Oregano lovers know the advantage of using it fresh compared to the stored and packed ones. Mediterranean and Italian dishes are never complete without the added flavour of oregano.
Oregano plants belong to the Mint Family and are closely associated with the “Majoram”. Origin of this plant refers to Europe and Central Asia. Most suitable climatic conditions for this plant occur in dry and arid zones of the world. When fully grown the height of Oregon plant could reach up to four feet.
Oregano’s botanical nomenclature is “Origanum Vulgare”. It is a typical perennial plant. Fresh, flavoured green leaves of this plant are commonly used to add more flavour to the Mediterranean dishes .When blooming; the flowers of oregano herb plant could be lilac, pink, purple, or white in colour.
Growing oregano plant in homes is better if planted small. You should prefer placing this plant at or near the sunny window. Let the plant grow for full winters and then you can plant it outside in your garden. This is advised because you must save the plant from frost and other winter-related dangers. In case you are running short of space you may also plant this in container and place the same at a more suitable place.
There are different varieties of oregano herb plant and you can select the one most suitable for your garden. Here is a brief description of some of the most popular varieties;
Origanum laevigatum ‘Herrenhausen’ – This variety has dark green leaves and purple flowers.
Origanum laevigatum ‘Hopley’s Purple’ – It has typical dark purple-green leaves. Flowers of this variety are generally purple I color and with mild flavor.
Origanum Maru – It is also known as the “Syrian Oregano”. It is one of the most spicy flavored variety and not overly hardy.
Origanum Microphyllum – This variety is commonly known as “Microphylla Oregano”. Leaves of this variety oregano plant are comparatively small in size but have extremely sharp flavor.
Origanum Onites – It is also called the “Pot Marjoram”, a strong flavored variety and is very commonly used in typical Italian and Mediterranean foods.
Origanum Tyttanthum – This dark colored leaves variety of oregano is also known as the “Turkestan Oregano”. It is one of the most suitable plants for indoor gardening purposes.
Origanum Vulgare ‘Compactum’ – Greek oregano is also a common name for this variety. It is a typical compact bush form of oregano plant. Good for rock gardens where it can bloom undisturbed. This plant can be best for ornamentation purposes as well.
Origanum Vulgare – A typical gold leaves variety is also known as the “Aureum Crispum”. Leaves of this variety are crinkled. Survival of this plant is difficult within the USDA zone 4. You can easily plant this variety with its cuttings. It is good for growing indoors also. In container or in a box it is one of the best variety suited ideally at the windows as the golden leaves of this plant would be great elegance in your home.
Origanium Vulgare ‘Aureum’ – It is just another semi-tender gold leaved variety but does not have crinkled leaves.
Origanum Vulgare ‘Hirtum’ – This variety of oregano plant is in true sense conventional and hails from Greece. This is why it is simply popular as the “Greek Oregano”. It is a good looking plant and it has been reliably hardy in a well-drained garden.
Apart from all these varieties there are modern day genetically engineered hybrid varieties of oregano also. You may also have an inclination of growing one of these hybrid varieties in your home or in your garden. These common hybrid varieties are grown and preferred in cooking several dishes in specific parts of the world. Some of the more common hybrid varieties are;
Kent Beauty – This variety of oregano herb plant has rounded leaves. It is a semi-trailing plant habit. Flowers generally bloom with pink or purple colors. It has nice flavor which is sharper and mostly bitter.
Kaliteri– It is a typical silver-grey foliage herb plant and generally grown on commercial scale in the Greece.
Variegata– This variety of oregano plant has white or green variegated leaves. This is a tender plant and needs much care and protection during winters.
Zorba Red– The purple-reddish leaves of this variety mix up with beautifully with the small white flowers during early summers. Flowers continue blooming the whole summer season. The plant branches out well with heavy, ornamental leaves which are nice in flavor. This variety of oregano herb plant suits well in a rock garden or in an herb window garden.
Selecting the right and most suitable variety for your garden is the first step when you think of having this oregano herb plant in your garden.