SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 948
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:21 am
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Why I love Oregano in the garden.

This is why I love having oregano in the garden, I interplant oregano in a lot of my beds, Bees everywhere, I literally walk through the oregano brushing up against the bees and they could care less.



imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11812
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

Beautiful. I can get marjoram and Jamaican oregano to bloom, but Greek and Italian oregano rarely bloom for me.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

Nice! But I notice they are bumblebees. Have you seen honeybees? I am seeing very few, even though I have nectar flowers and a lawn full of white clover.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11812
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

I am guessing but it may be related to the type of flower. I have a variety of flowering herbs and flowers growing to attract beneficial insects. I don't have oregano, but I do know that honey bees have short tongues and cannot reach the nectar in deep throated flowers. They prefer small relatively flat flowers or funnel shaped flowers with a wide throat. There are no bumble bees here, we do have carpenter bees. The carpenter bees like the purple flowers of verbena and lavender. They also have a habit of cutting through the side of flowers like honeysuckle to get to the nectar.

Honey bees like sunflower and other composite flowers like asters, single zinnia, single marigolds, and calendula. Shiso, hibiscus, fennel, dill, basil, alliums, honeysuckle, citrus, avocado and other flowering shrubs and vines are visited regularly.
The honeybees visit a single source until it is exhausted, so they visit my basil year round because I allow my basils to bloom year round. They usually don't hop to another source once they have found one too often. They do like corn and palm pollen though. Often it is a case where the bees have to locate the source. They can travel up to 5 miles to find food but they would rather exploit a source nearby. We also have hives and 30 acres for them to forage so they stay close to home. Although, they do visit home depot next door.

I have alyssum, honeysuckle, and penta and I see bees on them all of the time, while others have said they don't see bees on those flowers. The nectar on alyssum and penta are hard for the short tongued honey bees to get to and they are more suited to the longer tongued carpenter bees and butterflies. They will still visit to harvest pollen.

I have also noticed that the carpenter bees and honeybees may forage in the same area, they usually don't forage together on the same plant at the same time. Carpenter bees and honey bees usually don't visit sunflowers at the same time but they may visit minutes apart.

In some places honey bees either have swarmed or are getting ready to kick out the drones and cluster. There will be fewer bees during winter and cold and rain will keep them in the hive. They will only go out to forage on nice sunny days if there is forage available.

Our bees have forage year round so their cluster does not get as small as other beekeepers with less winter forage and we do not usually have to feed our bees even though we will rob them of all but two full frames of honey. The reason for this is because the 30 acre garden will normally have something in bloom they can forage on when it isn't raining. Rain and strong winds do cause problems because then they cannot fly and stay in the hives and eat honey. Strong hives will rob weak ones and if the honey runs out, they will all starve together.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Vanisle_BC
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1044
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:02 pm
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

Why I don't love Oregano in the garden! Well, actually I do but I don't like the way it spreads and can choke out other plants. The bees don't miss it if they have my lavender to buzz around in at high volume. Last couple of years the honey bees were almost totally absent and the bumbles had it to themselves but I'm happy to see the honey bees are back, though maybe not (yet?) fully up to their previous numbers. I wonder if some neighbor had a hive that collapsed but is reinstated.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11812
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

Here for a while in 2011 nearly all of the honeybees disappeared after varoa mites were found. I went from a been an inch to 1 bee. Beekeeping is on the rise and there are more managed hives. Farms are keeping hives to pollinate their crops and there is a resurgence in backyard beekeeping. I heard that most of the feral bees did die and many of the solitary bees too. The local bee used to forage alongside the honey bees, but I have not seen them since 2011.

Most of the "wild" bees came from swarms from managed colonies. The bees are more docile. However, since only the managed hives are being treated for varoa mites and hive beetles, they will be the ones that ultimately survive.

We have a lot of people interested in beekeeping, but we try to tell them instead of getting hives, especially in the city and suburban areas, to grow flowers with nectar and pollen to feed bees and other beneficial insects and not to use pesticides. There is a number to call if someone sees a swarm in an accessible place, then a beekeeper will try to come out and collect it to save it. Once it has been sprayed with bug killer or has decided to set up housekeeping, then the only choice is usually to have to kill the hive and that is usually expensive and there are a few licensed pros to do that.

There are a lot of different kinds of bees and many of them are solitary and do not live communally. Many of the western plants like squash, nuts, fruits, cucumbers, melons would be harder to grow without pollinators.

You must have a good place to grow oregano, while mine does spread, it is not very aggressive and is not a problem. Mint and gotu kola on the other hand are very aggressive and hard to kill.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
Gary350
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5586
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

My oregano never looks as good as yours. I have trouble keeping oregano alive not sure what I am doing wrong. When I lived in Arizona oregano did good in 114 degree hot summer weather but it got irrigation water every day. I never water my TN garden I let mother nature do that, maybe that is why my oregano dies. I saw no honey bees this summer and not many bumble bees.

