Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Greek Oregano, Winter Marjoram
Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Origanum (or-RI-ga-num) (Info)
Species: vulgare subsp. hirtum

Synonym:Origanum heracleoticum

10 vendors have this plant for sale.

31 members have or want this plant for trade.

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18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 20 photos.
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8 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive TheLoveofFlowers On Jun 13, 2012, TheLoveofFlowers from Saint Paul, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I planted this about two or three years ago expecting it to be an annual. Nope. It survives and thrives in our zone 4 environment with very little care given to it over the winter. I've seen it die all the way to the roots but it comes back even bigger each year. Now it is spreading. And reseeding itself too.

Even though it can be annoying, spreading into other areas of the garden, the flavor is great. I like adding it to various dishes, stir fries and in salad mixes. Really I need to use it more than I have.

Positive Digitalis On Jul 31, 2011, Digitalis from New Orleans, LA wrote:

Once established in my garden, this oregano began to thrive without any attention from me. I planted it in a rock and sand mixture beside my patio where it receives harsh, direct sunlight from noon until almost sunset and I rarely water it, yet it has more than quadrupled in size since and blooms profusely. I love having this fresh herb handy to use in the kitchen, but the flavor becomes even more intense when dried. It is easily propagated from cuttings and the bees find it attractive, so I'm rooting a few cuttings for my main flower and herb bed.

Positive eclayne On Aug 12, 2009, eclayne from East Longmeadow, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:

After seeing the conditions under which oregano thrives in Crete (hard red clay - everywhere), I transplanted mine to a bed near the base of an old Spruce. The soil is heavy clay with a layer of old mulch turned in and no fertilizer. Their doing as well or better than in the old herb garden and only require a good shearing a few times a year. Fresh leaves are very pungent when bruised and have a bite when eaten fresh.

Positive kitty_mom On Jul 7, 2009, kitty_mom from Waverly, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love this oregano! This grows so well- in the ground or in a pot. The flavor can't be beat either. It requires only some water from time to time, yet can live through our heavy downpours.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 7, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

According to Underwwod Gardens it is the most pungent of the oreganos and is very hard to find. Prized for its culinary potency. Is perennial to zone 4 when mulched. Germ. @ 60-70 deg F for 2 wks.

Neutral hothaus On Feb 16, 2006, hothaus from Seattle, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

The one in my garden has little flavor when used fresh.

Positive IO1 On Jul 3, 2005, IO1 from Waaaay Down South, GA wrote:

This plant is a harty plant that grows easily without much care. The only negative is that it will spread easily but is a lush aeromatic herb for Italian cooking. It doesn't seem to be bothered by insects and grows in containers in full sun.

Positive foodiesleuth On May 30, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Just planted an assortment of different oreganos and they are all doing quite well. Looking forward to them forming larger clumps. The Greek Oregano already has blooms which I'm not sure if I should snip off......

Positive melody On May 29, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Extremely hardy and lush here in zone stays green all winter. The one down side to this plant is that it spreads rapidly and can get invasive.

Very intense flavor and aroma makes this a favorite in my kitchen.

The flowers are irresistable to butterflies and bees and even if you don't cook with it, it should be considered for your garden on that basis alone.

Positive Weezingreens On Sep 19, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Origanum vulgare hirtum is the preferred culinary oregano, and can be distinguished by its white flowers as well as its pungent aroma and flavor. Though zoned USDA 5, this variety often winters over in our Zone 3, if mulched in the fall.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Hereford, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Amesti, California
Banning, California
Big Sur, California
Knights Landing, California
Los Angeles, California
Menifee, California
Merced, California
Mountain View, California
San Francisco, California
Santa Ana, California
Denver, Colorado
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Lakeland, Florida (2 reports)
Longwood, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Albany, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia
Brunswick, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Valdosta, Georgia
Waverly, Georgia
Honomu, Hawaii
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Oswego, Illinois
Benton, Kentucky
Bethelridge, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Metairie, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Mashpee, Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marshall, Missouri
Silver Springs, Nevada
Bayville, New Jersey
Bronx, New York
Deposit, New York
East Moriches, New York
Charlotte, North Carolina
Davidson, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Cranberry Twp, Pennsylvania
Jessup, Pennsylvania
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Leesville, South Carolina
Brookings, South Dakota
Abilene, Texas
Bryan, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Palmyra, Virginia
Colville, Washington
White Center, Washington
Great Cacapon, West Virginia
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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