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Does Oregano Grow Back Every Year? (Explained)

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All herbs and plants have life cycles. Some are annual, some biennial, while others are perennial. 

As such, while some plants need to be freshly planted every year, especially after the winter, some other plants and herbs do not require replanting.

They grow back in the same spot. And some of the herbs that died or went dormant during the winter months sprout and put on new growth every year.

All this leaves oregano cultivators perplexed and confused about whether or not their herb will grow back at the end of the year.

Does oregano grow back every year?

Of course, the oregano grows back annually. However, the plant does better in warm weather conditions and temperate climates. Nevertheless, it is a hardy and resilient perennial that regrows year after year with very little effort.

Will Oregano Grow Back After Winter

Although oregano is a cold-hardy plant that can survive even very low temperatures over long periods, it hardly stays productive during the winter. 

However, oregano usually regrows every year, after the winter.

It is a perennial plant, which means it will come back each year for at least two years.  The oregano can live for up to ten years or more.

Being that as it is, the oregano will die altogether during the winter. It will shed all its leaves and will not put on any new foliage either.

However, it will return after the winter unless the winter is exceptionally cold and frosty.

The oregano plant will start to regrow in spring and take six weeks or more until it is back to its original size.

Generally, even if the oregano regrows in the spring, it will put on very little new growth.

As such, if too many leaves and stems are harvested from the oregano at that point, the plant will not be able to keep itself alive, and it will wither and die.

Furthermore, the oregano can survive the winter colds, thrive, and even produce colorful foliage. This process will continue as long as it is provided with adequate protection outdoors or grown indoors.

That said, here are some of  the ways you can protect your oregano plants during the winter:

1. Some plants prefer a light trim during the fall so that a blanket of branches is left intact to protect the plant and crown from drying winds and protect the roots from hard freezes.

Oregano, on the other hand, is a herbaceous plant. As such, it fares better when cut back to between 4-6 inches above ground level.

2. If your oregano is pot planted, place the container in a sheltered place against the wall or by the side of the house, tent, or garage.

3. You can also add a two-inch-thick layer of bark, leaves, straw, hay, and other organic mulch around your oregano plant.

4. Like most Mediterranean plants, the oregano loves sunlight. As such,  you can place it in a sunny spot, preferably close to a window, to make sure it’s getting as much sunlight as it can.

5. Even in winter, make sure the oregano gets a solid six hours of sunshine every day.

Should I Cut Back My Oregano

The oregano is a perennial plant, and ergo it needs only be planted once every few years. The reason is that it grows back each year without needing to be replanted.

Therefore, you need to prune your oregano plant. It would help if you did this towards the end of the harvest season and before the frost.

This activity is necessary to maximize its growth each year. Each summer, cutting back the herb is also encouraged as it results in fuller growth and a more bountiful harvest.

Regular pruning prevents the oregano plant from getting unattractive and foggy. Thus, whether the plant is growing in pots, in the gardens, or indoors on the windowsill, it is important that you cut them.

However, it is necessary to take simple precautions to ensure that your oregano remains healthy and productive even after pruning.

1. Always make sure to cut your oregano with clean, sharp knives, scissors, or a pair of small sharp shears.

2. Clean your hands before beginning, especially if you’ve been pinching your fingers.

3. Prune new growth from the oregano plant, seeing as it is a perennial plant.

4. You may also want to snip off the budding flowers so that the plant lasts longer and maintains its scent and flavor.

When Should I Harvest Oregano

Oregano is mostly used for cooking, spicing, and flavoring. However, since it was first discovered and cultivated in the Mediterranean, the oregano has been known to instantly add flavor to any culinary creation.

So, it is important to harvest oregano when it will be at its peak and still have that intense and amazing flavor it is known for.

It is best to harvest it before it flowers, just as soon as the flower buds form. This is when the leaves will have their best flavor.

The oregano is vulnerable during cold weather, so it’s a good idea to stop harvesting or cutting it before the winter.

Harvesting the oregano before the onset of the winter cold and frost also increases its likelihood of surviving the frost and cold rains.

Unlike during the winter, you can cut your oregano plants every week during the summer. However, you must be sure to cut off only a few inches and stems at a time from the plant, so it does not die.

Additionally, it is important to cut herbs when they can still maintain their flavors. For example, the oregano has more flavor early in the day before the sun’s heat dissipates its oils.

Is Oregano Self-seeding?

Like most perennials, oregano regrows and can come back year after year without you needing to put in much work.

Because it self seeds, and the plants can easily grow back,  you may not need to preserve its seeds unless you prefer to start another garden or oregano patch.

The oregano is a perennial means it comes back year after year, gets bigger, and spreads over even larger areas and territory each year.

It can even take over the garden because it’s a resilient perennial, and a little bit of its root left behind can grow into a full plant.

Conclusion

The oregano is a very resilient and herbaceous perennial plant, which survives for years once planted. It can even survive winters, although it usually goes dormant and only regrows after winter.

The oregano is mostly cultivated for cooking as a spice and medicinal herb since it is mostly valued for its aroma and flavor.

It is important to properly harvest it so that it can maintain that flavor and aroma.

That being the case, you should harvest the oregano before its seeds and in the mornings before the sunrays scorch out the plant’s aroma.

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