Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum. Greek oregano seeds offer the best, most pungently flavoured oregano leaves for cooking. Plants are very hardy when established and impart a wonderful wild mountain aroma in the garden with their tiny white or pink flowers. Bees adore oregano when it is in bloom. Germination may be slow, so be patient. Oregano is one of the best herbs for drying because it maintains a strong flavour for months after harvest. Pick and dry whole stalks or whole plants – hang them upside down in an airy place out of direct sunlight. Once the plants are completely dry, they can be stored in open plastic bags. Otherwise, pull off the leaves and store them in sealed jars.
Greek oregano pairs brilliantly with meats, eggs, and roasted vegetables like zucchini and eggplant.
How to Grow Oregano
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.
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