Find out how to Plant, Develop, and Look after Decorative Oregano

Oregano is an herb that we’re all acquainted with. The place would Italian meals be with out this all-important plant, in spite of everything? However oregano isn’t just a tasty ingredient for a lot of cultures. It will also be a stupendous, decorative plant.

The kind of oregano used as a decorative just isn’t the identical as that which makes the sauce scrumptious. It’s a totally different species that will not style pretty much as good, however it actually is gorgeous to have a look at. 

Right here is the whole lot you have to find out about rising decorative oregano!


Water droplets delicately bead on vibrant oregano flowers, catching the light. The flowers display a rich palette of green and purple, creating a stunning contrast and highlighting nature's intricate beauty.
Decorative oregano is a perennial herb belonging to the Lamiaceae household.

Native Space

Turkey, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria

Watering Necessities


Pests and Illnesses

Aphids, spider mites, thrips, mint rust, blight

Soil Sort

Properly draining, sandy, rocky

Soil pH

Impartial to alkaline

What’s Decorative Oregano?

Decorative oregano (Origanum laevigatum or clean oregano) is a perennial herb within the mint household. Whereas its relative, Origanum vulgare, is a scrumptious herb, O. laevigatum just isn’t the very best for cooking. Nevertheless, it’s a welcome addition to the flower backyard. The Royal Horticultural Society has acknowledged a number of styles of this plant with the Award of Backyard Advantage.

Caring for this plant is similar to some other species of oregano. Although they’ve totally different functions, the vegetation are fairly comparable of their wants and progress habits. 

Historical past

A close-up of vibrant green oregano leaves, showcasing intricate veins and delicate texture. In the background, a blur of additional leaves offers a glimpse into the lush abundance of the herb garden.
The leaves stay fashionable at present for antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Oregano is a good plant with many present and historic makes use of. It’s a image of happiness and a favourite amongst important oil fans. This plant has its foundations in historical civilizations. The Egyptians used it as an antidote for poisoning, in addition to a preservative. Chinese language healers have used the herb for ages, and in Shakespearean instances, it was a thought-about a European cure-all for medicinal use. 

Lately, oregano has seen continued natural and medicinal makes use of. This plant has been utilized extensively for most cancers and coronary heart illness. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties are effectively documented within the scientific literature

Native Space

Deep green oregano leaves blanket the earth, their fuzzy texture inviting touch. Each leaf unfurls gracefully, forming a lush carpet of aromatic foliage beneath the sun's gentle caress.
Oregano thrives in dry, rocky areas with alkaline soil.

It is going to come as no shock to listen to that this plant originates within the Mediterranean basin area. The cultures of the folks on this space all embrace oregano as an herb central to their delicacies. This species predominantly originates in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, and Cyprus. 

This oregano grows in dry and rocky habitats. Rocky hillsides, meadows, and forest edges are widespread spots for it to develop naturally. This plant likes alkaline soil, so it typically grows in areas with a excessive focus of limestone. 


A close-up of oregano leaves, each vein and texture vivid under the sunlight. The fuzzy surface glistens, capturing the warmth of the sun, inviting a sensory journey into the herb's aromatic depths.
There are a lot of totally different varieties with various progress habits.

Decorative oregano is a woody, herbaceous perennial. It’s semi-evergreen, as it is going to retain its foliage in environments with temperate winters. I’ve seen my oregano maintain its leaves when the temperature fell under freezing. However as a rule, the foliage is frost tender. 

Totally different varieties have totally different progress habits that we’ll discover extra under. Some develop as much as two ft tall, and others creep alongside the bottom. These creeping varieties are pretty floor covers. 

Very like their culinary cousins, decorative oregano vegetation pack a punch in terms of scent. The leaves are extremely fragrant and clean. Some kinds of oregano have barely fuzzy leaves, however this one doesn’t. This high quality has earned it the nickname “clean oregano.” These small, ovoid leaves deepen in colour through the warmth of summer time. 

The usual flower formation for these vegetation will fluctuate barely amongst totally different varieties. Normally, the plant produces clusters of small, tubular, purple flowers. Pollinators are keen on the flowers for his or her abundance of nectar. In some varieties, the flower bracts are layered and resemble hops. 

