Can Oregano Survive Winter? [Full Guide]

Oregano is a herb that can grow well in many situations. It will thrive as long as it gets the proper soil, sun, and water.

So, can oregano grow all year round, even in the wintertime? How do you protect oregano in winter?

This article will answer whether or not oregano can withstand winter temperatures. First, we’ll discuss the temperature oregano likes and what the lowest temperature is that oregano can survive.

Then, we’ll talk about whether you should bring oregano inside for the winter or not.

Finally, we’ll dive into some tips and tricks to keeping your oregano warm outside during the winter. 

Can Oregano Survive Winter?

The short answer is yes. Oregano can survive in winter. However, it can’t survive the harsh cold temperatures on its own. It needs some help from you. Also, there are some low temperatures that will harm your oregano plant, possibly killing it. 

There are quite a few ways to prepare your oregano bush for winter. But first, let’s talk about how much cold the oregano plant can handle.

Rosemary and oregano on the windowsill in winter
Rosemary and oregano on the windowsill in winter

What Is The Lowest Temperature That Oregano Can Survive?

When you first plant oregano seeds or cuttings, you’ll want to put it in soil that’s between 60 and 70 degrees F. Oregano enjoys warmer temperatures and milder climates.

Although, it’s a hardy bush that can withstand lower temperatures than it likes.

However, the lowest temperature that oregano can survive outside is 40 degrees F. If it’s left below 40 degrees F and doesn’t have any coverings or protection, the plant could die.

On the other hand, if the oregano plant is left outside in the frost when the temperature is below 32 degrees F, the bush could permanently die.

In addition, oregano needs at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day. Sometimes, winter has many cloudy days, so your oregano plant will miss out on that, let alone be in cold temperatures. 

Should You Bring Oregano Inside In Winter?

One of the ways that you can protect your oregano bush in the winter is to bring it inside. There are many different ways for you to plant this herb initially.

For example, you can place it in your garden directly, keep it in a pot inside your house or outside in the garden, or you can plant it in a pot and then move it to the garden.

You can also plant it in the garden and then move it to a pot.

Oregano is an adaptable plant, as long as it has what it needs to grow and has enough room. So, you can certainly dig up your oregano plant from the garden and bring it inside to put in a large pot or container.

Alternatively, you can easily keep your oregano inside a pot that’s outside in your garden. That way, you can still companion plant without your oregano being inside the actual garden.

Read more about companion planting with your oregano here.

If you do this, you can simply pick up the pot and bring it inside your house. Then, your oregano will be able to grow well all year round.

When the weather gets nicer again, you can bring the pot back outside into the garden.

How To Best Prepare Oregano For Winter

If you want to keep your oregano in your garden throughout the winter, there are a few things you can do to help protect it from the cold temperatures.

Put Your Oregano Bush In A Pot And Move Indoors Or To A Greenhouse

As mentioned earlier, you can put your oregano in a pot or container and bring it inside for the winter. Alternatively, if you have a greenhouse handy, you can put it inside the greenhouse.

In some cases, you might have your oregano already in a pot in your garden, so it’s as simple as picking it up and moving it around.

Cover Oregano In A Cold Frame Or A Cloth

Cold frames have glass panes at the top. So, it mimics a greenhouse in some ways.

The cold frame will go over the oregano bush, covering it from all sides. It will allow the heat from the soil to rise, trapping the heat inside. Thus, your oregano will stay warmer in the winter.

On the other hand, you can use a cloth. This is typically smaller and made from glass, keeping the heat inside. However, you can also make one yourself out of milk jugs or a plastic container that can fit over your bush.

Cover The Top Of The Soil With Mulch

Oregano enjoys soil that’s sandy or loamy, something that drains water well.

Covering the top of the soil with mulch or shredded bark will help protect the soil, thus protecting the plant.

The roots will continue to grow under the protected soil, and your oregano will still grow as well. However, you might be able to get a little harvest from your oregano bush this way, but it won’t be a big harvest like it would be in the summer.

Also, since your oregano will continue to grow, you’ll still need to keep up with its growth. Prune the bush as needed and snip off dead stems or leaves. Otherwise, it’ll be harder for your oregano to continue growing.

Plant Your Oregano Indoors

One of the best ways to protect your oregano plant from the winter weather is to keep it inside at all times.

Oregano grows well outside in a garden, but it can also thrive indoors. If you plant seeds or cuttings inside a pot or container inside your home and keep it inside, the oregano will grow all year round as if it’s always spring or summer.

If you have a room in your house that gets ample natural sunlight during the day, you can leave your oregano in there all year round.

Then, you won’t have to worry about transporting the plant back and forth from the garden a few times per year.

Leave Fresh Oregano Leaves In Water

You can do all you can to protect your oregano plant from the winter weather. However, sometimes it might not always work.

As a backup, you can cut a stem of oregano leaves from your plant before the winter sets in. Then place it in a clear glass jar filled with water.

The stem will have a longer lifespan and still grow a little bit. So, you can harvest little bits during the winter.

Also, when winter is over, you can replant the cutting in a pot or your garden. 

Final Words

Overall, oregano can survive all year round as long as it’s cared for properly.

For instance, you can bring your oregano plant inside for the winter, or you can take protective measures by putting it inside a greenhouse or covering it with a cold frame or a DIY plastic container. 

Want to learn more? Click here to learn when to plant oregano, here for whether oregano flowers are edible or here to learn how much water oregano needs. You can also find all my oregano guides here.