Oregano, a Delicious Addition to a Xeriscape Landscape
I’ll bet you didn’t know how cool Oregano was in the perennial landscape. OK, maybe you did, but did you also know how fabulous the flowers are?
In Greek mythology Aphrodite gave Oregano to man to make him happier, it is no wonder. Oregano is not only a culinary delight, it also has a myriad of medicinal benefits as well. It is high in Iron, a source of vitamin K, has antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits.
A member of the mint family, Oregano is an evergreen perennial herb (in Southern North America and an annual in Northern States) that is a super low water, part to full sun plant. It is delightful in the landscape and serves as an aesthetically pleasing landscape plant as well as a medicinal and culinary herb.
Oregano is a great source of fiber and Omega 3’s, helps aid digestion and when chewed before spending time outdoors, can ward off mosquitoes by throwing off your scent.
The leaves of the plant are small and rounded and can vary from dark to light green, to variegated in color. The flowers range from white, to pink to lavender and vary in shape and size as well.
Oregano has a pungent, slightly bitter but spicy taste and can be used fresh in dishes or dried, but the fresher the herb the more complex the flavor will be. Drying herbs is quite simple really, you just gather a bouquet of Oregano, tie the bundle together with string and hang in a part sun spot until it is completely dried out and the leaves fall from the stem very easily. You can store the dried herbs in a paper bag or spice jar once the herb is crispy dry.
Oregano is super easy to grow, tolerates reasonably poor soil, but needs to be well drained. It does well in zones 5-9, requires super low water once established and requires little to no maintenance. If the plant gets woody you can simply cut it back and new foliage will fill in. If you prefer to use the herb for cooking you can cut back the flowers to keep them from going to seed for more leaf production, but I don’t find it necessary. If you plant an assortment as I have, you will always have plenty of both.
Next season, plant some varieties of oregano in your perennial beds and enjoy the beautiful color, fragrance, flavors and texture they provide all year long. There is a selection of both mounding and upright oregano averaging in size from 1-2′ wide and tall.
No go get your herb garden on,
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