Suggestions For Chopping Again This Fashionable Herb

Oregano is a beloved herb famend for its flavorful, fragrant leaves, that are staples in Mediterranean delicacies. As a perennial with smooth woody stems, oregano thrives when pruned recurrently, making certain its well being and productiveness. On this information, we’ll discover the right way to prune oregano, together with tips about the right way to trim and take care of this versatile herb, whether or not it’s rising in your backyard or in pots.

My neighbor requested me to prune her oregano cascading out of a big plastic terra cotta pot, and I mentioned, “Heck yeah.” Not solely do I like pruning (my nickname was “Prunella” years in the past!), however I used to be additionally lending Mary a hand. She hadn’t pruned this herb for over two years. It was time for the overdue pruning of this oregano plant so all that tender new development may seem because the climate warmed.

Word: This submit was printed on 2/ 06/2018.  It was up to date on 6/13/2024.

How To Prune Oregano

An overgrown oregano plant trailing out of a pot which needs pruning.
That is how the oregano regarded earlier than pruning ; dense as could be with robust previous development & straggly stems method beneath. 

Why Oregano Wants Pruning

Perennial herbs like lavender, rosemary, or thyme vegetation have tougher woody stems. Oregano, like mint or candy marjoram, has softer woody stems.  These previous stems will finally get woody over time, particularly in hotter climates. 

The plant turns into fairly dense, making it tougher for brand new development to seem in spring and summer season. That is why pruning is vital. The contemporary oregano leaves are a lot tastier than the more durable, older ones. I prune my mint, thyme, and marjoram in the identical method—out with the previous and in with the brand new. 

Oregano is a superb addition to any sunny herb backyard. It’s a quick grower and a really productive plant, so you will need to give it house. Nicely-draining soil is a should to stop a build-up of an excessive amount of water, which may result in root rot. It grows properly in backyard beds, containers, and rock gardens.

There are a lot of oregano species and varieties. Many have a culinary use, and a few are decorative. Most have the identical rising necessities aside from the colored-leaf varieties like Golden Oregano that want safety from the sturdy afternoon solar. 

You see Greek Oregano in all these footage and the video. 

When To Prune Oregano

Most oregano varieties are perennial herbs in USDA zones 5 and better. In decrease zones with colder winters, they’re grown as annuals.

The most effective time to prune oregano is in winter or early spring, relying in your zone. I reside within the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and did this pruning in the direction of the tip of January. In colder climates, it’s finest to attend till spring when the hazard of a freeze has handed. You don’t wish to drive out all that new development after which have it hit.

I grew up in Connecticut, the place we left the oregano within the fall and threw some hay over it for defense. We eliminated the hay in spring and did the massive pruning. Relying in your zone, beginning in early spring is ok.

Oregano vegetation develop quick and profit from a mid-season pruning proper after flowering. That may stimulate much more of that tasty new development. I now develop Greek Oregano in my raised herb backyard and prune it twice a 12 months to stop it from getting woody just like the one you see right here.

Are you new to herb gardening? Listed below are Necessities for the Herb Backyard plus Herb Gardening for Inexperienced persons to get you began.

Oregano stems are atop a kitchen counter next to tomatoes, ready for use in a cooking recipe.

How To Prune Oregano Step By Step

Word: You prune oregano on this similar method, whether or not it’s in a pot or within the floor.

This isn’t a type of finesse pruning jobs. You’re principally chopping off all of the previous development to make method for the brand new. Yours might not be this overgrown, so solely a lightweight pruning will likely be wanted. 

Be certain your pruners are clear and sharp. It’ll make the job a lot simpler. I used two pruners – my Felco 2 for the massive pruning and my Fiskar Micro Pruners for the “finesse” work on the finish. I’ve used each of those instruments for over thirty years, and love them!

Water your oregano a minimum of sooner or later earlier than. You don’t wish to prune a pressured plant, particularly when it’s as overdue as this one.

Right here’s what I did: I made my method across the plant, slicing all of it the best way again about 3″. That’s when you may actually begin to see the brand new development hiding beneath an oregano as dense as this one. Sure, it’s what you name laborious pruning, however that is what an overgrown oregano actually wants.

The 2nd spherical of pruning was a lot lighter and eliminated among the useless woody stems and leggy softer stems. I like to do that as a result of it makes the plant look a bit higher. You’ll be able to skip this step in case you’d like however I want to scrub issues up as a lot as attainable.

