Oregano in pots, in the garden on the terrace it is an excellent idea to create a small area of aromatic plants, which will be very useful for flavoring dishes, as well as scenting the environment. Any balcony with good sun exposure should not miss a pot of oregano, a truly beautiful Mediterranean plant, which benefits in particular from wind and sun.
Pot cultivation of oregano is feasible without great difficulty, with excellent satisfaction. Common oregano, not to be confused with marjoram (origanum Majorana), does not require much attention and can last for years in the same vase, continuing to give leaves and flowers with a characteristic scent.
The most important precaution in growing this species in pots lies in not abounding too much with irrigation water, since the oregano rhizome suffers from stagnation, even more so when it is enclosed in a container.
Choice of the suitable vase
Oregano requires a medium-sized pot, at least 20 cm deep, the larger the container, the more chance the shrub will have to develop and form a larger bush. Pots that are too small are best used for undemanding plants, such as strawberries or salads, which do not have a root system like that of oregano.
If we want to grow herbs on a small balcony, we can decide to associate oregano with other plants, in a single pot. In this case, it is very good to associate it with sage, thyme, or rosemary, it can also be accompanied by marjoram, even if the two very similar plants share diseases and parasites. I do not recommend putting it with basil instead, because it would be an annual and a multi-year plant, and not even with mint, a plant that is too weed that would steal all the space in a few months.
The position in which to put the pot must be in full sun, this is important for the plant to produce fragrant leaves.
The right soil
Once the pot has been chosen, we can fill it: start from the bottom by putting a layer of expanded clay or gravel, which allows any excess water to drain quickly, then fill with any sowing soil possibly integrated with a little sand.
Oregano has no particular needs in terms of soil: it is a humble plant that also exploits very poor soils, for this reason, if the soil is good, no fertilization is needed.
Sowing or cutting
To start growing oregano we can sow it in a jar at the end of winter or even more simply, have an existing plant available, take a portion of the plant complete with roots, and transplant it. The third option is to root a branch (cutting technique), which is also very simple. Finally, in almost all nurseries you will be able to buy ready-made oregano seedlings.
Being a perennial plant, it does not need to be replaced every year, by cultivating it correctly we can keep oregano in pots for several years.
Cultivation in pots
The cultivation of oregano in pots does not differ much from that in the open field, so you can refer to the article dedicated to how to grow oregano. There are only two more precautions to have if we want to keep this aroma on the balcony, relating to irrigation and fertilization, they are because the plant is enclosed in a container and therefore has very limited resources compared to those it would find in nature.
As for irrigation, even if oregano is a crop that tolerates arid very well when we keep it in pots, it is advisable to wet it regularly, to never let the soil dry out completely. When irrigating, however, care must be taken to provide a moderate amount of water, to prevent excessive humidity from being created.
About fertilizer, on the other hand, oregano lives well in poor soil, but always due to the limited resources available in pots, it is good to remember to renew the nutrients every year, with organic fertilization to be done after flowering.
Collect and dry
Harvesting oregano is very simple: it involves removing the leaves you need, to using them directly in the kitchen. The inflorescences can be picked and used in the same way, they have the same aroma. Wanting to dry the plant to preserve it over time, it is better to collect whole twigs, which must be hung in a ventilated and shaded place.
Those who grow on the balcony often do not have a suitable place for drying herbs, the advice is to get a home dryer, failing this, you can try using a ventilated oven, to be kept at the minimum temperature and slightly open. Due to the increased heat, the oven can cause you to lose some of the aroma and properties of this medicinal plant.
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