When To Plant Oregano: What You Need To Know

There’s a lot to love about the oregano plant. It’s a low-maintenance plant to care for, and it produces a yummy herb that can be used in many different dishes.

But when should you begin planting this herb for optimal growth?

This article will explain why you should grow oregano and its many uses. Then, we’ll go into more detail about when to plant your oregano and whether you can grow it all year round.

Then, we’ll share tips on how to grow oregano, how long it takes to grow, and when to harvest it.

Finally, we’ll share if this herb can survive the winter or not. 

Why Grow Oregano?

Oregano is a perennial herb that’s part of the mint family. It’s commonly used in various Italian, Mexican, or Greek dishes. However, oregano has many uses.

For example, you can use fresh oregano leaves within recipes or use them as a garnish. Alternatively, you can dry out the oregano leaves to use in recipes or to save for later use.

In addition to all the ways you can use this herb, another reason you should grow oregano is that it’s an easy plant to care for.

For instance, if you’re a beginner gardener, you can easily learn how to grow oregano. Oregano is hardy and low-maintenance to care of once you get the hang of it.

In the long run, if you grow oregano yourself, you can use this yummy herb for many recipes and save yourself some money at the grocery store.

Oregano in a pot
Oregano in a pot

When To Plant Oregano

As previously mentioned, oregano is a hardy herb. So, while it prefers milder climates and has specific growing conditions, it’s versatile when being planted.

You can plant your oregano indoors inside a pot or a container. Alternatively, you can put the pot outside in your garden where it won’t take up space but can still be around your other plants. Or, you can plant your oregano straight into the garden.

If you decide to put your oregano directly in the garden, then the best time to plant it is right at the start of spring.

Of course, we don’t mean looking at the calendar and seeing when the first day of spring is. Once the final frost of the winter season has happened, then you can safely plant your oregano in the garden.

However, if you decide to plant your oregano indoors before moving it to the garden, you should plant it six weeks before the last frost. This will allow your oregano ample time to start growing.

Then, when the weather is ready for your oregano to be planted in the garden, your herb will settle nicely into the outside soil.

Alternatively, if you decide to plant oregano and it’s pretty late in the season, you can still get it planted before the winter. You’ll want to add oregano to your garden no later than eight weeks before the first frost of the season.

The eight weeks will give your oregano enough time to get started and grow enough that it’ll be able to withstand the winter.

Can You Plant Oregano At Other Times Of The Year?

The short answer is yes. You can plant oregano at any time you want as long as it’s indoors.

For example, oregano can grow well in a pot or container inside your home. So, you can begin to grow it whenever you want. You can always move it to your garden later when the weather is nicer.

However, if you want to grow your oregano in your garden right away, then you’ll need to wait for early spring or, at the latest, late fall to begin.

How Long Does Oregano Take To Grow?

Oregano will seem like it grows quickly, especially in the beginning. Also, you can begin harvesting your oregano when it’s about four to six inches tall.

However, even though you can harvest it early, it’s still not fully grown.

For instance, an oregano bush takes about 80 to 90 days to reach full maturity.

You can learn more about how long oregano takes to grow here.

Tips For Planting Oregano

Whether you plant oregano in a pot or outside in the garden, make sure you have a type of soil that drains water well. For example, use soil that’s sandy or loamy in texture.

If you plant oregano in the garden, then you’ll want to plant it near similar herbs or plants that need the same type of soil and other growing conditions.

This is called companion planting, where the plants near one another can help each other grow and thrive.

You can learn more about companion planting with oregano here.

Oregano needs soil that drains water well because it doesn’t need too much water to survive. So, for example, you’ll only need to water your oregano plant when you notice the top of the soil is bone dry.

Read more about how much to water oregano here.

In addition, oregano needs plenty of sunlight. So you’ll want to plant your herb in a spot in the garden that gets at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day.

Alternatively, if you plant your oregano indoors, put it in a sunny room. Or, you can use a sun lamp to help it grow, especially on cloudy days.

Finally, when planting oregano in a garden, give it at least 8-12 inches of space between other plants. Oregano likes to spread out.

When To Harvest Oregano

Luckily, oregano bushes have an average lifespan of about five to six years. So, you’ll be able to get at least one harvest from it during its first year. Then, you can get at least two harvests each year after that.

When you first plant your oregano bush, you’ll be able to harvest it when it’s about four to six inches tall.

However, the best time to harvest your oregano is right before the flowers begin to bud.

If you want to make room for more harvesting, you can snip the flowers off to give more space for leaves to grow.

You can also harvest and use the flowers. Read more here.

Will Oregano Survive Winter?

Believe it or not, yes. Oregano can survive the winter as long as it’s cared for properly during the harsh cold weather.

If the weather isn’t too cold, your oregano will simply go dormant. Then, when the weather turns warmer again, the oregano will begin to grow again.

However, there are ways to protect it from the cold.

First, you can prune your oregano plant, removing any dead stems. Also, make sure everything is harvested and then you can store the fresh leaves (or dry them out) for later use.

Alternatively, you can dig up your oregano bush and transfer it to a large pot or container. Then, you can bring it inside your house, where it’ll continue to grow throughout the winter season.

In addition, if you have a greenhouse, you can keep your oregano plant in there all year round. Or you can keep it in there only during the winter.

Read my full guide to oregano and winter here.

Final Words

In a nutshell, oregano can be planted at any time of the year. First, however, you’ll want to strategize when you want to grow your oregano and when you want to be able to harvest it.

The when will depend on the where. For example, you can plant your oregano straight into the garden outside after the last frost or a few weeks before the first frost.

Alternatively, you can have your oregano be a houseplant for most of the year before bringing it to the garden, or it can be a houseplant all year round.

Want to learn more? Click here to learn where to plant oregano and here to find out it is spreads. Find all my oregano guides here.