Let’s be actual. After the clean-up is full, your oregano isn’t fairly and can appear like it’s been scalped for a couple of month or so!

Word: It’s finest to maintain up on the pruning all through the season reasonably than reduce it again to the bottom of the plant like I did right here. In case your oregano hasn’t been pruned in a number of years like this one, you’ll undoubtedly get a bountiful harvest.

Simply be warned: most of the contemporary leaves will likely be thicker and more durable on the older stems. You could possibly wrap them in cheesecloth and use them to taste a inventory, sauce, or soup you’re making.

You’ll wish to take a look at these 22 Herbs for Cooking and these Herbs for Full Solar.

An oregano plant is shown growing outdoors hooked up to irrigation lines.
The poor oregano was making an attempt to return again however is struggling!

Submit Pruning Care

Be certain your plant is in a sunny location. Water when the soil is dry or nearly dry. How typically that’s will depend on your local weather. I by no means let mine fully dry within the sturdy Arizona solar and warmth.

Harvesting Oregano

The most effective time to reap this flavorful herb is through the rising season. I like contemporary oregano and harvest it within the early morning or early night when the Arizona summer season warmth is on. Within the cooler months, I harvest it anytime. 

The contemporary leaves are tasty, however they dry properly, too. Utilizing dried oregano out of your backyard within the winter for all of your soups, stews, and sauces is a deal with. Some say the very best taste is contemporary, and a few like dried higher. Your alternative, my good friend! The way you retailer oregano will depend on while you plan to make use of it and what you wish to do with it. 

Oregano is simple to dry, and I’ve all the time air-dried my herbs. The drying course of takes one to a few weeks. 

If you happen to prune off the flowers, you’ll get extra leaf development. You should use them as garnish. I’ve additionally added stems with flowers to small bouquets for that wild, homegrown look.

You don’t have a backyard? No worries! Listed below are guides on Rising Basil in Pots, Rising Parsley in Pots, & Rising Thyme in Pots.

A freshly pruned oregano plant is growing outdoors in a container.
That is the way it seems post-pruning.  Some small, woody stems nonetheless stay, however they’ll be lined up quickly. Not a sight to behold, however simply you wait – that new development will spring forth very quickly.

How To Prune Oregano FAQs 

How typically ought to I prune oregano?

Pruning will contribute to the plant’s well being. Your oregano will want one or two prunings a 12 months, one in the beginning of the season and one other mid- or end-of-summer to maintain the plant full and bushy. Younger vegetation could be left alone till they get established and are properly on their method. 

Why is my oregano plant leggy?

This perennial plant lives a couple of season in zones 5 and up. It could be getting leggy as a result of it hasn’t been pruned in a very long time. Another excuse is the shortage of direct daylight. The stems will change into weaker and stretched out, reaching in the direction of the sunshine.

Can I reduce oregano again to the bottom?

I reduce this one again to 2-3″ above the bottom. It’s not what I’d advocate frequently, however this plant wanted it. Oregano loves the warmth and comes again quick as soon as the climate begins to heat. 

4 years later, as I up to date this submit, the oregano image right here is wholesome and appears good.
It’s finest to maintain up with the pruning each season, slicing the expansion again by 50% or so. You may also skinny out some stems in case you’d like. The brand new development (the tasty stuff!) emerges from the bottom of the plant, so that you wish to open it up a bit. 

You should definitely take a look at our Herbs Class for a lot of extra herb gardening articles.

Pruning Oregano Video Information

You wish to do that pruning (particularly in case your oregano is overgrown like this one) to encourage all that new development. The newer leaves have a greater taste than the older, more durable ones.

Don’t be timid about this. You wish to expose the brand new development to daylight and air. The oregano you see right here was so thick that the brand new development would have had a really laborious time rising by way of it.

I topdress my herb mattress with a 2-3″ layer of a compost/worm compost mix in late winter/early spring. This would be the feeding these herbs get for the whole season.

A pile of oregano stems is outdoors on a brick patio.
The pile of twisted oregano stems. This fragrant herb certain offers off a robust, fragrance when pruned!

Conclusion: Common pruning is essential to sustaining a wholesome, bushy, and productive oregano plant. By following these easy steps, you may be certain that this flavorful herb thrives, offering you with considerable leaves on your favourite dishes. Right here’s to a season of wholesome development and scrumptious flavors! 

Comfortable gardening,

Signed by Nell Foster

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Close up of the fresh growth of an oregano plant the text at the bottom reads pruning an oregano plant a perennial herb with soft woody stems.

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