Origanum syriacum. Oregano Za-atar Organic is CERTIFIED ORGANIC! This native of the eastern Mediterranean is named for the spice mix that is so common in its homeland and across North Africa. This wild oregano has hints of thyme and marjoram mixed in for a complex, wonderful fragrance. It is low growing and compact at about 15-20cm (6-8") tall. Grow this aromatic herb in full sun in soil with good drainage or in containers. If the seeds are started indoors in early spring, it will be in bloom by mid-August, providing a magnet for bees. The plant performed really well in our summer field trials here at the farm, but as a perennial it is only hardy in Zones 9-10.
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. Follow the handy How to Grow Oregano from seeds Guide below and grow some great flavour.
Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum ‘Greek’
Season & Zone
Season: Warm season
Exposure: Full sun
Zone: Hardy to Zone 5
Start indoors in plug trays from February to April. Starting indoors is more reliable than direct sowing. Use bottom heat to achieve a constant soil temperature of 15°C (60°F) for best results. Germination occurs in 7 to 14 days.
Oregano seeds are dust-like, so handle them with care. Prepare your containers or plug trays using sterilized seed starting mix, and water the soil. Then try to evenly distribute the tiny seeds on the surface of the soil. Do not bury them. Using bottom heat will improve your success rate. As seedlings grow, keep soil on the dry side. Pot on as necessary or transplant to the garden from mid-May on.
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.