Last week I added Hot & Spicy Oregano to my herb garden and I may never go back to standard Italian Oregano again. If you like a kick of spice in your food (especially chili, tomato sauce, or homemade spicy salsa), this is definitely a must-have herb for your herb garden.
Hot & Spicy Oregano is a perfect blend of standard Italian Oregano and a mild chile pepper. There is definite heat but it’s not overwhelming so it’s great for people that like a little spice. It offers less heat than a jalapeno, just to give you reference. It is a great addition to Mexican or Mexican-inspired dishes.
This herb can thrive in any soil as long as you’re providing proper drainage and it’s not over-watered which easily leads to root rot. It’s very easy to over-water oregano so a general rule is to water it only when the soil is dry to the touch.
I grow mine indoors in a small pot on my herb garden cart. I move it under a bright window during the day and back to the kitchen in the evening so all of my herbs get enough sunlight. It also grows well outdoors but in colder zones, it’ll die to the ground during the winter and resprout in the spring.
Oregano leaves should be harvested frequently, before flower buds form, to keep the plants productive and full. They can be harvested when the stems are at least 4-inches tall although I usually wait until mine are about 6 to 8-inches. I then cut about 1/3 to 1/2 of the stem and leave the rest to regrow. Super easy!
After you’ve harvested your oregano, prepare it for use. Oregano can be used fresh or dried and I prefer to have a little of both on hand. If you plan to try it out, there are a few ways to do it:
- Use a dehydrator. I love this dehydrator. It works well and is able to easily dehydrate herbs, fruit, and even meat! It’s amazing and I’ve never had an issue with mine.
- Hang to dry. After cutting, tie the stems together and hang them in a dry place away from the sun to dry out.
- Dry in the oven. This is my least preferred method but you can also dry your oregano in the oven for 2-3 hours on a cookie sheet on your lowest heat setting. You should leave the oven door open so the herbs dry, not bake.
After drying your herbs, break them down using a mortar and pestle then store in a tightly sealed glass jar.
Basic Facts About Oregano
- Type: Perennial in zones 5 to 9
- Planting time: In the spring, after last frost.
- Light: Full sun to part shade
- Soil: Average, well-drained
- Plant spacing: 24 to 36 inches
- Plant size: 12 to 36 inches tall
If you’ve been thinking about getting started with herb gardening or considering adding oregano to your herb garden, this is a great variety to get started with. It needs very little care (like rosemary), is easy to harvest, and can be grown indoors or out.