MarjoramThis attractive perennial is commonly grown as an annual in the garden. It is loved for its wonderful sweet aroma and mild oregano flavor. However, the small gray-green leaves need to be harvested from the flowering to retain their scent even after drying.
The earliest records of herbs and medicines indicate that Marjoram has long been prized for its antiseptic, warming and relaxing properties. It treats anxiety, insomnia, tension, and helps improve digestion. In The Herball, published in 1597, Gerard recommends marjoram for those who "sigh a lot." The Latin name comes from Greek words, then translated means "joy of the mountains." According to legend, the goddess of love Venus bestowed the scent of marjoram "to remind mortals of her beauty." It is believed that he brings happiness and warmth and casts out sorrow. Marjoram grows in English nodal gardens and bush labyrinths. Culinary use dates back to the 1300s in Italy and Spain, and during the Middle Ages it became widely known throughout Europe. Although marjoram has been known in America since colonial times, its widespread use began after World War II, when soldiers returned with an addiction to Italian-style food. Today, marjoram is widely used in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.
How to grow Marjoram from seeds:
- Sowing: Plant the marjoram a month before the last frost. Sow seeds directly to the soil surface, maintain moisture and temperature 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Germination can be up to 21 days. It should be transplanted after the last frost, since marjoram is thermophilic. Place the seedlings 10 to 12″ apart in light, well-drained soil and full sun. You can also sow the marjoram just after the last frost by planting the seeds 6-8 inches apart and thinning the seedlings to 10-12″. Marjoram grows very well as a container or houseplant.
- Plant Spacing: 10-15″.
- Growing of Marjoram: Marjoram is unpretentious and thrives in slightly dry soil and full sun due to its Mediterranean origin. Water only during prolonged drought.
- Marjoram Soil Requirements for: Grows best in light soil of average fertility. It will not tolerate dry soils.
- Marjoram Seeds Days to Germination: 21 days.
- Light Preference of Marjoram: Full Sun.
- Lifу Cycle of Marjoram: Annual
- How and When to Harvest Marjoram: Harvesting of the leaves or entire sprigs can begin when the plant reaches a height of 6″. It is best to harvest the leaves in the morning after the dew has dried. Keep the plant trimmed to prevent flowering, since the leaves grow bitter after the plant flowers. Since heat tends to dissipate the flavor, add fresh marjoram to dishes immediately before serving. The leaves can also be dried or frozen for future use.
- Marjoram Days to Maturity: 80 – 95 Days
- Marjoram's Seeds Saving: Harvest the seed heads individually as soon as they begin to turn brown and dry, and spread them out to finish drying in a protected location out of direct sunlight. Thresh out the seeds by rubbing or shaking the heads, and remove as much trash as possible. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.
- Common Names: Sweet Marjoram, Knotted Marjoram, Pot Marjoram
- Latin Name: Origanum majorana
- Species Origin: Mediterranean
- Life Cycle: Annual
- USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
- Seeds per Ounce: 120,000
- Sunlight: Full Sun
- Height: 24 Inches
- Color: Green
- Bloom Season: Blooms Late Summer, Blooms Early Fall
- Uses: Culinary, Medicinal, Aromatic, Attracts Butterflies