ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GROW AND CARE MEXICAN OREGANO

ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GROW AND CARE MEXICAN OREGANO

LIPPIA GRAVEOLENS

Upon seeing the title of this guide, you might be thinking,”What are Mexican oregano and Mexican oregano seeds?

There are dozens of plants, worldwide, that have some type of “oregano” including Cuban oregano in their common names, but we are thinking you meant Origanum vulgare.

In this guide, however, we are going to be referring to Lippia graveolens, a plant that’s linked to verbena and is native to the southwestern US, Mexico, and Central America.

Given its heritage, you won’t be surprised to learn it’s cold tolerant only to about 30°F, thriving year-round outdoors in Zones 9-11.

If temperatures do get down around freezing in warmer zones, the normally evergreen plant may lose its leaves but will likely come roaring back in spring. Elsewhere, it may be grown as an annual, or brought indoors in the winter.

WHAT IS MEXICAN OREGANO?

Mexican Oregano
Image by ariesa66 from Pixabay

We have also seen Mexican oregano plant referred to as blossom lippia, oregano cimarrón, Sonoron oregano, hierba dulce, redbrush lippia, scented matgrass, and Puerto Rican oregano.

There are just two other plants commonly known as”Mexican oregano,” Poliomintha longiflora and Monarda fistulosa var.

Poliomintha longiflora  picture
Poliomintha longiflora 
Picture of Monarda fistulosa var
Monarda fistulosa var

Mexican oregano plant’s nectar is attractive to bees and butterflies if allowed to blossom, and birds appreciate its own seeds.

Its flavor is described as becoming stronger and more earthy and some say it’s a citrusy taste.

Unsurprisingly, used fresh or dried, it matches nicely with the tastes of Latin American cuisine.

L. graveolens is a rather unruly, woody shrub that may grow to a height of five feet with a spread of about the same. It could live for five to 10 years.

The plant produces small fuzzy leaves, and clusters of small, fragrant white or yellow blossoms.

It has been used medicinally to treat stomachaches, bronchitis, asthma, and anxiety. The herb is also said to relieve distress.

PROPAGATION

Mexican Oregano Propagation

It’s easy to begin growing Mexican oregano — and you have loads of propagation choices.

The simplest approach is to purchase seedlings but it may also be grown from seed, cuttings, or division.

If you’re starting seeds indoors, plant them 1/4 inch deep into seed trays or peat pots in a quality seed starting mix. It is possible to plant 2-5 of those seeds in each hole. Place in a sunny location and water uniformly. The seeds will germinate in two to four weeks.

All chance of frost has passed and If the seedlings have 5 or 4 true leaves, transplant them into a sunny spot in the backyard with soil.

If you are planning to grow oregano in containers, you will require a pot at least 12 inches deep and wide.

You can also watch the video of Mexican Oregano propogation below-

FROM CUTTINGS

With a clear knife or other cutting implements, cut an 8-inch stalk of softwood. Remove of the leaves.

When they’re at their best it’s ideal to collect cuttings in the daytime, before the heat of the day sets in and plants become stressed.

Dip the end of the cut stem into a powdered rooting hormone, and then place the stem into a kettle with a combination of sand and then peat.

Water as needed also to avoid the leaves, and to maintain the soil mixture moist but not waterlogged. Keep it in a place that is sheltered or indoors. After one to two weeks, when the roots are still an inch long, it’ll be ready to transplant.

BY DIVISION

In the event that you or a friend have a proven L. graveolens growing in the garden, it’s quite easy to split.

In the first spring, dig the plant up (or remove it out of its container) and cut it in half through the root ball. Plant branches 12 inches apart.

If you are growing Mexican oregano it’s suggested that you divide the plant. See our manual to dividing perennials to learn more.

HOW TO GROW

L. graveolens prefers full sun but it can tolerate some shade. It prefers loamy, sandy, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0

Mexican Oregano- How to grow!
Image by max3-2-1 from Pixabay

Incorporate a tiny compost into the ground, but take care to not over-fertilize this plant. If you feel some fertilization is in order, apply a 3-2-3 (NPK) mix.

If you’re growing in Zone 10 or higher, then you’re going to want to prune your plants down to one to two feet tall at the fall to encourage fresh growth in the spring.

They need deep watering, only occasional once your plants are established. When the soil is dry in the winter, water. This herb is drought tolerant, but in the case of long dry spells, it is going to lose its leaves.

It is possible to grow this plant in a container and overwinter it inside, if you live north of Zone 9. Or you may grow it.

GROWING TIPS

  • Incorporate some compost into the Developing website before planting
  • Give these plants lots of space as they can grow quite large
  • Be careful not to overwater, as Mexican oregano doesn’t like wet feet

WHERE CAN I BUY MEXICAN OREGANO SEEDS

If you would like to include L. graveolens for your herb garden, seedlings are available from nurseries and garden centers.

You can also purchase Mexican Oregano Seeds from Amazon, they are giving you huge discount.

MANAGING PESTS AND DISEASE

While this plant is not usually plagued with any pest or disease Issues, there are a few to keep an eye out for:

PESTS

Aphids, leaf miners, or spider mites with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

You may see white flies, which may be controlled with sticky traps or insecticidal soap.

Insecticidal soap can also be great for combating mealybugs, which may pester your L. graveolens plants too.

DISEASE

To ascertain whether a plant suffering from root rot is salvageable, you are going to need to pull it up and assess the damage.

In the event the entire root system is a soggy, rotten mess, then you are mostly likely out of luck and you’ll need to toss the plant.

Cut away the awful things if, on the other hand, you find some roots and replant in a place with drainage.

Prevent root decay by ensuring the planting area drains well and taking care not to over-irrigate.

HARVESTING AND PRESERVING

Harvesting and preserving of mexican oregano

If your plant has reached at least 2 feet tall, then start harvesting L. graveolens as you wish for flavoring dishes. Pluck the leaves as required. Or you strip the leaves and can cut a stem.

If you are in a place that freezes, pull the bush before the first frost, divide the branches, and hang them upside down in a dark place to dry. Ensure there’s lots of air circulation.

Alternately, individual put on trays on your food dehydrator to dry or stalks or leaves with leaves can be put in the sun.

They’re dry enough to store in tight bags, when the leaves crumble. You can get rid of the leaves or shop entire stalks. Store the bags in a cool, dry location.

COOKING IDEAS

I mentioned above that oregano is used in regional cooking, but do not stop there. Look at utilizing this seasoning in foods such as tomato sauces or meatballs, as well.

ADD A TASTE OF LATIN AMERICA TO YOUR GARDEN

Our southernmost buddies can enjoy this aromatic herb while some of us will have to be content with a summer bounty, or an supply.

In any event, it’s a plant to grow — all it requires is not, and a place with soil that is fertile too much water.

Have you ever heard of oregano? Are you thinking about adding it? Share your ideas in the comments below and Do check out other articles on The Serene Garden.

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