Just like thyme, oregano is one of many perennial herbs you can grow easily. However, there are essential things you need to know first before you start growing oregano indoors like the pot or container size that is perfect for this herb plant and how to propagate oregano.
Oregano is known as an herb plant that loves the hot, sunny, and dry place to grow. This means oregano loves the outdoor condition to thrive. Is it possible growing oregano indoors? Sure, it is, as long as you follow the rules.
Before learning the rules and things to know about growing oregano indoors, you need to know some different varieties of oregano you can grow at home. Below are the most famous oregano varieties to grow:
1. Origanum vulgare or the common oregano
This one and the marjoram are still members of the mint family. Common oregano has purple flowers. Common oregano has weaker taste compared to some other varieties of oregano such as Italian oregano and Turkish oregano.
2. Origanum syriacum or Syrian oregano
The flowers of this oregano variety are white. Syrian oregano loves the full sun exposure and sandy alkaline soil that is well-drained. About the water, Syrian oregano requires low moisture to medium level.
3. Greek oregano
Greek oregano also produces white flowers. Provide this plant with full sun and well-draining soil and you’ll get the best Greek oregano to flavor your dish. The other names of Greek oregano are the Turkish oregano or European oregano.
4. Golden oregano
Golden oregano has pink and purple flowers. This is a great variety to choose in growing oregano indoors since it can grow in full sun exposure or in partial shade.
Some other oregano varieties you can grow at home are the ornamental oregano that has white, purple, and pink flowers, Italian oregano, and the sweet marjoram. No matter which variety you want to grow inside, you need to understand the best conditions to encourage the growth of your oregano.
Ideal Growing Conditions for Oregano
How to grow oregano indoors easily and successfully is one of many new gardeners’ questions. Keep in mind that you have to provide the most ideal conditions to help the growth of oregano and the other herbs you grow indoors. As for oregano, these are the requirements:
Oregano loves the bright light to grow. Growing oregano indoors will be easier if you place the pots in the bright window where your oregano can get morning sun. If there is no ideal window to grow your oregano, consider growing it under the compact or standard fluorescent lights or halide lights.
Oregano requires average temperature to grow. This hardy herb plant will grow in the temperature level between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit so you can plant indoors. This plant can even survive in an area where the temperature is above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
All plants need water to grow so you must water your indoor oregano regularly. But make sure you don’t water the plants excessively. Before the next watering you must let your oregano’s soil dry slightly since oregano is a drought resistant plant.
4. Soil and fertilizer
Will oregano grow indoors properly? It will, if you provide the right potting soil. Oregano plants love the fast draining soil that is light and airy. And to encourage its growth you can use controlled release pellets to supplement the potting soil or liquid fertilizer.
If you grow organic oregano, you must also use organic fertilizer. Fortifying the soil with some compost will also help. Unfortunately, many gardeners said that some compost types will change oregano leaves’ taste. It is essential to experiment with many fertilizers.
The first step in growing oregano indoors is propagation. Figure out how to propagate oregano plants below then you can continue growing this herb until it is ready to harvest.
If you have learned how to grow parsley indoors, you can grow oregano indoors more easily since the technique is not so different. You can grow oregano from the seeds or from the nursery raised stock. If you want the fastest option, consider growing oregano from the cuttings you can get from a friend.
But if you want to grow some different varieties of oregano, consider growing oregano from seeds. However, growing oregano from the seeds requires more time. With the cuttings you only have to wait until the oregano starts rooting. Follow these steps to propagate oregano from the cuttings:
- Before growing oregano indoors you must take your pruning shears or sharp scissors to cut oregano stems about 8 to 10 centimeters long. Cut the stems diagonally.
- Pinch the buds and leaves from two thirds of the lower stems but let the other leaves at the stem’s top stay.
- Now root the oregano plants between the spring and autumn. Spring and early summer are the best time to root your oregano plants since those times are when your oregano stems are pliable and soft.
Now you must learn the next steps in growing oregano indoors: rooting the plants and repotting them. Scroll down to get the details.
Rooting & Repotting Oregano Plants
How to start rooting the oregano stems or cuttings? First you must fill a container with water in a small amount. Then stick your oregano cuttings in that container. When the water starts looking cloudy you must change it with clean water. Use the amber or clear glass so you’ll know when to change the water. Oregano is one of the few plants that grows in water.
In growing oregano indoors successfully, the glass or container must be placed in a room with enough warmth and bright, indirect sunlight. Once the roots of your oregano plants reach 2 to 5 centimeters, they are ready to move to the final pot. Usually, the roots will be that long in 2 weeks.
Here are the complete steps to move your rooted oregano cuttings to their final pots:
- Prepare the potting soil that is moistened. Then fill it in your small pots that have drainage holes.
