano at home is easy. As you know, oregano is among the most commonly used herbs especially on Italian dishes. The hearty plant also serves as a lovely ground cover aside from its various uses on the kitchen. Depending on the oregano types, the herb can be grown indoors or outdoors, and this means that regardless of where you live, you can enjoy freshly picked oregano in your kitchen. Follow the steps below when it comes to growing oregano indoors or outdoors.
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Decide Between Clippings or Seeds
Decide whether you want to grow oregano from seed or clippings. Grow clippings if you got some oregano planted already. Otherwise, you can purchase new seeds. When growing oregano from seed, you can expect that about 1/4 of the seeds may not grow. Thus, consider planting lots of oregano seeds.
Take clippings only from well-established oregano plants. Wait until such time that the roots of the plants are fully developed and new growth will begin appearing before you take the clippings off.
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Select Your Planting Location
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Choose a planting location where the soil drains well enough. Moreover, look for an area that receives lots of sunlight too as this is what the plant needs in order to grow. Start planting indoors if you live in a colder area. Transfer the plant outside once the weather starts to warm up.
Grow the oregano plant in a moderately fertilized soil. That way, you will no longer need to add fertilizer or compost just so it could grow well.
Provide Enough Space for Several Plants
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One of the most important steps on how to grow oregano is to provide enough space for your plant to grow. An oregano plant that’s fully grown can reach up to 76 cm tall and 61 cm wide.
Choose a container that’s about 30.5 cm in diameter when growing oregano indoors. This way, your oregano plant will have enough room to grow tall.
Plant your Oregano
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Plant the oregano seeds ¼ inch deep. On the other hand, bury clippings to about ½ inch deep. Be patient while waiting for the plants to grow since seeds sprout very slowly. However, indoor planting will make seeds to sprout much faster.
When growing oregano from seed, avoid using seeds that were stored for a long time. Eventually, the chances that the seeds will grow could decrease. Strip the cuttings of the leaves being planted at the end.
Oregano plants will take up to ten days to sprout from the soil. But your oregano may take more or less time depending on certain factors, such as sunlight, soil quality, as well as frequency of watering.
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Water Your Oregano Plant Moderately
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Water your plants regularly during the first few months. Lessen the amount of water once they have established. Touch the soil around the plant to check if it will need watering or not. Water the area thoroughly if it feels a bit dry.
The care needed for growing oregano outdoors is similar to growing oregano indoors. However, when watering the oregano grown indoors, douse the plant until you notice water dripping off the drainage holes at the container.
Trim Your Oregano for Thicker Growth
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Trim or pinch the ends and leaves of your plant. This way, you can encourage the growth of the denser leaves. Wait until it is about 10.2 cm tall before thinning the outer growth with scissors or shears.
You’ll notice the plant branch at the area where you trim and it will keep on growing. As a result, the branches will produce more leaves and this also means more produce for you.
Remove Older Plants
Take off the older and sick plants as they could crowd your plant and steal the resources, which will have negative impact on the healthier plants. Wait until the early spring before you remove older plants so you can easily judge the plant’s age.
Weed Around Your Plants
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Weed around your oregano plants because weeds could steal the valuable nutrients and block out the much needed sunlight. Target the weeds while they are still young since they are much easier to remove. Grasp firmly into the base of the weeds in a firm and steady pressure. Pull out as much roots as you possibly can. Consider using some garden tools for weeding to make it easier for you. Grab a rooting tool or spade to make weeding a much easier chore.
Harvest Your Oregano
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Pick your oregano in the morning right after the sun has risen and the dew have evaporated. Use shears or scissors in cutting the leafy bunches off the plant. Leave a portion of the stem remaining then gather bunches to small bundles. Afterwards, place rubber band at the stem in order to fasten them altogether.
Avoid bundling the oregano too densely as this could lead to uneven drying and will result to a less than desirable finish. Depending on the oregano types, it can be used fresh from the garden or at a later time. Wash the herb thoroughly to rinse the bugs, bacteria and dirt before adding to your food recipe in order to fully enjoy the Oregano plant benefits. Leave the washed herb to air dry or you can pat them dry using a towel.
Hang the Bundles of Oregano To Dry
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Dry the oregano plant depending on where you live and your climate. In some areas, drying oregano might only take a few days. However, in some places, it could take as long as a few weeks. Hang your plants in an area that’s dry and warm. However, it should be far from direct sunlight. Use clothesline and hang the oregano plant at your porch, attic and even in your kitchen.
Keep an eye on the weather when drying the plant outside as heavy rain could spoil all the effort you spent in growing oregano.
Keep These Important Things In Mind
• Avoid using pesticides on your oregano except if the pesticides are especially formulated for use on edible plants.
• Always wash the herbs before you consume them or add in the food you are cooking.
• Store your dried oregano in an airtight container or jar so you can enjoy it all throughout.
• Do not dry the oregano under direct sunlight as this can make moisture to build up and could cause the molds to grow and affect your dried oregano.
Also Read: 15 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds in your Garden
Enjoy the Benefits of Oregano
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In case you didn’t know, oregano comes with so many benefits. Use it to treat respiratory tract illnesses, menstrual cramps, as well as urinary tract infections. In fact, the herb is also being applied topically to treat some skin conditions, such as dandruff and acne.
Talk to a health specialist if you are suffering from harmful side effects when consuming oregano. Be very cautious if it’s your first time to consume the herb as this could lead to allergic reactions.
It is because of the various oregano plant benefits that a lot of people are interested to learn how to grow oregano right at the comfort of their own homes.