Zaatar oregano

tishtoshnm Zone 6/NMMay 26, 2013

I started a zaatar oregano (seeds from Baker Creek). It is about time to transplant it and I need some more information. Does anyone know it's growth habit (upright or groundcover type? About how tall or wide?) and also, how hardy is it. I need to know if I should put it in a pot and bring inside for the winter or if a protected spot near the house is okay. Supposedly the seeds originated in Israel and my winter climate is nowhere near comparable. Thank you for any help.

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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

I'm just starting some zataar myself....hoping it looks like the picture below. I would bring it in the first couple of winters, or shelter it and mulch heavily.


Here is a link that might be useful: Look at lower front plants

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 10:50PM
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Well, as you can tell, it's a native here. It can get tall, about a meter, and very wide and leggy. It's definitely not a ground cover. You can cut it all year round, not only to use the fabulous smelling herb but also to keep it bush-like. In fact, it does best when given a good clipping once or twice a year. In our climate it's a perennial - I somehow think it might get very sad and buggy in a pot indoors. Not sure as I've never tried it.
You're in New Mexico? Isn't that pretty hot and dry, too? My winter here in Haifa is very wet all winter and very, very hot and dry all summer. We frost maybe once every 5 years, and never colder than that. My za'atar is in the ground and very happy - in fact the other day I just clipped a huge handful off and put it on the compost cause who can use that much!

It needs poor soil but very well drained - I don't water it even in our hottest weather but once a week. It's in an herb garden along with wormwood, sage, rue and lemongrass, and (except for the powdery mildew on the sage, see recent post!), all are happy and leafy.
If i were you, I'd separate the plant and after making sure they're all alive and rooted, put one here, one there, one in a pot, etc, and see what happens.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 3:04PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Batya, we are definitely hot and dry in the summer but being in the mountains means I am cold and dry in the winter. I definitely have enough seed left over to experiment with so that is likely what I will do. Thanks for your information, too.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 2:29PM
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weedlady(Central OH 6)

According to Richter's, zaatar is hardy only to zone 8 and warmer. They also indicate it is "easy" to grow from seed, but I have tried seed from 2 different sources and am having no luck with it. Marjoram I can grow OK from seed so don't know what my problem is with zaatar. (I sow into soilless mix in a pot dampened from below, and put under lights.) I think next spring I may order the plant itself from them!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 12:33PM
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I start this plant every year. I keep it in a pot the first year, overwinter it inside in a very fast draining mix with a lot of gravel, and then I plant it out the second year and it really takes off in the ground. I cut it to pieces before the frosts come and dry it, and it really is a favorite of mine. I haven't had a lot of trouble getting seed to sprout (starting it indoors with the tomatoes), but it is harder than a lot of things. The seeds take a while to germinate, longer than other oreganos.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 5:59PM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

Well, foo...
I'm glad it starts for someone. I've failed twice, too.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 9:56AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

My seed started fine. As I said, I got it from Baker Creek. I will probably start some in a pot soon to have for the winter. So far the plant has just kinda sat there, not growing much at all since being in the ground even thought it has definitely been warm.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:20PM
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