A good companion plant, improving the flavour of nearby plants. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion for the cucumber family, it is beneficial to all nearby plants. The whole plant has a sweet yet slightly peppery aroma.
The plant repels ants. The growing plant repels many insect pests so it is a good plant to grow in the vegetable area.
A useful ground cover for sunny positions, forming a slowly spreading clump. Plants should be spaced about 30cm apart each way.
An essential oil from the plant is used as a food flavouring, in soaps and perfumery. The plant was formerly used as a strewing herb.
Oregano has been used as a culinary and medicinal herb for thousands of years. It has a beneficial effect upon the digestive and respiratory systems and is also used to promote menstruation. It should not be used medicinally by pregnant women though it is perfectly safe in small amounts for culinary purposes.
This plant is one of the best natural antiseptics because of its high thymol content.
Requires a rather dry, warm, well-drained soil in full sun, but is not fussy as to soil type, thriving on chalk. Prefers slightly alkaline conditions. Tolerates poor soils. Dislikes wet soils.
Hardy to about -20°c.
Sow early spring at 10 - 13°c and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.
The seed can also be sown in situ in late spring.