Sow February to May
Grown for its strong tasting and pungent leaves, oregano is a perennial herb that thrives in a warm, sunny position. An important herb in Italian, Greek and Mexican cooking, oregano is often used dried rather than fresh in strongly flavoured dishes in which ingredients such as chilli, garlic, tomatoes, onions, olives and wine predominate. Leaves and flowering tops are infused for tea.
Water pots regularly, but avoid overwatering or the roots may rot. Keep plants compact by trimming growth after flowers fade in summer, then give pot-grown plants a boost by applying a liquid fertiliser.
Cut back dead stems to the base in winter. Plants do not like to be too wet in winter, so place pots in a sheltered spot and raise onto pot feet to allow excess water to drain away. For a winter supply of leaves, lift plants in autumn, pot them up and place them in a well lit spot under cover.
Grow indoors until early summer or until all danger of frost has passed, then plant in a sunny, sheltered spot in well-drained soil. Alternatively, plant into a 15cm (6in) pot filled with multi-purpose compost.
Sown in groups that need the same soil conditions
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