Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare var. hirtum) is a subspecies of common oregano, with a much stronger flavour and fragrance. Greek Oregano is said to have been invented by the Grecian goddess of love, Aphrodite herself! This myth led to the Greek tradition of crowning newly married couples with wreaths of the herb. The term ‘oregano’ can be translated loosely from Greek as ‘joy of the mountains’, a fitting name for a plant found in the naturally rocky habitat of its homeland. Over the centuries, culinary and medicinal uses of oregano spread from Europe to China via the ‘spice road’, before reaching the New World thanks to the American soldiers who discovered it during the Italian Campaign.
Appearance: Lush green leaves with beautiful white flowers
Latin name: Origanum vulgare
Plant size: Height 40 cm, Width 20 cm
Container size: Height 20 cm, Width 20 cm
Sowing: indoors Feb-March, outdoors Apr-June
Timing: germination 7-15 days, harvesting 40-60 days
Spacing: when sowing 1-2cm, when thinning 3-5cm
Growing: full sun, regular watering not overdone, well drained light and poor soil, addition of fertilizer is not necessary
Caring: Oregano is a perennial herb. Cut the branches down to the ground at the end of the season and cover it in order to give it an early start in spring
Supporting: attracts bees and butterflies, attracts flower flies, a predator for aphids
Harvesting: pinch out small branches as you need them. To achieve optimum flavour potency, harvest the leaves just before the plant flowers
Medicinal: Oregano is an all-round antiseptic, acting against bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Eating: Fresh Oregano has a lighter flavour which is wonderful in tomato - and meat - based recipes, although many enjoy their stronger, pore pungent dried oregano on their pizza!
Companion plant: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basils, lavender, thyme