Oregano grows best in zones 5-9. Oregano seeds should be planted 15-18 inches apart in soul with a pH level from 6-9. If the soil is too sandy or a heavy clay, add nutrient-rich soil to it. The plant should be grown in full sun and does not need excessive watering. When the oregano begins to dry out, water it slowly and try to water it in the morning. Remove any flowers or dead foliage to stimulate new growth. After three years, divide the roots to maintain growth and flavor. Some types of oregano attract birds, bees, and butterflies. The plant is also suitable for xeriscaping, which is a way of landscaping by using plants that are native and drought-resistant to cut down on the usage of water (1).
Culinary and Medicinal Uses
Oregano is a popular herb used on pizzas and various tomato and meat dishes and salads. The leaves are used in culinary dishes in the dried form. It was used in ancient Mediterranean societies to treat digestive and respiratory problems. It is also used to treat colds, fevers, the flu, and indigestion (2). In Mexico, the leaves and flowers from the oregano plant are used to brew a tea to promote menstruation and relieves cramps. The oregano tea is also taken to treat a sore throat or bronchitis (2). Wild oregano oil has been and still is used today as a powerful immune boosting substance (3)
Significance to Cultural Communities
Oregano is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe and Asia. Oregano was used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans in their food (2). Wild oregano oil is used throughout mediterranean cultures as a powerful medicine (3). Mexican oregano is used as an herbal remedy, and was originally used by the Aztecs to treat flatulence. (4) Today many communities use oregano oil as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments, so it mostly has an association of healing.
1. PlantFiles: Greek Oregano, Winter Marjoram. (n.d.). Retrieved October 8, 2013, from Dave's Garden website: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/53646/
2. Origanum vulgare Oregano. (n.d.). Retrieved October 3, 2013, from Plants for a Future website: http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Origanum+vulgare
3. Minton, Barbara L. “Oil of Oregano: A Powerhouse for the Alternative Medicine Cabinet.” Natural News. November 3, 2008. http://www.naturalnews.com/024685_oregano_oil_of.html
4. Davidow, Joie, Infusions of Healing: A Treasury of Mexican-American Herbal Remedies (New York, NY: Fireside, 1999).