Get maximum flavour from Oregano

Credit: Joi / Flickr


Q: Many years ago I started growing oregano for culinary use but was disappointed in the lack of “oregano flavour.” After some research I discovered that Oregano vulgare was not the variety I was looking for to get the strong spicy flavour and aroma for Italian cooking. Last year I found plants of both Greek (hirtum) and Italian (majoricum) varieties. They have much better flavour but, when dried, do not posses the same intensity of the dried herbs found in the supermarket.

Are there growing conditions and practices that will enhance the flavour and aroma? They are currently in unglazed terra cotta pots growing in full sun. I am using organic potting mix to grow them in.

It’s often been said that “Greek” oregano is only good (maximally flavourful) for a year or two. It loves to be stressed – prefers rocky, infertile soil like in Greece – it loves heat too. Pots would make it feel too mollycoddled, especially with potting soil. Try mixing some sand and rocks and poor soil—at least half of that—into potting soil.