Sweet marjoram is a tender perennial herb or shrub with leaves that taste of sweet pine and citrus. It is a close relative of oregano but differs widely in aroma. This pale green, short, bushy plant will spread readily if the tops are pinched out when young. Marjoram originates from the Mediterranean region of the world and was admired by both Greeks and Romans as a universal symbol of happiness. Marjoram can grow to a height of 61-91 cm (24-36”) with a minimal spread. It is easily grown from seed or cuttings. It prefers a full sun location and requires a well-drained soil. Sweet marjoram tends to be a low spreading plant that benefits from being pruned back when it is 15-20 cm (6-8”) tall to encourage a bushy growth habit.
Marjoram can be grown from seeds or cuttings. Sow seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost, or directly in the garden after the last frost. The seeds should be sown on the surface of the soil or lightly covered with soil. Keep the soil moist and warm for germination, which usually takes 7-14 days. Once the seedlings have two sets of leaves, transplant them to larger pots or directly in the garden.
Marjoram prefers well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline with a pH of 6.7-7.0. It is also tolerant of dry conditions, so it is important not to over-water the plant. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Harvest marjoram leaves just before the plant starts to flower. Cut the stem 5-7cm (2-3”) above the soil, leaving some foliage on the plant to encourage regrowth. Marjoram can be used fresh or dried. Soil Conditions: Well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline with a pH of 6.7-7.0. Planting Depth: Sow seeds on the surface of the soil or lightly cover with soil. Germination: 7-14 days. Height at Maturity: 30-60cm (12-24”) tall. Days to Maturity: 80-90 days. Watering: Water moderately, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between watering. Sun/Shade: Full sun to partial shade. Spacing after Transplanting: Space plants 30-45cm (12-18”) apart.