Oregano makes a great companion plant for the vegetable backyard due to its attractiveness to helpful bugs. It’s also pest-repellent. Aphids, particularly, dislike its scent, and it helps to guard its neighbors from these nuisance bugs.

Deeper purple bracts encompass the flowers. The flowers bloom in summer time, however the bracts stay on the plant for much longer. In cooler climates, they grasp on longer than the leaves, giving this plant a placing winter look. 

Makes use of

Crushed oregano herbs fills a rustic wooden bowl, its aroma wafting gently. Resting atop a textured wooden table, the bowl invites culinary exploration, surrounded by scattered oregano leaves hinting at savory dishes to come.
Decorative oregano is appropriate for floor cowl or borders.

The place different kinds of oregano obtain accolades for his or her culinary use, this one doesn’t style fairly pretty much as good. You should use it for edible dishes, however it is going to possible disappoint. These vegetation are principally flavorless. Breeding them for magnificence moderately than taste has precipitated this distinction. 

Origanum vulgaris is often used to make important oils with appreciable medicinal worth. Decorative oregano (O. laevigatum), nonetheless, lacks lots of the compounds that make the oil helpful for well being. Together with the flavour of the leaves, so goes a lot of the usefulness. 

For probably the most half, decorative oregano is used principally in its identify. The breeding of the plant has a particular concentrate on its attractiveness. Creeping varieties make a beautiful floor cowl or container plant. Taller varieties make a beautiful border or foreground to midground plant within the perennial flower backyard.

Though they don’t have a lot taste, they’re nonetheless extremely fragrant. Plant this close to an out of doors residing house to get pleasure from its spicy perfume. 

The place to Purchase

A cluster of small black pots cradle flourishing oregano plants, their vibrant green leaves reaching toward the light. Each pot brims with aromatic foliage, promising savory flavor to enliven culinary creations with a touch of Mediterranean essence.
Availability of decorative herbs like oregano varies amongst native nurseries.

You probably have a bigger native nursery that carries decorative herbs, it’s best to discover this simply. Most {hardware} and residential enchancment shops won’t reliably carry it, however many on-line retailers breed and ship decorative oregano begins and seeds. Seeds take longer to change into mature vegetation, and beginning them will be tough. We’ll get again to that in a minute.


An oregano plant with lush foliage, showcasing petite leaves spiraling along purple stems. Each leaf glistens as it captures the soft rays of sunlight, creating a picturesque scene of natural beauty and botanical elegance.
The herb prefers well-drained, sunny areas with impartial pH soil.

Decorative oregano is hardy in zones 4-9. Right here, it is going to act as a perennial, so plant it the place you need to preserve it. Outdoors this vary, it is going to develop as an annual. It makes a pleasant potted plant as effectively, so you’ll be able to carry it indoors for the winter. 

When selecting a spot to plant your oregano, think about the drainage and solar publicity. Select a spot that has glorious drainage and will get full solar publicity. Soil vitamins should not essential to this plant. Acidity will be a difficulty, although, so keep away from planting in acidic soil. 

In the event you’re fortunate sufficient to search out this plant at a neighborhood nursery, planting will likely be easy. Nevertheless, they don’t are usually extensively out there, so rising them from seed is extra widespread. You possibly can immediately sow the seeds when the soil temperature reaches 60-65°F (16-18°C). You may also begin them indoors and transplant them when they’re bigger and sturdier. 

Plant your seeds or seedlings about 12″-18″ aside to permit them to unfold out. Taller varieties will want much less of a footprint than trailing varieties. Whereas they’re drought-tolerant vegetation, younger vegetation or seedlings require a bit extra water. Be sure to maintain the soil barely damp to help in germination and institution. 

Find out how to Develop

Oregano is delightfully low upkeep and straightforward to develop. After you plant it in the suitable place and provides it some consideration whereas it will get established, you’ll be able to sit again and chill out. That is a kind of vegetation that can shock you with its sturdy nature.


This decorative herb thrives in full solar however can nonetheless develop in partial shade.

Oregano is a full solar sort of plant. Full solar consists of areas that obtain six or extra hours of solar publicity per day. That’s not to say that your oregano received’t develop in partial shade. It completely will! I’ve some in hanging baskets on my entrance porch the place they welcome pals with their fantastic scent. They get about 4 hours of solar day by day, and they’re good and inexperienced. 