- Prepare powdered or liquid rooting hormone and use it to dip your stems’ bottom. Oregano cuttings will root well even though you skip this step. But you better take this step if you want to speed up the rooting process.
- Use your finger or a pencil to make hole in the potting soil that has been moistened.
- Plant your oregano cutting inside a hole then firm gently the moistened potting soil around your oregano stem.
- If you want to place some oregano cuttings inside a container, make sure the container is wide enough so that your oregano leaves won’t touch each other. Growing oregano indoors too close to each other will cause rotting.
- Always check your oregano container. Water the potting soil lightly if it is drying.
- Once your oregano has rooted while showing the healthy growth, the plant is ready to move to some small pots. You can also leave your oregano plant in that pot until harvesting season.
How to grow Mexican oregano? The steps above about propagating oregano from cuttings, rooting the stems, and repotting them, can be applied to many varieties of oregano, including Mexican oregano. You better start practicing it immediately.
Oregano Growing Tips
Many best herbs to grow come from the Mediterranean where the weather is dry and warm. Does it mean you can’t grow all kinds of herbs in winter? Your garden herbs in the cold climate may get serious impacts from the snow and frost. But not with some cold hardy herb plants.
Fortunately, there are many herbs that are able to withstand cold climates. If the herbs you grow cannot survive the cold climates, you can also protect them from the snow and frost. What about oregano? Can oregano survive winter?
1. Bring in your oregano
Growing oregano indoors is the best solution to save your oregano from the snow and frost. The temperature inside is warmer and will help your oregano grow better.
2. Leave your oregano outside
Oregano and some other herbs like chives, sage, thyme, and mint are cold hardy herb plants. They can survive winter by going dormant during the winter but coming back along with the new growth during the spring.
But a couple weeks before the autumn’s first frost, you must prune oregano plants and remove the dead or woody stems. Snipping off oregano’s upper leaves will also help to prepare your oregano to grow better in spring. Besides, this will give you some dried oregano for the whole winter.
3. Place oregano plants close to the window
When growing oregano indoors in winter, it is really helpful to place the container of your oregano next to your sunny window garden. The oregano will get the sunlight it needs and you’ll get the oregano leaves you need much more easily.
The other herbs that can survive the cold climates are catnip, sorrel, caraway, lemon balm, tarragon, and horseradish. You can grow catnip indoors and let it accompany your oregano and the other cold hardy plants.
Oregano Companion Plants
Growing oregano indoors is the best idea since it allows you to get herbs that have spicy, peppery, and strong flavor easily when you need to flavor your cooking. In your kitchen, this herb will create a perfect cooking when it meets potatoes, summer squash, peppers, eggplants, onions, and mixed greens.
But that’s not the topic. What plants will you grow along with oregano? Oregano is actually a perfect companion friend to many types of vegetables. Besides, this herb can grow well with some other herbs to create an indoor herb garden. These are some excellent herbs to grow along with oregano:
Basil is an herb that is perfect to repel many harmful insects such as mosquitos and flies. You can plant this along with oregano and tomatoes. If you decide to grow basil along with oregano, avoid completing your herb garden with sage.
Easy to grow chives herb, this plant will repel many insects like aphids. Just like oregano, chives also love moist and well-drained soil as well as full sun exposure.
And just like chives, parsley is an easy to grow herb plant that is also versatile. Growing oregano indoors with parsley is recommended since both of them love full sun exposure and are tolerant to much drier conditions.
Grow rosemary is extremely easy. Besides, this plant is also resistant to soil in poor conditions. This herb plant also requires low maintenance, a really perfect companion for your oregano plants.
Sage, savory, and thyme are the other companion herbs for your oregano. If you’re going to grow your oregano outside in the garden, grow it with some vegetable plants.
Harvest & Storage
The main goal of growing oregano indoors is to harvest the leaves and use it for your cooking. And the best time to harvest your oregano leaves is in the morning. Wait until the dew is completely dried to harvest your oregano leaves.
Oregano and the other herbs’ essential oils will be in their highest concentration in the warm mornings. Besides, you can achieve the best oregano’s flavor when you harvest the plants right before the flower buds start forming. Here is how to harvest your oregano:
- Take your garden shears or sharp scissors to remove oregano stems.
- Cut back the stems right above the leaves set or the growth node to let your oregano plant branch from any cutting area then produce the new flavorful leaves.
- Rinse your oregano stems lightly to clean the mulch or dust.
- Shake off any excess moisture before you dry your oregano plants.
Drying oregano is as easy as growing oregano indoors. There are different methods you can use. First is pulling off all tiny leaves then drying the leaves separately. Another method is drying the leaves along with the stems then crumbling off the entire crisp leaves. Then dry the herbs in the oven
Simply bundle the entire stems together then hang them all in the dark and dry spot. Don’t forget to add perforated paper bags under and around the hung plants so that any falling leaf will be caught. Keep the dried oregano inside an airtight container.