Mexican Bush Oregano: Growing Mexican Oregano In The Garden

mexican oregano
mexican oregano
(Image credit: Gardening Know How)

Mexican bush oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) is a flowering perennial native to Mexico that grows very well in Texas and other hot, dry parts of the United States. Although it’s not related to your average garden oregano plant, it produces attractive, fragrant purple flowers and can survive in harsh and varied conditions, making it an excellent choice for parts of the garden where nothing else seems to be able to survive. Keep reading to learn more about how to grow Mexican oregano and Mexican oregano plant care.

Growing Mexican Oregano Plants

Mexican bush oregano (sometimes referred to as rosemary mint) can’t be grown everywhere. In fact, Mexican oregano hardiness falls between USDA zones 7b and 11. In zones 7b through 8a, however, it’s only root hardy. This means that all the top growth will die back in the winter, with the roots surviving to put up new growth each spring. The roots aren’t always guaranteed to make it, especially if the winter is a cold one. In zones 8b through 9a, some of the top growth is likely to die back in the winter, with the older woody growth surviving and putting out new shoots in the spring. In zones 9b through 11, Mexican oregano plants are at their best, surviving all year-round as evergreen shrubs.

Mexican Oregano Plant Care

Mexican oregano plant care is very easy. Mexican oregano plants are highly drought tolerant. They will grow in a wide variety of soils but prefer it to be extremely well drained and slightly alkaline. They don’t really suffer from pests, and they actually deter deer, making them a very good choice for areas plagued by deer problems. All the way from spring to fall, the plants produce fragrant purple tubular flowers. Removing faded flowers encourages new ones to bloom. In areas where the plants don’t suffer from dieback in the winter, you may want to prune them back lightly in the spring to keep them bushy and compact.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.