A member of the mint family, oregano is commonly used in Italian dishes and is a component of chili powder. This low-growing plant also makes an attractive ground cover. The oregano most often used in cooking goes by the common name Greek Oregano, Winter Sweet Marjoram, and Italian Oregano. It's a hardy plant that establishes quickly. It is simply the best of the many varieties of oregano for cooking. This herb dries well, and retains its strong flavor and aroma if stored correctly. It also flourishes in containers. Oregano can reach a height of 45 cm (18”), but usually grows between 8-12 inches, especially if you are harvesting regularly. Plants will spread about 18 inches and will send out runners.
Oregano can be grown from seeds, cuttings, or divisions. If starting from seeds, sow them 1cm (½”) deep and 30cm (12”) apart in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Oregano prefers full sun and a soil pH between 6.0 and 8.0. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged during the growing season. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
Oregano leaves can be harvested as needed once the plant reaches at least 10cm (4”) tall. To encourage bushier growth, pinch off the tips of the stems as the plant grows.