Hot and Spicy Oregano
Light requirements: Full sun to part shade. Plants benefit from afternoon shade in warmest zones.
Planting: Space 12 to 36 inches apart. (Read the stick tag that comes with the plant for specific spacing recommendations.)
Soil requirements: Plants grow best in well-drained soil, but can also adapt to other soil types.
Water requirements: Keep soil moist after planting until plants are well-rooted. Once established, plants in beds can survive on rainfall. In containers, irrigate whenever soil is dry.
Frost-fighting plan: Oregano is perennial in zones 5 to 10. Established plants can survive a few hard frosts (under 28º F). Use a frost blanket to protect newly planted seedlings from late spring frosts or prolong the growing season.
Common issues: Watch out for root rot in poorly drained soil, as well as aphids and spider mites. Oregano roots along stems, which means it can easily spread farther than you intended in the garden.
Harvesting: Pick leaves at any point in the growing season, although flavor is most intense just before plants bloom. Snip leafy stems to the length you desire. Don’t cut flush with soil; allow an inch or two of stem to remain. Stems will produce new growth from the base of remaining leaves.
Storage: Keep oregano stems in water at room temperature to enjoy fresh clippings for a few days. To store in your refrigerator, wrap unwashed stems in a barely damp paper towel in a loosely closed plastic bag. Use within 7 to 10 days. For longer storage (and stronger flavor), dry leaves.
For more information, visit the Oregano page in our How to Grow section.
- Calories: 5
- Carbohydrates: 1g
- Dietary fiber: 1g
- Sugars: 0g
- Protein: 0g
- Vitamin A: 1% DV
- Vitamin C: 0%
- Vitamin K: 14%
- Vitamin B6: 1%
- Folate: 1%
- Potassium: 1%
- Manganese: 4%
The strong, peppery flavor of oregano is a favorite in Italian rubs and spices—and is most notably present in pasta sauces. Oregano is a great source of maganese and Vitamin K, important in blood clotting and bone health. The herb is also one of the top three antioxidant-rich spices. Disease-fighting antioxidants are believed to help prevent and repair oxidative stress and heart disease. Oregano oil has even been reported to improve psoriasis. When used in its dry form for cooking, oregano can be crushed with a mortar and pestle to release more of its natural flavors.