Marjoram Plant Care: Tips For Growing Marjoram Herbs

Marjoram Herbs
(Image credit: scisettialfio)

Growing marjoram is a great way to add both flavor and fragrance in the kitchen or garden. Marjoram plants are also great for attracting butterflies and other beneficial insects to the garden, making them ideal for use as companion plantings. Let's look at how to grow marjoram.

What is Marjoram?

Marjoram (Origanum majorana) is an easy to grow herb well suited for growing in containers as well as the garden. There are generally three varieties that are commonly grown: sweet marjoram, pot marjoram, and wild marjoram (also known as common oregano). All types of marjoram are popular for use in the kitchen as seasoning for numerous dishes. They're also grown for their enticing fragrance.

How to Grow Marjoram Herbs

Although marjoram plants are tender perennials, they are typically treated as annuals as freezing temperatures will cause serious injury or death to the plants. When growing marjoram plants, it's generally best to start the seeds indoors during late winter or early spring. Push seeds just below the soil surface. Seedlings can be transplanted outdoors once all threat of frost has passed. Marjoram should be located in areas receiving full sun with light, well-drained soil. Likewise, marjoram plants can be grown in containers indoors and treated as houseplants.

Marjoram Plant Care

Established plants require little care, other than occasional watering. Since marjoram is tolerant of drought, it makes an exceptional plant for beginner herb growers. If you forget to water it, that's okay. There's no need for fertilizer either when growing marjoram herbs. It's hardy enough to basically care for itself. During mild weather, marjoram plants grown indoors can be taken outside and placed in a sunny area. However, container-grown plants should always be moved indoors or to another sheltered location once cold temperatures or frost is imminent.

Harvesting and Drying Marjoram Plants

In addition to growing marjoram herbs for aesthetic purposes, many people harvest the plant for use in the kitchen. When harvesting marjoram, pick the shoots just before flowers begin to open. This results in the best flavor, as fully opened blooms produce a bitter taste. Bundle marjoram cuttings and hang them upside down in a dark, dry, well-ventilated area. When you know how to grow marjoram, you can add it to your herb garden.

Nikki Tilley
Senior Editor

Nikki Tilley has been gardening for nearly three decades. The former Senior Editor and Archivist of Gardening Know How, Nikki has also authored six gardening books.