Sadly, my partial shade oregano doesn’t bloom. That’s the drawback of planting them in partial shade. The plant will develop, however no flowers will bloom. You’ll miss out on not solely the blooms however the beautiful purple bracts that comply with. 


White and red water spray delicately misting over a vibrant green oregano plant, gleaming under the warm sunlight. Surrounding it, a backdrop of assorted plants basking in brown pots completes the serene garden scene.
Oregano is generally drought tolerant however wants about one inch of water weekly.

When younger, your oregano vegetation will want the soil to remain moist. As soon as established, although, allow them to dry out between waterings. Soggy roots should not good for oregano vegetation. Of their pure Mediterranean surroundings, these vegetation develop in a local weather identified for lengthy, scorching, dry summers. 

Contemplate these vegetation to be principally drought tolerant. They want about one inch of rainfall weekly to keep away from supplementing. In instances of extended drought, water your oregano as soon as per week. Potted vegetation want extra water as a result of they dry out quicker. Permit the soil to dry between waterings, however don’t wait a full week between, particularly in the summertime.


A close-up reveals the intricate texture of sandy soil, its grains varying in size and shape, creating a natural mosaic. The earthy brown hue suggests richness, hinting at its potential to nurture life and sustain ecosystems.
The plant prefers barely alkaline soil with occasional compost for fertilizer.

With regards to soil, drainage and pH are necessary elements to contemplate. This plant grows effectively in rocky or sandy soil varieties and likes a pleasant hillside. Your soil has to empty rapidly, so if in case you have denser soil, work a little bit of sand or gravel into it earlier than planting. You probably have naturally sandy or rocky soil, this plant does effectively with out amending. 

When it comes to pH, oregano likes soil to be barely alkaline. Soil that incorporates loads of limestone is right for this plant. An excessive amount of natural matter like compost or manure will acidify the soil, which isn’t proper for this species. A little bit of compost labored into the soil as soon as per yr will act as a fertilizer on your low-maintenance oregano. Simply watch out about elevating the pH an excessive amount of.

Temperature and Humidity

An oregano plant with vivid green leaves reaches toward the sky, thriving in the sunlight. Its lush foliage bathes in the warm, golden rays, showcasing the plant's vitality and health.
Preserve 40-60% humidity for optimum progress.

The best temperature vary for oregano is between 60-80°F (16-29°C). It’s hardy in zones 4-9, and lots of areas of zone 9 are inclined to have lengthy, scorching summers. It’s possible you’ll discover your vegetation get somewhat droopy through the hottest months. This can be a sign to provide them a bit extra water. In additional temperate climates, your oregano ought to be fairly glad through the hotter months. 

Oregano just isn’t particularly keen on humid climate. It received’t fuss an excessive amount of a few little bit of humid climate, however make it possible for it will get ample air circulation. Ideally, a variety of 40-60% will preserve your plant trying glad and wholesome. 


Foreground displays a rich, dark thermophilic compost pile, teaming with organic matter, fostering decomposition. In the blurred background, a metal mesh and lush green grass hint at the cycle of life and renewal.
Hold this herb wholesome by refraining from utilizing substances that may lower soil pH.

Oregano is environment friendly in its use of vitamins and, subsequently, doesn’t want a lot fertilizer. That is nice information in case you’re planting a mass of it and utilizing it as a floor cowl. Working some compost into the soil as soon as per yr will present your plant with the vitamins it wants. Watch out to not add issues that can decrease the pH, or your oregano will undergo. 


oregano plants show some browning of leaves.
Prune off lifeless or broken progress.

Culinary oregano requires pruning if you’d like it to style good, however decorative oregano is totally different. When an herb goes to flower, it tends to detract from the flavour of the leaves because the flowers drag all of the vitamins upward. This isn’t the case for decorative oregano, as you received’t be consuming it, and the flowers are the principle attraction to this plant

Don’t fear about pruning your vegetation through the rising season until they change into unruly. The time to prune this plant is in late winter or early spring. Earlier than the plant begins to develop after dormancy, trim all of the branches again to about six inches lengthy. This encourages new progress and promotes branching, supplying you with a pleasant, dense plant. 

Rising in Containers

Select the suitable dimension container and soil with good drainage.

