Magnificient marjoram, with its aromatic leaves and warm flavor, is easy to grow and available in many varieties.
Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 70-90 days from seed
Height: 12 to 24 inches
Spacing: 8 to 12 inches apart, 8 to 12 inches between rows
Herb gardeners growing marjoram (Origanum majoricum) enjoy its fragrant and flavorful leaves which are highly esteemed for seasoning. The aroma and flavor is similar to mild oregano, but noticeably sweeter.
Marjoram grows 1-2 feet tall and has square stems, gray-green leaves and small white flowers borne in clusters. Plants make an attractive ground-cover in the summer and do well indoors during winter months. Tender perennial, often grown as an annual.
A member of the mint family, marjoram does well in containers, window boxes and garden beds. Plants prefer full sun and will grow in most types of soil with very little water. However, sandy fast-draining soil is best (watch How to Grow an Herb Garden — video).
Tip: Sweet marjoram will attract beneficial insects and butterflies when used as a border in the garden.
How to Plant:
Start indoors under plant grow lamps 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Sow seeds just beneath the surface of the soil. Seeds will germinate in about 10 days. Set the seedlings in the garden after all danger from frost has passed (see How to Plant Seedlings in the Garden). Space plants 10 inches apart in all directions. If high humidity levels are a problem in your planting area, it is best to space plants further apart to encourage good air circulation. Begin harvesting 5-6 weeks after transplanting outdoors, or when plants are growing vigorously.
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Pick marjoram anytime after the plants are 3 inches tall. Harvesting herbs before the flowers open gives the best flavor. Marjoram is highly aromatic and its taste improves with drying. To dry, tie the cuttings in small bundles and hang upside down in a well-ventilated dark room. When dry, remove the leaves from the stems and store whole. Crush or grind just before use.
Insects and Disease:
Prevent plant diseases by providing good air circulation around crops and watering on bright sunny mornings. This gives the leaves plenty of time to dry before evening.
Seed Saving Instructions: