Marjoram - Seeds
To the ancient Greeks, marjoram was the herb of marital bliss. Thought to be a favorite of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, it was woven into garlands that brides and grooms wore on their heads. Also according to ancient folklore, sleeping with a bit of marjoram tucked under your pillow was supposed to promote dreams of true love. And before the Middle Ages, many people believed that planting marjoram on graves helped assure the happiness of departed loved ones.
Marjoram is not considered an important medicinal herb, but a tea brewed from its leaves may help with indigestion, headache or stress.
Common name: Knotted marjoram, Oregano, Pot marjoram, Rigani, Spanich oregano, Sweet marjoram, Wild marjoram.
Height: Up to 2 feet.
Difficulty level: Easy
Planting & Care
Seeds are quite small and are best started indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost date. Place plants about 6 to 8 inches apart or in several clumps of two or three plants set 12 to 14 inches apart. Six to ten plants will supply a household s normal use.
Sunlight: full sun
Soil: well-drained soil with a pH between 6.7 and 7.0
Water: Water the plants during extended dry spells, but be sure not to over-water, as sweet marjoram likes a slightly dry climate.
Fertilizer: Adding a slow-release fertilizer to the soil at or before planting. Continue to fertilize throughout the growing season with Bonnie Herb.
- Although marjoram plants are tender perennials, they are typically treated as annuals as freezing temperatures will cause serious injury or death to the plants.
- When growing marjoram plants, it’s generally best to start the seeds indoors during late winter or early spring.
- Push seeds just below the soil surface.
- Seedlings can be transplanted outdoors once all threat of frost has passed.
- Marjoram should be located in areas receiving full sun with light, well-drained soil.
- Likewise, marjoram plants can be grown in containers indoors and treated as house plants.
Harvesting: When flowers appear, cut the plants to several inches above the soil line. Cut again later in the season when more flower heads form. Use leaves fresh and dry them for winter use. To dry, tie the stems together and hang bunches upside down in a ventilated, dark area. Leaves dry quickly and retain their flavour well. After drying, crush the leaves, toss out the stems, and store in airtight containers.
- Keep the soil slightly moist around plants.
- Try to cultivate often to prevent weed competition and aerate the soil.
- Add 1 inch of compost in a 12-inch circle around the plants after each harvest to nourish them.
- Sweet marjoram, used lightly at the end of the cooking process, adds a nice, mellow flavour to vegetables such as spinach, beans, peas, and carrots.
- It is good in salads and herbed butters, as well as in vinaigrettes.