Marjoram also known as Origanum majoranam is a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or under-shrub.
Overview of Marjoram or Origanum majoranam
• It has sweet pine and citrus flavors.
• Marjoram is synonymous with Origanum majoranam in some Middle-eastern countries.
• Sweet marjoram and knotted marjoram are other names.
• Marjoram is indigenous to the Cyprus and southern Turkey.
• It was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness.
• This plant grows in USDA Zones 7-9.
• Marjoram can sometimes prove hardy even in zone 5.
• Marjoram is cultivated for its aromatic leaves.
• It is used either green or dry for culinary purposes.
• The tops are cut as the plants begin to flower.
• They are dried slowly in the shade.
• It is often used in herb combinations like herbs de Provence and za’atar.
• The flowering leaves and tops of marjoram are steam-distilled.
• This produces an essential oil that is yellowish in color.
• It has many chemical components like borneol, camphor and pinene.
The leaves and flowering stems are strongly:
– Mildly tonic
Growing/Caring conditions for Marjoram or Origanum majoranam
• Plant Origanum majoranam in the sunniest spot in the garden.
• This perennial prefers all-day sun.
• It needs well-drained soil on the dry side.
• Purchase seedlings from a local nursery, as the plant grows poorly from seed.
• Place the Origanum majoranam seedlings 1/8-inch deep into soil after all danger of frost has passed.
• Each plant should have at least 8 inches of elbow room.
• Weed the area regularly.
• Apply an 8-inch thick layer of hay over the bed to protect against weed growth.
• Harvest fresh Origanum majoranam for use through the season.
• Cut the remainder of the plant when small white flowers appear.
• Hang clumps of the herb in a warm, dark room until dry.
• Use only the crumbled leaves in cooking.
• Store the unused leaves in an airtight container.
• Discard the stems.
• Italian Origanum majoranam grows well in containers.
• Origanum majoranam is a deterrent to some types of garden pests and can aid in controlling them naturally.
• Origanum majoranam plants can be cultivated in part shade.
• If growing from seeds, plant seeds 1/4-inch deep.
• Plant nursery stock about 18 inches apart.
• If you have planted from seed, thin established seedlings to 12 inches apart.
• Harvest your Origanum majoranam in mid-spring, just before the flowers open.
• Cut off the top 6 inches of the stem and remove the leaves.
• Make sure to remove the mulch in early spring.
• Propagate Origanum majoranam in mid-spring by dividing plants during peak growth, before flowers appear.