A Comprehensive Guide On How To Grow Oregano From Seed

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Oregano, a fragrant and flavorful herb, is a wonderful addition to any kitchen or medicinal garden. Growing oregano from seed is a rewarding experience that allows you to enjoy the fresh taste of this versatile herb straight from your backyard. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the step-by-step process of sprouting oregano from seed, maintaining optimal conditions, selecting the best location for planting and considering companion plants.

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To ensure successful germination, start with high-quality oregano seeds. Look for reputable seed suppliers or consider saving seeds from a mature oregano plant if you have one.

Wanna propagate oregano from a mother plant? Check out the Oregano Propagation guide.

You’ll also want to pick out the variety of oregano you want to grow, depending on if you’re growing mainly for culinary purposes or medicinal. Also take your taste preference into account when choosing a variety.

Germination Process

Fill seed trays or small pots with a well-draining seed starting mix. Be sure not to use potting mix or regular soil as they are too thick for the delicate roots to penetrate.

Sow oregano seeds on the surface and lightly press them into the soil. Oregano seeds are incredibly tiny! I’ve found that simply lightly pressing them into the soil is sufficient enough, no need to cover with soil.

Mist the trays with a little water from a spray bottle and place them in a warm location (70-75°F (21-24°C)). Adding a humidity dome and placing on top of a heat mat are great additions to increase germination rate. Just be sure to remove the humidity dome after a majority of the seeds are germinated.

As you’re waiting for the little sprouts to appear, you want to make sure you keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. Oregano seeds take about 7-14 days to germinate. This may vary if it becomes too cold, dry or you have bad seeds.

how do you grow oregano

Optimal Conditions for Growing Oregano Seedlings

As soon as you seed sprouts in your plugs, your little oregano seedlings will need a little bit of extra help.

Provide ample light for your oregano seedlings by placing them in a location with bright, indirect sunlight, or consider investing in some grow lamps. If using artificial lights, maintain a 14-16 hour daily light exposure approximately 2-4 inches away for optimal growth.

Maintain a consistent temperature of 60-70°F (15-21°C) during the day and slightly cooler at night. Keep your seedlings moist. There really is no set amount of how often you will need to water because this will vary on individual factors taking place in your seedling room. Whenever the soil appears dry, water. Consider bottom watering (filling a bottom tray with water) in order to help build strong plant roots.

You may need to up-pot your oregano seedlings into a bigger pot, with some potting soil, if the roots begin to get too bound up. They need proper space and nutrients to grow or they will become stunted!

how much sun does oregano need

Transplanting Oregano Seedlings

Wait until the oregano seedlings are 4-6 inches tall before transplanting. This typically occurs 6-8 weeks after germination. You’ll also want to make sure all dangers of frost have past before moving your oregano seedlings out to the garden. While oregano plants tend to be pretty cold hardy, young seedlings are not and need some time to establish in the ground before getting hit with cold temps.

Plant oregano in a sunny location with well-draining soil. Oregano thrives in full sunlight, receiving at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.

When transplanting, ensure that the oregano seedlings are planted at the same depth as they were in the seed trays. Gently firm the soil around the plants and water thoroughly.

Companion Plants for Oregano

Oregano has several beneficial companion plants that can enhance its growth while providing natural pest control. A few of these oregano friends include:

  • Basil: Enhances flavor and repels certain pests.
  • Thyme: Complements oregano’s growth habits and shares similar care requirements.
  • Marjoram: A close relative that shares cultural needs and complements oregano in the kitchen.

Avoid planting oregano near fennel or beans, as they can negatively impact each other’s growth.

Feed The Soil & You’ll Feed Your Oregano

When cultivating oregano in the ground, fostering a thriving ecosystem of soil microbes is a key factor in promoting the herb’s health and flavor. Instead of relying solely on synthetic or even organic fertilizers, adopting a soil enhancement approach encourages the natural processes within the soil, harnessing the power of beneficial microbes.

You can watch signs within your oregano plant to see what your soil may be lacking.

how to plant oregano

Signs of Nutrient Deficiency

Oregano, like any plant, exhibits specific signs when facing nutrient deficiencies. Recognizing these signs early on can help you address the issue promptly. Common signs of nutrient deficiency in oregano include:

  • Yellowing Leaves: Yellowing of the leaves, especially the younger ones, may indicate a lack of essential nutrients such as nitrogen.
  • Stunted Growth: If oregano appears stunted or fails to produce vigorous growth, it could signal deficiencies in phosphorus or potassium.
  • Leaf Browning or Curling: Browning or curling of leaves may be a sign of nutrient imbalances, possibly caused by inadequate micronutrients.
Check out our Microgreens at True Leaf Market

Natural Soil Enhancement Techniques

Incorporate well-rotted compost into the soil around oregano. Compost not only enriches the soil with essential nutrients but also introduces a diverse community of beneficial microbes. This enhances nutrient availability and promotes a healthy soil structure.

Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or shredded leaves, around the base of the oregano plant. Mulching helps conserve soil moisture, suppress weeds, and gradually releases nutrients into the soil as it breaks down.

Consider planting cover crops during the off-season or in between oregano plants. Leguminous cover crops, like clover, can fix nitrogen in the soil, benefiting oregano and other neighboring plants.

Introduce microbial inoculants containing beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi. These microorganisms form symbiotic relationships with plant roots, enhancing nutrient uptake and overall plant health.


Growing oregano from seed is a fulfilling journey that rewards gardeners with a bountiful harvest of this aromatic herb. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you’ll not only ensure successful germination and growth but also discover the joy of cultivating a thriving oregano plant in your garden or on your windowsill. Whether you choose to plant it in the ground or in pots, oregano is a versatile herb that adds flavor and fragrance to your culinary creations. Happy gardening!

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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