Decorative oregano makes an awesome container plant. The trailing varieties, particularly, look stunning spilling over the perimeters of a dangling basket. Taller varieties look good in a big clay pot. Planting your oregano in a container makes it doable to maneuver it from place to position. Due to its spicy perfume, it is a plant it would be best to carry into your out of doors residing areas. 

Select a container that’s the proper dimension for the plant or vegetation you propose to develop in it. A 12″ pot will work for a single plant; multiples will want more room. Clay pots are good at wicking water away from the roots, which is a profit for these drought-tolerant vegetation

Be sure to make use of a potting medium that has glorious drainage. You possibly can create your individual by mixing some sand, perlite, or gravel in with a regular potting combine. You need this soil to carry water barely longer than you’d for vegetation within the floor. In case your soil drains too rapidly, chances are you’ll end up watering each one to 2 days. 

Place your potted vegetation in a spot that will get loads of daylight. Six to eight hours of solar is perfect and can encourage ample blooms. Hanging vegetation often drain and dry out quicker, so keep watch over them for any wilting. 


Propagation is straightforward and simple with this plant, whichever methodology you select. Essentially the most widespread approach to propagate is by seed. You may also perform propagation with cuttings and by division


A close-up of a transparent container filled with a moist paper towel and tiny oregano seeds, promising new growth. Resting gracefully on a textured wooden table, the container holds the potential for a thriving herb garden.
Plant seeds in shallow trays with potting soil.

You possibly can immediately sow your seeds within the backyard, however you’ll have a higher germination price in case you begin them in trays. Oregano seeds require gentle for germination, so they should keep on prime of the soil. Whenever you immediately sow these seeds, you run the danger of them blowing or washing away.

Sow your seeds in shallow seed trays or small containers. Use a regular seed starter or potting soil. Unfold the tiny seeds on prime of the potting medium and place them in an area that stays above 60°F (16°C). Seeds will sprout in two to a few weeks. When your seedlings have some everlasting leaves, transfer them outside to harden them off. 


A man in a denim jacket delicately wields a pair of scissors, ready to harvest the fragrant oregano. The green plant stretches upward, its leaves reaching towards the sun, anticipating the snip that will bring its flavor to the kitchen
Propagate by conserving cuttings moist and dipping in rooting hormone.

Propagating by cuttings is one other strong choice. This sort of oregano tends to be straightforward to develop from cuttings. Take your cuttings from tender, new progress. You need to select and lower branches which can be about 4 to 6 inches lengthy and have a number of units of leaves. 

Hold the ends of your cuttings moist between reducing and planting. Whenever you’re able to plant them, strip off the leaves from the underside half of the reducing. The nodes are the place the brand new roots will develop from. Dip this finish in a rooting hormone to expedite the rooting course of. 

In a small pot with well-draining soil, make finger-sized holes as deep because the portion of your reducing with the leaves eliminated. Place every reducing with this finish down right into a gap. Press the soil flippantly across the stem and place your cuttings in a heat, brilliant location. Hold your cuttings moist however not soggy for a number of weeks.

When you see new progress, it’s okay to transplant your cuttings. 


A close-up of an oregano plant reveals delicate white flowers nestled among deep green leaves. The herb thrives under the warm embrace of the radiant sunlight, its fragrance mingling with the gentle breeze.
Divide by gently separating the foundation ball into clumps.

Dividing your vegetation is one other good approach to propagate oregano. Divide your vegetation within the temperate fall climate, when progress has begun to sluggish. Don’t wait too lengthy as a result of your divisions want a while to acclimate earlier than winter rolls in. Division in early spring after frost is one other viable time.

Dig up the foundation ball of your plant and use a gardening fork or only a common fork to separate it into clumps. Attempt to have a mild contact with this. You don’t need to traumatize the plant terribly. 

Plant your divisions in the identical manner as your different oregano vegetation. It is going to take a number of weeks for them to recuperate from division, so don’t fret in case your new divided vegetation look lackluster for some time. Give them a couple of weeks to get established, conserving the soil moist however not soggy. They may produce some new progress after they perk up, which is an indication that your division was profitable. 

