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Is Ornamental Oregano Invasive? (Explained)

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Although functionality is paramount, beauty is something that every gardener has in mind when setting up their garden. As of now, Ornamental oregano is popularly being used to outline gardens.

While this may be the case in your garden, how the plant affects the other more productive ones in your garden should be of critical consideration to you.

So, you may ponder, “is Ornamental oregano invasive? Ornamental Oregano can be very invasive. One particular species, the Origanum vulgare, is a variety that primarily spreads around a  garden quite quickly.

Is Ornamental Oregano Invasive?

An Invasive plant grows very fast and establishes itself pretty quickly in the environment where it is planted.

More often than not, the plant in question is not native to the environment, so being invasive is an adaptation mechanism that helps it naturalize. But it may do so at the peril of the other plants in the same surrounding.

Ornamental oregano is one of the many plants that exhibit this characteristic. It has a kind of root system called rhizomes capable of growing long distances underneath the soil and spread everywhere.

Furthermore, it produces large amounts of seeds and can reseed itself, aided by wind, birds and bees. Therefore, oregano can grow where you did not initially plant them.

How Big Does Ornamental Oregano Get?

Ornamental Oregano is a flowering, perennial herb belonging to Lamiaceae and the Origanum genus, typically mints. It was a native of the Mediterranean region, but it has become naturalized in temperate areas.

There are different cultivars of oregano, and a common one is Kent Beauty. Unlike their culinary cousins, they do not have a savory taste.

However, it is for their eye-catching beauty that they are particularly sought after. They also have a pleasant fragrance because of their spicy, aromatic scents.

These oregano species are easy to grow and fast growers, taking about a week to sprout from seeds. They can grow between 8 to 10 inches — 20 to 25cm — tall and about 12 to 18 inches — 30 to 45cm — wide.

They usually bloom between July and August. These plants typically prefer highly drained soils and don’t do so well in clay soil. Ornamental oregano does well in neutral or alkaline soils .

Although, unusually, they grow in acidic soil as well. They require partial to total sun exposure to grow well because they need adequate sunlight for photosynthesis, through which they make their food.

They have differing flower colors like red, pink, purple, green and burgundy, and are drought-resistant, attractive to bees, butterflies, and other insect pollinators. In addition, they are resistant to diseases and pests like rabbits and deers.

Ornamental oregano plants are also drought-resistant which means that they do particularly well in dry soils, especially when they have become established.

So there’s no need to get all worked up and worry about irrigation when there’s no rainfall during summer. They usually grow upright or trail the ground.

Should You Cut The Flowers off Ornamental Oregano?

Ornamental Oregano plants produce flowers when they have matured and are about to produce seeds. You can prune off the flowers if you don’t want them to seed, thus conserving nutrients for regrowth.

Also, you can remove dead and wilted flowers using your fingers or a pair of pruning shears to allow for the regrowth of new buds. It is best to do this just below the bloom. This process is called deadheading.

Because Ornamental Oregano is a perennial herb, you don’t have to worry about planting it the following year because it will regrow.

However, to maximize the plant’s growth, it is critical to prune it not less than two times yearly and as far from the harvesting period as possible.

This method makes it grow faster the following season, giving rise to a more abundant harvest. It’s pretty easy to do, and here’s how to go about it:

  • Cut the plant’s stems with a garden shear or scissors at about the sixth to eight weeks from planting to a height of about 2 to 3 inches. You put the scissors against the stem so that it lies between the leaves to prevent damaging the leaves.
  • If the plant is not new and re-growing from a previous season, wait until about eight weeks before pruning to establish itself adequately.
  • After a few years, you should cut dead roots from the plant and divide large plants. You can plant the divided plants at a different corner or a separate pot.

It’s imperative not to prune it from late August to early September because if you do, there won’t be ample time for it to regrow due to the cold.

  • Furthermore, it’s critical not to prune the plant until it has reached a height of not less than 4 inches; otherwise, it may die after pruning.

This guarantees the survival of the plant. Also, it would be best not to prune more than a third of the plant.

  • After pruning, it’s advisable to add an excellent organic fertilizer to the soil so that the rate of regrowth of the oregano will be faster than usual and so that it will do so before winter arrives.

Why is pruning important? Pruning is critical in Oregano because it creates space in your garden for other plants as well. Furthermore, pruning keeps the plant healthy as the old stems give way to fresher ones.

Conclusion

Ornamental oregano is an invasive perennial flowering plant. Just like other perennials, it is present all year round, so; there’s no need to replant it.

More so is the fact that its invasive nature makes it grow where it was not initially cultivated by reseeding by wind, birds, bees, and other insects that help disseminate the seeds.

Even though the beauty it adds to your garden is simply sensational, it would be best to control the way it spreads in it.

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