Growing Marjoram

June 14, 2006
Botanical Name:
Origanum majorana
Common names:
Sweet Marjoram, Marjoram
Depending on the climate, marjoram can be grown as an annual, or a tender perennial. Native to Portugal, it grows only inches tall on sturdy upright stems with clusters of dainty flowers that are pink, purple or white in color and is grown mainly for its many wonderful culinary properties.
Life Cycle:
annual, tender perennial
full sun
Marjoram prefers fertile, well-drained soil and exposure to full sun. Start seeds indoors in the early spring, harden them off and transplant them outdoors in early summer as soon as temperatures stay consistently above 45ºF. Alternatively, sow seeds directly outdoors in the late spring, but cover them to speed up germination. Cuttings can also be rooted and transplanted. Keep soil evenly moist and remove dead flowers and stalks to keep plants from looking straggly. Marjoram can also be grown successfully in containers if kept in an area with ample natural light. Marjoram is usually grown as an annual, but in warmer zones it will grow as a tender perennial. Increase your stock by division in the spring or fall.
cuttings, division and seeds
Parts Used:
Harvesting and Storage:
Leaves and stems can be harvested as soon as plants reach 4 inches. Cut top of stems down to the first 2 sets of leaf pairs. Plants will respond by sending up new shoots. Freeze leaves or hang them to dry in a dark or shady location. Keep dried leaves in sealed containers when storing. Marjoram's honey-scented leaves are at their most flavorful just as flower buds are starting to form.
Medicinal Uses:
used as a digestive aid and in the treatment of asthma
Culinary Uses
used to flavor meats, stuffing, salads, oils, and vinegars
Other Uses:
insect repellant; potpourri; wreaths; garlands; hair care and soap
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