Are you planning to grow oregano in your garden but you’ve heard that it may become invasive and now you have doubts? We’ll cover this aspect and more about oregano in this article.
Oregano, scientifically known as Origanum vulgare, is a popular herb known for its flavorful leaves and medicinal properties. It is a hardy perennial plant that is native to Mediterranean regions and is widely cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Oregano is commonly grown in gardens and is a popular herb used in many different cuisines, including Italian, Greek, and Mexican. However, some people have raised concerns about its invasiveness. So, is oregano invasive?
First of all, it is important to mention that oregano belongs to the botanical family of Lamiaceae, which is generally known as “the mint family.” Other well-known plants from the same family include mint, basil, dead nettle, thyme, rosemary, catnip, ground-ivy, sage, and numerous more.
Many of these plants are well known for their invasiveness. A few good examples of these highly intrusive plants are mint, purple deadnettle, ground-ivy, basil, etc.
Because oregano shares the same family with many of these potentially invasive plants, it is frequently viewed as an invasive plant also. But is it?
Is Oregano Invasive?
In general, oregano is not considered invasive in most areas. However, it can become invasive in certain conditions.
Oregano is a very adaptable herb. Not only it is a perennial plant that returns year after year, but it is also remarkably hardy and can thrive in a wide range of soil types, being tolerant to both dry and moist conditions.
Another factor that can contribute to oregano’s invasiveness is the way it reproduces. Oregano multiplies both by seeds, through underground runners (rhizomes), and by rooting at the leaf nodes. This allows it to spread quickly, and it can be difficult to control once it gets established.
If left unchecked, oregano can spread rapidly and take over a garden or wild area. This is particularly true if the plant is grown in an area with a suitable climate and soil.
To prevent oregano from becoming invasive, it’s important to keep it in check by regularly pruning and preventing it from going to seed by removing the flowers before they bloom. Here are several ways you can use oregano flowers.
You can also consider planting oregano in containers or raised beds to keep it from spreading out of control in your garden.
In conclusion, although oregano is not considered an extremely invasive plant, it has invasive potential when it is left to grow uncontrolled and when it has the proper conditions.
If you are still afraid that this plant will multiply uncontrollably in your garden, but you still want to grow your own oregano plants to have access to a source of fresh, aromatic leaves for your dishes, then the safest thing to do is to grow it in a container and make sure you don’t allow its seeds to be scattered by the wind.