ElizabethA
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:53 pm

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

I always had great luck with oregano! It's hardy and you can pretty much ignore it once the plant is established. The pests seem to leave it alone once established.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11812
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

Good for you. I can keep it a pot for a while, but it is not a forever plant for me.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
TomatoNut95
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1809
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 11:11 am
Location: Texas Zone 8

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

I wish I could grow more herbs. But herbs are rather difficult for me to grow except for basil. As of now though I have garlic and onion chives and a small Rosemary bush. I love that fresh rosemary on pasta and pizza. Also am fond of oregano, but have never owned a plant. Is it perennial? What's the lowest temperature it will tolerate?

Vanisle_BC
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1044
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:02 pm
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

In my zone - call it your PNW - Oregano grows like a weed, and a fairly invasive one at that. It's a perennial & spreads by both underground runners and seeds. It certainty survives well below freezing but I don't know how far below. We can get close to 100F in summer so I thought it would thrive almost anywhere.

Rosemary on the other hand is slightly tender here, especially some varieties. The one called Arp is said to be hardy but I find it may need to be protected. Having one or two potted plants, under cover in winter, is a good strategy.
Last edited by Vanisle_BC on Sat Jan 23, 2021 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11812
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

Herbs should be easy to grow. My mom can grow sage, oregano and basil well. She lives seven miles away but she lives in a warmer (4-9 degrees warmer), part of the island that is closer to sea level and on the leeward dry side. I live uphill where it is cooler and wetter. I struggle more with the gray leafed herbs that like drier conditions. I grow a lot of different herbs in containers as well as in the ground.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

ElizabethA
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:53 pm

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

Herbs and potatoes seem to be the least picky about soil conditions! I have good luck with all the herbs I've tried growing - even in fairly poor soil. Potatoes try to take over my entire garden! It's a battle to keep them growing in their place!

Vanisle_BC
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1044
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:02 pm
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

ElizabethA wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:50 pm
Potatoes try to take over my entire garden! It's a battle to keep them growing in their place!
I stopped putting potato peel in my compost pile for that reason. It seldom gets hot enough to kill whatever's in there and it's amazing how a tiny piece of potato will turn into a growing plant. Tho only things I know of in the same league are little pieces of grape stem and 1/2" fragments of Comfrey root.

pepperhead212
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

Oregano was like the spearmint, when I grew it many years ago - it wanted to totally take over the herb bed I have out there! If I had liked it I would have transferred it to my mint bed - a large area totally surrounded by concrete, so it can't take over my entire yard! I really wasn't that crazy about fresh oregano - it doesn't have a totally unique flavor that is lost, when dried, like many fresh herbs, and drying it totally intensifies the flavor. I do like sweet marjoram, and Syrian oregano, a.k.a. Thyme-scented oregano. This is a much easier way to get the flavor of thyme, than stripping those tiny thyme leaves, and this dries well, and strips well, fresh or dried.
Dave

Nyan
Senior Member
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:44 pm
Location: North Alabama Zone 7B

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

I have a little patch of German Oregano that has been growing for nearly 20 years in the same spot, under and beside a portable chicken house. (haven't moved that thing in a while heh, heh) Maybe I should say beside a small shed...

It is always thick, but does suffer when we hit the high summer months, if not watered. It gets absolutely no care ever, which may be what it likes.

Haven't had problems with it spreading as it is bound on one side by a lack of sun, another side by a very thick patch of native violets, and on the rest of the area has wild black cherry and sassafras trees shading and pulling the water/nutrients out of the ground.

I really should use it more, or at least find out if "German" oregano is actually a different variety, renamed as German by whoever I got it from...

User avatar
TomatoNut95
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1809
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 11:11 am
Location: Texas Zone 8

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

This year I purchased a Greek Oregano plant because it was the only kind of oregano plant they offered.
Is there a taste difference between Greek oregano and the dried McCormick oregano powder you buy in the store?

pepperhead212
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

That is a possibility; out of curiosity, I looked up oregano at Richter's Herbs - if there's an herb you're looking for, they probably have it! They have 16 varieties of oregano, but no German oregano. Maybe someone was thinking of German thyme, when they named it, though I always wondered where that name came from.
Dave

Nyan
Senior Member
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:44 pm
Location: North Alabama Zone 7B

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

Could be, I know when I DuckDuckGo searched, German oregano came up as one of the suggestions, but I never saw anything actually named that in the results.

Here is a picture of the little patch that I have had growing for years. Maybe someone can tell me what kind of oregano it could be?
german oregano 3-21-21.JPG

pepperhead212
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

All of them look pretty much alike, at least the ones that I've seen. And that looks like them in the beginning of the season.
Dave

Nyan
Senior Member
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:44 pm
Location: North Alabama Zone 7B

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

pepperhead212 wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:39 pm
All of them look pretty much alike, at least the ones that I've seen. And that looks like them in the beginning of the season.
Hmm.. I guess since it smells like oregano, I'll have to start using it regardless of what variety it is... Cool!

User avatar
RASelkirk
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: SETX, zone 9b

Re: Why I love Oregano in the garden.

I had Italian oregano for years, finally ripped it out as we never used much. It was prolific, but took up too much room in my (four) 3' x 4' above-ground planters...

Russ



Return to “Herb Gardening Forum”