Cambridge Edition

How to grow oregano, marjoram


You could harvest these warmthlovi­ng Mediterran­ean siblings year-round by the handful for Italian dishes and tomato-based pasta sauces.

You could also dry them to get more intense flavours from oregano and marjoram.


Sow seed: October to March Transplant: October to March Position: Full sun

Harvest: 12 weeks

Good for pots


Group marjoram and oregano with other drought-tolerant herbs such as rosemary and thyme. They grow well in pots or gravel gardens, and look terrific spilling over banks and retaining walls or trailing from a hanging basket.

Harvest when the oil content is highest just before the plants flower. Pick on a dry, sunny morning after the dew has evaporated. Hang in a room with good air circulatio­n out of direct sunlight until completely dry.


Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is referred to as common or wild marjoram. Its antiseptic qualities make it the one to grow for medicinal use and can also be used for cooking.

Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare hirtum) has the strongest flavour – hot and spicy.

Marjoram (Origanum marjorana) is commonly called knotted or sweet marjoram and has a milder, sweeter flavour.

Golden marjoram is an attractive creeping groundcove­r that is also edible.


Don’t overwater or fertilise. Trim back plants in autumn to keep them compact.

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