Suggestions For Reducing Again This In style Herb


Oregano is a beloved herb famend for its flavorful, fragrant leaves, that are staples in Mediterranean delicacies. As a perennial with delicate woody stems, oregano thrives when pruned usually, guaranteeing 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 look after 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 really 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 progress might seem because the climate warmed.

Word: This submit was revealed 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That is how the oregano seemed earlier than pruning ; dense as will be with powerful outdated progress & straggly stems manner beneath. 

Why Oregano Wants Pruning

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  These outdated stems will finally get woody over time, particularly in hotter climates. 

The plant turns into fairly dense, making it tougher for brand spanking new progress to seem in spring and summer season. Because of this pruning is necessary. The recent oregano leaves are a lot tastier than the more durable, older ones. I prune my mint, thyme, and marjoram in the identical manner—out with the outdated and in with the brand new. 

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

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

You see Greek Oregano in all these photos 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.

One of the best 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 direction of the tip of January. In colder climates, it’s greatest to attend till spring when the hazard of a freeze has handed. You don’t wish to drive out all that new progress 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 crops develop quick and profit from a mid-season pruning proper after flowering. That can stimulate much more of that tasty new progress. I now develop Greek Oregano in my raised herb backyard and prune it twice a yr to stop it from getting woody just like the one you see right here.

Are you new to herb gardening? Listed here 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 identical 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 outdated progress to make manner for the brand new. Yours will not be this overgrown, so solely a lightweight pruning will likely be wanted. 

Make sure that 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 at the least at some point earlier than. You don’t wish to prune a careworn plant, particularly when it’s as overdue as this one.

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

The 2nd spherical of pruning was a lot lighter and eliminated among the lifeless woody stems and leggy softer stems. I like to do that as a result of it makes the plant look slightly higher. You possibly can skip this step for those who’d like however I choose 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 seem like it’s been scalped for a couple of month or so!

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

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

You’ll wish to try 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!

Publish Pruning Care

Make sure that your plant is in a sunny location. Water when the soil is dry or nearly dry. How usually that’s will depend on your local weather. I by no means let mine utterly dry within the robust Arizona solar and warmth.

Harvesting Oregano

One of the best time to reap this flavorful herb is throughout the rising season. I really like recent 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 recent 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 most effective taste is recent, and a few like dried higher. Your alternative, my pal! 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 straightforward to dry, and I’ve all the time air-dried my herbs. The drying course of takes one to a few weeks. 

When you prune off the flowers, you’ll get extra leaf progress. You should utilize 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 here 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 appears to be like 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 progress will spring forth very quickly.

How To Prune Oregano FAQs 

How usually ought to I prune oregano?

Pruning will contribute to the plant’s well being. Your oregano will want one or two prunings a yr, one at first of the season and one other mid- or end-of-summer to maintain the plant full and bushy. Younger crops will be left alone till they get established and are properly on their manner. 

Why is my oregano plant leggy?

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

Can I minimize oregano again to the bottom?

I minimize this one again to 2-3″ above the bottom. It’s not what I might suggest regularly, 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 greatest to maintain up with the pruning each season, slicing the expansion again by 50% or so. You may also skinny out some stems for those who’d like. The brand new progress (the tasty stuff!) emerges from the bottom of the plant, so that you wish to open it up a bit. 

Make sure you try 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 progress. 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 progress to daylight and air. The oregano you see right here was so thick that the brand new progress would have had a really exhausting 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 complete season.

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

Conclusion: Common pruning is vital to sustaining a wholesome, bushy, and productive oregano plant. By following these easy steps, you possibly can make sure that this flavorful herb thrives, offering you with plentiful leaves on your favourite dishes. Right here’s to a season of wholesome progress and scrumptious flavors! 

Glad 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.