Oregano is a popular herb that can grow in a variety of conditions. It can be used fresh or dried and has a strong flavor that complements many dishes. It’s easy to grow oregano indoors or in your garden, but you must harvest the plant at the right time to get the most flavorful product.
When To Harvest Oregano
You should harvest oregano when it reaches full size and before it blooms. Typically, this means mid-to-late summer for most varieties. If you wait too long, the plant will start to flower and produce seeds instead of leaves for cooking.
When Is The Best Month To Harvest Oregano?
Harvesting oregano is a matter of personal preference, though there are some general guidelines that can help you decide when to take your oregano plants. If you’re growing the herb for cooking, you should harvest it when it is in full bloom. The leaves will have a stronger flavor at this stage.
If you’re growing oregano as an ornamental plant, the leaves may be slightly less fragrant but they’ll still be beautiful. Many gardeners choose to let their oregano plants flower and go to seed before cutting them back and harvesting the seeds.
Harvesting oregano right after it blooms will cause the plant to stop producing flowers. In fact, if you cut off all of your oregano blooms at once, they may never flower again. This can be good news if you prefer not to have any more flowers on your plant from that point forward, but it’s bad news if you want more flowers later on in the season (or next year).
Can You Harvest Oregano Too Early?
Oregano can be harvested as soon as it’s about six inches tall, but it will taste better if you wait until the plant is mature and at least 8-10 inches tall.
When harvesting oregano, do not pull up the entire plant. You don’t want to damage its roots; just cut off what you need with scissors or pruners (a small pair of gardening shears works well).
Dry your harvest indoors on a screen or paper towel for two to three days before storing it in an airtight container in a cool location out of direct sunlight.
How to Harvest Oregano
Whether you’re growing oregano outdoors or in a container, the steps to harvest oregano are the same.
Steps for harvesting oregano:
Step 1: Cut off the top one-third of the plant. If you want to harvest leaves from multiple plants, leave them at least 6 inches apart so they don’t touch each other and spread disease.
Step 2: Leave at least 2 inches of stem on your cuttings so they’ll have something to hold onto while rooting in soil and keep them fresh longer.
Storing Oregano After Harvesting
After harvesting your oregano plants, there are several ways to store them in order to maximize their shelf life. If you’re not going to use the herbs immediately, try these methods for storing oregano after harvesting:
Freezing: Freezing is one of the easiest ways to store oregano. Simply wash and dry your leaves or flowers, then place them in freezer bags or containers. You can either freeze the whole plant or remove only the leaves from the stems for freezing.
Oiling: Oiling is another way you can preserve your oregano by placing it in oil or vinegar. The oil will help prevent oxidation and preserve its color while also allowing you to use less herb at once since it won’t need as much water during cooking or drying.
Drying: Drying is a great way to preserve your herbs because it preserves both flavor and color while keeping them ready to use year-round. You can dry your oregano by hanging it upside down in a dark, cool place with good circulation (such as an attic).
So, now that you know how to harvest oregano and when to harvest it, you can get started on your own herb garden. Remember that oregano is easy to grow and will last all year long if cared for properly!