The Complete Guide for Italian Oregano (Origanum Vulgare) Care

The Italian Oregano, otherwise known as the Origanum Vulgare or Oregano, Wild Marjoram, English Marjoram, Grove Marjoram , Pot Marjoram, Wintersweet, is a somewhat well known herb plant native to the United Kingdom.

Best known for its low maintenance and fast growth, this herb will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its gray-green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Italian Oregano Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Italian Oregano are the following:

  • Water: The Italian Oregano needs soil that is constantly moist through regular watering.
  • Light: Keep your Origanum Vulgare in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Italian Oregano in soil with well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, chalk, and loam.

And that’s practically it! If you keep these three factors in check, your Italian Oregano will likely have all it needs for it to survive and even thrive.

Origanum vulgare care

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Italian Oregano belongs to the Lamiaceae family, the genus Origanum and the species Vulgare, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Origanum Vulgare (or-RI-ga-num vul-GAIR-ee).

As with other Origanum’s, the Italian Oregano is a herbaceous plant, which means it will die back to the ground every year. 

Growing Region

 is a plant native to the The Origanum Vulgare is used to growing in specific regions of United Kingdom.

Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Italian Oregano. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Origanum Vulgare will be most used to the heat zones in the 2 – 10 region, and in climate zones that range between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Italian Oregano is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.


But what exactly does this mean for your Italian Oregano? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…

The Origanum Vulgare can grow up to 1′ – 3′ (30cm – 90cm) in 1′ – 3′ (30cm – 90cm) and 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm). 

These dimensions make the Italian Oregano a relatively medium herb compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful mounding, and spreading shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 12″ – 18″ (30cm – 45cm) free so the Italian Oregano can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Italian Oregano is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Origanum Vulgare needs soil that is constantly moist through regular watering.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively low needs in terms of water. 

Origanum vulgare sprig


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Italian Oregano in soil with well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Italian Oregano is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

The Italian Oregano’s ideal soil potting mix is made out of sand, chalk, and loam.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Italian Oregano requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this herb will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Origanum Vulgare in 


Being a herbaceous plant, the Italian Oregano will die back to the ground every year. 

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the summer (mid, late), and during the fall.


In particular, this herb is well known for its showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Italian Oregano produces some beautiful pink flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Italian Oregano have a beautiful gray-green color during most of the year.

Origanum vulgare up close

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Italian Oregano is well known for being able to attract butterflies, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for rocky soil, dry soil, drought and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Origanum Vulgare will be fine.


Does your Italian Oregano have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Origanum Vulgare owners agree that this herb will look great in most mediterranean, cottage and rustic gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, city and courtyard, and in mediterranean garden styles. 

In particular, the Italian Oregano’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in patio and containers, others use it for landscaping in a border, or a container.


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Italian Oregano in your garden or home.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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