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Is Oregano A Perennial? (Explained)

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As a gardener who wants a steady supply of leaves all year round, you’ll appreciate perennial plants.

So, if you’re a first-time gardener with oregano in your garden, you may wonder if you can get this steady harvest from it.

The growth of Oregano is one many gardeners speculate about because while others have reported their oregano being evergreen, others have reported dieback of their plant during the winter season.

So, is Oregano a perennial or an annual shrub? Oregano is a natural perennial shrub and would survive to be evergreen in less harsh climates of zones eight and the warmer zones. In harsher climates like those seen in the zones up to zone 7, oregano would still be a perennial plant. However, they would have a dormant period during the winter and sprout back during the spring.

What Is The Best Climate To Plant Oregano?

Oregano, like most aromatic herbs, is a tough plant and would survive in different climatic zones.

However, oregano does best in climates that provide adequate sunlight for the plant and minimal chances of water-logging in the soil.

As such, zones with adequate sunlight like those in zones eight southwards would benefit the Oregano. However, this can also be too much; partial shade would also be essential for their growth in these zones.

The best climate to grow Oregano is one with an adequate amount of sunlight and warmth, preferably one with at least six hours of intense sunlight; you can also achieve this with artificial lights indoors.

Does Oregano Come Back Every Year?

The most common question most gardeners ask about oregano is whether the plant grows back every year.

During the winter season in zones with harsh winter climates, Oregano would most likely seemingly die out during the winter turning dormant.

Most gardeners at this point would be tempted to pull their Oregano as they believe that the Oregano plant is dead.

Oregano would sprout new growths during the spring as soon as the winter season is over.

In short, Oregano would come back eve ry year after winter because it is a perennial plant.

In zones with milder climates like those of zones 8, Oregano would remain evergreen, including during the winter; growing Oregano in these conditions is ultimately ideal for the plant.

Remember that Oregano would grow to become bushier and spread even more significantly with the new year after every winter season.

This growth would account for more vegetative growth of the plant. If this feature isn’t exactly the best circumstance for you, you can always prune the Oregano after the winter season.

Can My Oregano Remain Fresh During Winter?

The hardiness zone you are based, the location your oregano is planted (Indoors or outdoors), and the methods you take in protecting your oregano from the cold are some factors that will determine the freshness of your Oregano in the winter.

However, some of these factors are not concrete for every gardener and fluctuate depending on other variables.

If you live in planting zones 4 – 6, your Oregano would most likely not remain fresh during the winter.

It would die back in the winter season when planted outdoors due to the harsh weather conditions of the winter season in these zones.

In zone 7, it might be a gamble. Your Oregano may or may not die back during the winter season, as it is possible the winter may or may not be mild during that year.

If the winter is mild, your Oregano will remain fresh; however, if the winter becomes extreme, your Oregano would die back like in the other zones of 4 -6.

The appropriate course of action to keep your Oregano fresh and prevent its winter dieback is by transplanting them into pots and having them grow indoors instead.

This method of transplant, however, carries the risk of your Oregano dying.

Therefore, it is best to either plant your Oregano as an indoor herb so it can remain fresh during the winter or forfeit the winter harvest of your Oregano and wait for the plant to sprout back during the spring.

If you wish to transplant your Oregano, taking it indoors to grow, you should go for it. Oregano is a sturdy plant and would do better than most as a transplant.

You can also keep your Oregano fresh during winter by investing in fabrics designed for plants, covering up your Oregano during the harshest winter bouts.

This method is also another way of keeping your outdoor Oregano fresh in harsh climatic zones during the winter.

How Do I Transplant My Oregano Indoors During The Winter?

Transplanting Oregano indoors is a choice taken by individual gardeners. This is because Oregano would grow back after the winter season, and the winter isn’t too much of a bother.

However, if you intend on using your Oregano all year round, including during the winter season, transplanting your Oregano indoors is the best option to keep them fresh for use during this period.

The process of transplanting isn’t always the easiest thing to do, and though Oregano is a very sturdy plant, there is still a risk of it dying after transplanting if you don’t carry out the process effectively.

The first step in transplanting Oregano for indoor growth is more or less a precaution. Do not transplant the oregano during the winter season. Instead, transplant it before the winter season arrives.

Ensure to water your Oregano hours before the transplant occurs, preferably in the evening of the day before the transplant or in the morning.

Then, proceed to disinfect the hand trowel and gloves you need for transplant to prevent transmission of diseases to the plant during transplant.

After that, dig a 4 – 6 inch hole around the Oregano close to the plant and reach into the soil to pull out the Oregano with your hand or a hand trowel.

Make small holes underneath the pot you intend to use for indoor planting; these holes prevent water from logging in the soil.

You can divide the Oregano into sections with a trowel and plant in separate pots with the root of the oregano wholly buried underneath the soil.

You also have the option of transplanting the entire plant into the pots, dividing the Oregano plant into sections to spread out the growth into separate pots if the plant is too big.

Place the pots facing the sun, preferably where it can receive upwards of six hours of sunlight or where you can use 14 hours of LED lighting to heating your Oregano.

Conclusion

Oregano is a hardy perennial plant that can survive even in harsh winter conditions, sprouting back to its full potential as soon as spring starts rolling in.

During the winter season, in zones where the cold can be pretty extreme, oregano would dieback. This dieback effect would prevent harvest during the winter season.

Hence, if you intend to use oregano during that period, the best option is to harvest and preserve your oregano before the winter season or proceed to transplant it indoors.

Oregano would remain fresh throughout the winters indoors, and though it does take a fair amount of work to transplant Oregano, the transplant should be hitch-free with the proper steps taken.

References

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