If you cook, particularly if you cook a lot of Italian food, then you probably use oregano. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying dried oregano, sometimes it’s nice to use the fresh stuff. And the thing about buying the fresh stuff, as always, is that whatever you don’t immediately use will probably end up in the trash.
Stop wasting that grocery money and put that green thumb to work.
There are two varieties of oregano: common and Greek. Since you want to use your oregano for cooking, many sites, including Almanac.com, recommend you plant the Greek variety, which is zestier and more flavorful.
Apartment dwellers and anyone who doesn’t have access to any outdoor spaces that they can turn into gardens should not be deterred from trying to grow their own oregano simply because the herb needs a lot of sun to thrive. It’s possible to grow indoors.
You can buy seeds, though results may be a bit unpredictable and growing from seed will take longer than if you use cuttings from an existing plant. Try to go with cuttings if you're anxious to see results sooner rather than later.
Water your oregano plant once a week. That ought to be enough. Make sure the soil is evenly damp. Almanac.com says that because it doesn’t need as much water as other herbs, you can water it every time the soil feels dry. “Remember that it's better to water thoroughly and less often.”
Your plant needs about six hours of sunshine. And if you live in a place where you don’t have the best of sun exposure, you can supplement that sunshine with artificial plant lighting. You don’t want to overwhelm your plant with sunshine (or artificial plant light), however, so if the edges of the leaves go brown, ease it up! You’re not cooking with it just yet! While you’re at it, rotate the plant every few days or at least once a week so it gets an even dose of sunlight.
Guide to Houseplants recommends that you harvest leaves once when the plant reaches 6 inches in height. When you cut off the stems leave at least 2 inches of growth above the soil. Always cut the stems, and then strip off the leaves for your culinary needs. The site also recommends that you pick leaves early in the morning because those have the best flavor. “That's when their oil concentration is strongest. You'll also get the best flavor by harvesting leaves before the plant starts to flower,” the guide adds.