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Italian Oregano

Origanum x majoricum

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Italian Oregano (Origanum x majoricum) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Origanum x majoricum foliage

Origanum x majoricum foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  24 inches

Spacing:  20 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  5b

Other Names:  Hardy Marjoram

Description:

This variety is noted for its lovely, mild flavour and aroma; does well in sandy loam, good heat and drought tolerance; a perfect addition to the herb garden, and is also great for containers

Edible Qualities

Italian Oregano is a perennial herb that is typically grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. The fragrant oval grayish green leaves are usually harvested from late spring to mid summer. The leaves have a pungent taste and a distinctive fragrance.

The leaves are most often used in the following ways:

  • Cooking
  • Seasoning

Features & Attributes

Italian Oregano features tiny white trumpet-shaped flowers with creamy white overtones in mid summer. Its fragrant oval leaves remain grayish green in color throughout the year.

This is an herbaceous evergreen perennial herb with an upright spreading habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect. This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Aside from its primary use as an edible, Italian Oregano is sutiable for the following landscape applications;

  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Herb Gardens
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Italian Oregano will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 20 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years.

This plant can be integrated into a landscape or flower garden by creative gardeners, but is usually grown in a designated edibles garden. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Italian Oregano is a good choice for the edible garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Herb  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features