Marjoram / Origanum majorana: Medicinal plant and also can be used as salad dressings

Marjoram / Origanum majorana: Medicinal plant and also can be used as salad dressings
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Image Source: SKsiddhartthan / CC BY-SA (Image Cropped)

They are perennial tender herbs grown for its leaves which is commonly used for cooking. They can be herbaceous or woody. They produce pink or purple flowers. Marjoram is commonly used for salad dressings in fresh as well as dried format. It is known for its aroma.

Quick Details of Origanum majorana

Other Common NamesMarjoram, pot marjoram, sweet marjoram
TypeOutdoor herb
MaintenanceLow
FloweringLate spring
LightBright direct light
WaterRegular watering
TemperatureCan survive the harsh climate up to an extent
SoilAny well-drained potting soil
FertilizerOnly organic fertilizers
HabitatMediterranean
ToxicityNo
Common DiseasesMostly resistant to diseases
Scientific name Origanum majorana

Origanum majorana Buying Instructions

  • Buy a healthy plant.
  • Rub a leave with your hands and you should able to feel the aroma.
  • Do not buy very old plant.

Overview of Origanum majorana

They are perennial herbs grown mostly for their leaves. They are a native to the mediterranean region and belong to the family lamiaceae. The leaves are aromatic and ovate shaped with entire margins. The leaves have numerous hairs in them making them smooth to touch. They can grow up to a height of 1-2 feet.

Special features:

It is used as an herb and a spice. The essential oil obtained from the leaves are said to have many phytochemicals.

Usage and Advantage of Origanum majorana

  • The plant is used as a herb. The flowers and leaves are mostly used for medicinal purposes.
  • The leaves and oil are used for flavoring the food.
  • The oil is also used in the cosmetic industry to add fragrance to soaps, lotions and perfumes.
  • The plant is also used in treating runny nose, coughs, cold, digestive problems
  • Used in herbal tea.

General Care for Origanum majorana

Soil: They require a rich well drained soil. Grit or compost can be added to increase the drainage of the soil. They prefer humus rich alkaline or neutral soil.

Watering: The plants are drought resistant and like dry soil. Water only when the soil is dry. Young saplings should be watered regularly till they grow and establish.

Sunlight: They prefer direct bright sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. The plants should be shifted indoors once the climate is cold or during the start of winter.

Pruning: The plants can be regularly pruned to have a healthy growth. The tips of the plants can be pinched off regularly to have a bushier growth.

Fertilizer: Normally do require fertilizer but its you can use organic fertilizers during growth periods (October to January)

Pests and other problems for Origanum majorana

They are mostly resistant to diseases if grown in a favourable environment.

The plants are mostly attacked by pests like aphids’ mites, cutworm, thrips etc. They can be controlled by spraying the plant with any pesticide or by hose watering the plant once in a while.

Mint rust: Caused due to puccinia menthae. The symptoms include small dusty bright yellow or brown pustules on the underside of the leaves. The new shoots become pale and leaves fall off from the plant.

Control:  The infected leaves or the plants should be removed to prevent the spread of infection. In severe cases it can be controlled by spraying neem oil or fungicides.

Over watering can damage the roots so avoid over watering.

Propagation of Origanum majorana

Seeds: Mostly propagated through seeds. The seeds can be sown indoors mid-February or march. The soil should be kept moist till the seedlings appear. The seedlings can further be transplanted to another pot or to the ground and grown outdoors or placed indoors with ample amount of direct sunlight. The seedlings can be transplanted after 6 to 7 weeks.

Layering: A branch is selected a small cut is made and is covered with soil. The branch develops roots and can be cut from the mother plant and planted separately.

Cutting: A 20 cm long stem is cut from a healthy plant. The base of the cutting should preferably be woody. The top part (around 4-6 cm) can be pinched off to promote branching. The cutting is placed in soil and watered regularly till the roots appear.

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