Oxalis oregano seeds how to plant



Oregano (Origanum), also called Dost, Origano or Wild Marjoram, is a genus from the mint family (Lamiaceae) and originally comes from southern Europe, from where the plant reached all of Europe. Translated from the Greek, oregano means "mountain delight". The oregano belongs to the genus Dost, which includes 44 species. One type of this genus is the marjoram (Origanum majorana).

Due to its botanical name Origanum majorana, marjoram is often confused with oregano (Origanum vulgare). Both belong to the genus Dost (Origanum). While oregano is a hardy perennial, marjoram, which needs warmth, has to be re-sown every year.Like all Origanum species, marjoram loves full sun and calcareous, well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. The best time to harvest marjoram is before flowering in June. The main difference between oregano and marjoram can be found in the kitchen: While oregano is a typical pizza spice, marjoram refines meat, fish, poultry, stews and sausages, which is why it is popularly known as "sausage herb". Oregano can be planted in the herb bed as well as in pots and tubs.

Appearance and stature

Oregano is a perennial medicinal and aromatic herb and sprouts from a richly branched root stock every year. The 40 to 60 centimeters high, square and upright stems lignify slightly towards the bottom. The leaves are ovate to oblong and slightly hairy. They are about three inches long, either with entire margins or weakly notched. From July to September oregano bears pink to purple flowers in dold-like or panicle-like inflorescences. At the top they have a white hairy chalice.

Location and soil

Oregano thrives in very sunny and warm locations - preferably in a full sun bed or at the highest point of the herb spiral. The soil should be light, well-drained and poor.

Planting and care

From April the seeds are sown directly outside at 20 degrees Celsius. You can prefer oregano on the windowsill as early as mid-February. Here the seeds are sown in seed trays or small pots, lightly pressed and always kept slightly moist. After two to four weeks, the young plants can go into the bed. When it comes to oregano, however, it is advisable to buy pre-cultivated young plants, as oregano spreads quickly, can be easily reproduced later by dividing and one or two plants are sufficient for household use anyway.

Spiced sage (Salvia officinalis), shrub basil, savory and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) are suitable as plant partners in the same pot. A soil that is only moderately supplied with nutrients is decisive for a high proportion of essential oils. The requirement is already covered by adding compost in the spring - otherwise oregano is relatively undemanding. In harsh locations you should cover the oregano with sticks in winter. Since older plants tend to become lignified, regular pruning in the beginning of spring is important. Cap the bushes about a hand's breadth above the ground, then they will grow compact again and stay nice and dense.


Oregano fits ideally in the rock garden and is particularly effective high up in the herb spiral. By the way, with its fine flowers it is also an ornament in the garden and a valuable pasture for butterflies and bees.

Harvest and recovery

You can continuously harvest the fresh leaves and shoot tips from the oregano. While most herbs are harvested shortly before flowering, one waits for a larger harvest to dry the oregano and freeze it until the light purple umbels have blossomed. Only then do the leaves develop their full aroma and retain it even when drying. So that the plants get through the winter well, they should not be fully harvested afterwards.

If you want to dry the herb, cut it about 15 centimeters below the flower and hang it in an airy and shady place. The dried herb is rubbed or ground for further use.

To aid digestion, you can drink a cup of brewed oregano after your meal. Oregano tea is also said to help with sore throats and coughs and also has a mood-enhancing effect, from which its nickname "good mood" is likely to derive. An extract of 100 grams of dried oregano in one liter of water, used as a bath additive, prevents flu. With little effort, you can also make a healthy oregano oil yourself from the herb.


Oregano reproduces itself through runners and can be easily propagated by dividing the roots in autumn. You can also propagate oregano using head cuttings. To do this, cut off eight to ten centimeters long side shoots in early summer and place them in sandy, humus-rich soil. Cover the cuttings. Slowly accustom the young plants to the sun before planting them in their final location.

In this video we show you how you can easily propagate herbs by cuttings.
Credits: MSG / Alexandra Tistounet / Alexander Buggisch

Species and varieties

Greek oregano (Origanum heracleoticum) is native to Greece and Italy. With its spicy aroma, it is considered THE pizza spice. It is very hardy and has aromatic, white flowers. The leaves are very hairy. This species is very popular as a bee and butterfly magnet. You should use the Greek oregano sparingly, because it only develops its intense flavor when heated.

Crete-Dost (Origanum dictamnus), also called Diptam-Dost, grows on Crete and has reddish, later silvery-woolly leaves. With its wiry stems, it grows to about 40 centimeters high and flowers pink to purple.

Peppery oregano (Origanum samothrake) has a peppery aroma and should be protected against winter wetness. Its stems are green and not very woody, the leaves finely hairy and the flowers white-pink.

Hop oregano (Origanum rotundifolium) is a visual and culinary delight for connoisseurs. The name refers to the hop-like flowers that develop in early summer. The leaves have a strong oregano aroma and, like normal dost, are also used for seasoning. However, the attractive herb is not reliably frost hardy. In winter you should therefore cover the planting area with brushwood and cover it with a film to protect against moisture.

Blossom oregano (Oreganum x laevigatum) enchants in summer with violet flower clusters on graceful stems up to 40 centimeters high. The leaves of Auslese such as ‘Aromatico’ also offer almost as much flavor as those of Turkish oregano (Origanum onites). For decorative purposes, for example, the white variegated oregano Gold Variegata ’, gold oregano‘ Aureum ’or the golden-green oregano‘ Thumbles Variety ’, which has bright yellow foliage, are suitable. Oregano ‘Panta’ is adorned with white-green, spicy leaves. Oregano Hot & Spicy ’is hardy and forms spicy leaves in the garden from spring to late autumn, which retain their aroma even when drying. The ‘Compactum’ variety is a low-profile upholstered dost that is particularly suitable for herb boxes and tubs. With its pink to purple flowers it adorns the bed from July to September and also gives edible flowers.

Although not related to the Mediterranean plant species, the peppery Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) also tastes just like the pizza spice. The 60 centimeter high shrub from the southern USA blooms from May to September. At first the flowers are white, but later turn pink. Whole branches can be harvested and dried without losing any of their flavor. It is best to put the plant in a pot in which the water can always drain well. In addition, you have to overwinter Mexican oregano frost-free but cool.

Diseases and pests

If the lower leaves of the oregano turn yellow, it indicates a lack of nutrients. Then it is necessary to add some organic liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water or to work horn meal into the soil around the bushes. Furthermore, leafhoppers or aphids can appear, but in general oregano is less susceptible to diseases and pests.