Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum. Greek oregano seeds offer the best, most pungently flavoured oregano leaves for cooking. Plants are very hardy when established and impart a wonderful wild mountain aroma in the garden with their tiny white or pink flowers. Bees adore oregano when it is in bloom. Germination may be slow, so be patient. Oregano is one of the best herbs for drying because it maintains a strong flavour for months after harvest. Pick and dry whole stalks or whole plants - hang them upside down in an airy place out of direct sunlight. Once the plants are completely dry, they can be stored in open plastic bags. Otherwise, pull off the leaves and store them in sealed jars.
Greek oregano pairs brilliantly with meats, eggs, and roasted vegetables like zucchini and eggplant.
Simply the best of the many varieties of oregano for cooking. This herb dries well, and retains its strong flavour and aroma if stored correctly. It also flourishes in containers.
Zone: Hardy to Zone 5
When I Get My Seedling Home
Keep seedlings under very bright light to prevent legginess. Artificial lights are ideal, but a bright (ideally, south-facing) room will work for the short term. You may have to pot on seedlings more than once before they go out to allow for root growth. This is done by transplanting them into a slightly larger container with enough additional soil to keep the container mostly full. Keep the soil moist by daily watering and allow for free drainage so the plants are never sitting water.
Do not transplant outside until night time temperatures are steadily 10°C (50°F) or warmer. This may mean keeping seedlings indoors for up to a month. The plants should not require any fertilizer until transplant time.
Grow in a sunny and warm spot. Aim for 25cm (10″) between plants. Cut plants back after flowering to prevent them from getting straggly. As autumn approaches, divide some to bring inside over winter. Cut back the year’s growth for the rest of your oregano to about 6cm (2½”) from the soil.
Pick the leaves whenever available for use. Oregano leaves can be dried or frozen. Store dried leaves or whole stalks in air tight containers away from bright light.
Oregano is particularly good for repelling cabbage moths, and it can be planted between rows of Brassicas for this purpose. Also good around asparagus and basil.
More on Companion Planting.