Origanum onites

Family: Lamiaceae

Countries: Algeria, Austria, Azores, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Europe, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Himalayas, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Mediterranean, Middle East, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Sicily, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Wales

Origanum onites is one of my favourite plants; its a pretty little thing with a long flowering period; plants bloom over the summer months.  This is a superb plant for a wildlife garden.  Origanum onites plants produce an abundance of these sweet, dainty flowers that are adored by bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and moths.  Commonly known as marjoram, Origanum onites is a culinary and medicinal herb with aromatic leaves that will enhance a wide variety of culinary dishes.

This sub-shrub is happiest growing in sunshine or partial shade.  Plants flower from early summer onwards.  I cut my Origanum onites plants right back to ground level after flowering; this keeps the plants looking their best and encourages new, healthy leaf growth.

Origanum onites thrives in well-drained and free-draining, gritty, sandy, silty, or chalky soils; plants will not grow in soils that are wet or prone to water-logging.  If you have heavy clay soil or garden on wet ground, why not grow Origanum onites in a container?  This is a super plant for pots, containers, and planters.  Plants grow to around 45cm (1.5ft) tall; forming a mound about 45cm (1.5ft) wide.  It’s important to plant Origanum onites in a bright and sunny spot or in partial shade, as these plants won’t do well in deep shade.

I’ve often heard Origanum onites described as being borderline hardy, but I’ve successfully overwintered happy and healthy plants through severe winters in Scotland.  Plants won’t survive the winter, if they’re planted in areas prone to flooding; this is not a plant for wet ground.

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