You may recognize Marjoram plants as a common herb in French cooking. While the Italian cuisine has Oregano, the French palette prefers the sweeter Marjoram leaves. Try growing marjoram herbs this year and taste the differences for yourself. Then, you judge which you prefer.
Marjoram is a very close relative of Oregano. It is a member of the Mint family and is native to North Africa and Southwest Asia. It thrives in dry, arid regions, and it grows two to four feet. In ancient Egyptian culture, it was a symbol of happiness.
Marjoram can be grown as a houseplant while still small. Place it in a sunny window. After you have enjoyed it all winter, plant it outdoors after all danger of frost.
If you have limited space, try this herb in a container on your patio or deck.
Flowers Bloom: Summer
Flower Colors: Pink, purple, and white.
Plant height: 8 to 24 inches tall.
Hardiness Zones: 9 – 10. Grown as an annual in other zones.
Perennial, Marjorana Hortensis
To ancient Egyptians, Marjoram was considered a symbol of happiness.
Marjoram is used in cooking for soups, stews, vegetables, stuffing, salads, cheese, eggplant, and meats.
It has also been used in perfumes.
Marjoram plants are grown from seed. Get an early start on this popular herb by starting it indoors as a houseplant. Or, directly sow Marjoram seeds into your garden in the spring.
Sow Marjoram seeds early in the season and cover lightly with soil.
Final Plant Spacing: Space seedlings or thin plants 12″ apart, in rows 18 inches apart.
Days to Germination: 7 -10 days.
Growing Marjoram is easy. Marjoram plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They will do well in average soils, and tolerate dry soil conditions. Being native to arid regions, Marjoram withstands droughts very well. Water plants during dry periods, once every week or two.
Important Note: Do not add fertilizer to this plant, and it will produce a stronger flavor.
Pick flower buds as soon as they appear. The leaves turn bitter after the flowers bloom.
Harvest leaves at any time after the plant has produced a few dozen leaves. Pick the young, tender leaves, as they are best for flavor. Pick them in the morning when the oils are strongest. Spread leaves out to dry in a cool and ventilated area. Leaves can also be put in the freezer for later use.
Ideal pH: 6.0 – 8.0