oregano status & harvesting

matthew18(5)January 22, 2011

I grew my oregano last year in a pot. The plant seem to flourish in the summer into the fall. I didn't harvest anything because I read it was better to have a well establish plant and harvest the second year. That said the plant has been in my patio enclosure since the late fall. I think its dormant and hopefully still alive. Should I water it? put it outside? do Noting? Will it grow back in the spring?

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

If you are keeping a plant in an unheated area but enclosed area and it is dormant, you may need to give a tiny bit of water to keep the soil from drying out completely. No soaking it. Just a little bit on occasion to keep the roots moist but not wet.

Don't move it outside now. It is the coldest part of the winter. You can probably move it out when it is still dormant but wait until late winter at the earliest - when the days are starting to warm but you still have cold nights. Or wait for warm weather and harden off your green and growing plant.

Oregano is a survivor. It will survive much. In zone 5 oregano should survive the winter outdoors if planted in the ground. It's colder for plants in containers so I don't know how well it would survive a zone 5 winter in a pot.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 9:29AM
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thanks for the response..i'll give it little water. The patio enclosure is a little warmer in night than the outside.. it retains some of the daytime heat.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 1:01PM
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Well Im not sure what to think the plant hasnt had any re growth. Last years branchs look like toast. Will the plant regrow from the ground up? Should I prune out the old dead plant?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 7:02PM
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Matthew, your climate may be a bit chilly for your oregano to have perked up yet. Down here in the deep South mine keeps some green leaves during the winter, but almost all of it dies back. I just started to get a new flush of growth on my oregano patch (yeah, it's a "patch" now, started with 2 plants 6 years ago...) 2 or 3 weeks ago. I think the key may be nighttime temps. Mine stays pretty dormant until the nighttime temps are over 60 degrees.

As far as pruning goes, since your oregano is in a pot you might want to snip off the obviously dead bits, like the prior year's flower stalks if you have any.

Oregano is a tough plant -- it's one of the few things that survived in my garden last summer when we spent weeks at a time in a blast furnace. I think you'll find new growth when your nighttime temps increase a bit. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 8:28PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

My oregano (in the ground) is just coming up. A pot would experience more cold and so may be later in sprouting. Give it time.

The aerial parts of the oregano plant die back for the winter and new growth comes from the roots in the spring.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 8:14AM
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Even here we cut it back as it dies close to the ground. Mine now is back up to 6" tall and spreading well. Nice thing about herbs is you do not have to mess with them when cooking at least in a sauce you just tie their branches together [french style] and take them out before serving. Or when roasting meats you just lay them on the top and remove when done. Rosemary works nice in the BBQ fire

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 11:15PM
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