Widespread Issues

Decorative oregano has only a few points. It’s pest and disease-resistant and generally attracts helpful bugs to the backyard. On this manner, it may possibly shield extra susceptible vegetation which can be close by. There are a couple of points which may crop up, and you’ll deal with most of them simply. 


A close-up of a common bumblebee perching delicately on a white oregano flower, savoring nectar. In the background, a lush blur of green foliage sets the scene for this serene moment in nature's symphony.
The robust scent of oregano deters most backyard pests.

As I discussed, many backyard pests keep away from this plant as a result of they don’t just like the scent. Aphids should be hard-pressed to go after your oregano. Thrips and spider mites would possibly pop up, however helpful bugs will typically handle the small quantity that’s prepared to courageous this plant


A white pot sits on a window sill, cradling a struggling oregano herb. The once vibrant green leaves now droop sadly, signaling the plant's distress and need for water and care.
Correct watering and removing of affected tissue forestall fungal illness unfold.

The illnesses that have an effect on oregano vegetation are primarily fungal in nature. These will be a difficulty when your vegetation keep moist when the climate could be very humid and when there may be poor air circulation. Hold your vegetation pruned and skinny out very dense foliage to assist promote airflow. 

Good watering practices go a good distance towards stopping fungal illness. Nevertheless, if one thing crops up, the very best protection is to take away all affected tissue. This may forestall the illness from spreading to different vegetation. In the event you discover a case of root rot, dig up the plant and discard it away from different vegetation to stop the unfold of fungal pathogens. 

Listed below are probably the most notable cultivars of this distinctive decorative herb.


Clusters of 'Rotkugel' oregano flowers, varying in shades of purple from deep hues to soft lavender, contrast beautifully with green leaves. The blurred background hints at a lush, verdant garden setting.
The ‘Rotkugel’ selection produces enticing pink flowers in mid-summer.

‘Rotkugel’ is a flashy and extra-floral number of decorative oregano. This shrubby plant is taller than most varieties and kinds a mound of foliage a bit multiple foot tall. It produces showy pink flowers that pollinators adore. The large bloom happens in mid-summer, with every stem supporting a big flower head. 


A 'Kirigami' oregano plant featuring deeply lobed leaves, with delicate veins visible on the surface. Small clusters of purple flowers bloom amidst the foliage, adding a pop of color to the verdant greenery.
A low-growing selection referred to as ‘Kirigami’ has whorling bracts resembling hops.

‘Kirigami’ is a low-growing selection with a weeping behavior. It seems to be nice in a dangling basket. The whorling bracts resemble hops and are dusted right here and there with purple however are principally inexperienced. This selection places off loads of spicy scent. Add this to your container preparations as a filler and spiller. 

‘Kent Magnificence’

A close-up captures the delicate beauty of lavender 'Kent Beauty' oregano flowers, showcasing their intricate petals and soft hues. Tiny water droplets delicately cling to the surface, adding a touch of freshness.
The ‘Kent Magnificence’ is a well-liked plant with long-lasting lavender bracts and brilliant colours.

One other selection with a weeping behavior, ‘Kent Magnificence’ is fashionable for its long-lasting lavender bracts. They’re just like ‘Kirigami’ however extra brightly coloured. The beautiful silvery foliage and low rising behavior make this a stupendous floor cowl. This selection blooms for a very long time, from early summer time to early fall. 

‘Drops of Jupiter’

A carpet of 'Drops of Jupiter' oregano spreads out, adorned with delicate purple blossoms, inviting admiration. The radiant sun shines down, casting a warm glow upon the flourishing herbs, enhancing their beauty.
This selection is a perfect border plant with a spicy aroma.

‘Drops of Jupiter’ is a taller plant with upright stems that grows right into a small shrub. The foliage is gentle, brilliant inexperienced, which superbly enhances the darkish purple flowers and bracts. This selection makes a shocking border within the backyard. Plant it round your out of doors residing house, and the spicy aroma will greet guests.

Continuously Requested Questions

In milder climates, corresponding to zone 9, this plant will likely be evergreen. In colder climates, the foliage dies off within the winter and returns in spring.

Last Ideas

Whereas it won’t style nice, decorative oregano has different glorious qualities. The spicy, fragrant foliage and flashy purple bracts make this an awesome plant to develop within the backyard. This sturdy plant will carry magnificence to your backyard for a few years. 

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