How To Grow Marjoram

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Marjoram

Growing Marjoram

Marjoram is a perennial herb with an intensely aromatic flavor and wide range of uses in cooking and medicine. Marjoram is especially popular in Mediterranean dishes but can also be used in a variety of other cuisines, including meats, soups, and other sauces. In traditional medicine, marjoram is used to treat indigestion and respiratory issues, as well as improve circulation and reduce stress.

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Cheatsheet: How To Grow Marjoram

🌱 Choose a Sunny Spot

Plant marjoram in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sun per day.

💦 Provide Well-Drained Soil

Ensure the soil drains well to prevent waterlogged roots.

🌱 Start from Seeds or Cuttings

Sow seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost or propagate with cuttings.

🌱 Select the Right Container

Opt for a pot with good drainage, at least 6 inches deep.

🍃 Water Moderately

Water when the top inch of soil feels dry, avoiding overwatering.

🌿 Fertilize Sparingly

Use a balanced, organic fertilizer once a month during the growing season.

🌧️ Protect from Heavy Rain

Shield marjoram from excessive rain or move pots indoors to prevent waterlogging.

🌱 Harvest for Best Flavor

Pluck leaves just before flowering for the most intense taste.

🌬️ Promote Air Circulation

Prune regularly to encourage airflow and deter pests and diseases.

🐝 Attract Beneficial Insects

Marjoram's aromatic flowers attract bees and other pollinators to your garden.

🥗 Incorporate in Culinary Delights

Enhance your dishes with marjoram's delicate, sweet-spicy flavor.

👩‍🍳 Experiment in the Kitchen

Marjoram complements meats, soups, sauces, and vegetable dishes.

🍵 Brew a Soothing Tea

Enjoy a calming and aromatic marjoram tea for relaxation and digestion.

💪 Boost Immunity & Digestion

Marjoram contains antioxidants and supports healthy digestion.

⏳ Preserve for Year-Round Use

Dry or freeze marjoram leaves to savor its flavors all year long.

🌱 Grow Marjoram for Self-Sufficiency

Reduce reliance on store-bought herbs by cultivating your own marjoram at home.

Growing Marjoram: A Gardener’s Delight

Choosing the Right Variety

Marjoram comes in several varieties, but the sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) is my personal favorite. It's known for its rich, yet delicate flavor.

Each type has its own charm, yet all offer that delightful fragrance we adore in our dishes.

Marjoram thrives best in USDA zones 9 and above.

Location and Soil Preparation

An important step in growing marjoram is to choose a sunny spot, as it loves basking in the sun. Eight hours of direct sunlight is ideal.

The soil needs to be well-drained and slightly alkaline. I usually add a bit of lime to raise the pH if needed.

Soil Mix Recipe

  • 50% garden soil
  • 25% fine sand
  • 25% compost

This mix ensures excellent drainage and fertility.

A pH of 6.5 - 7.0 is ideal for marjoram.

Planting Marjoram

Start by sowing seeds indoors about 6-8 weeks before the last frost. This gives them a head start.

Transplant the seedlings into your garden once they reach about 3 inches tall. Space them 12 to 18 inches apart to allow for ample growth.

Planting Tips

  1. Poke small holes in the soil to just cover the seeds, about ¼ inch deep.
  2. Water lightly, just enough to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

Direct sowing is also possible if you are in a warmer climate.

Watering and Feeding

Marjoram is quite drought-tolerant once established, but even so, regular watering ensures lush growth. Aim for moderate watering, avoiding overwatering at any cost.

I usually let the top inch of soil dry out before watering again.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, which will ruin your beloved marjoram.


Marjoram isn’t demanding, but a light feeding with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer once in the growing season can be beneficial.

I prefer organic options like fish emulsion or compost tea.

Harvesting Tips

Here’s where the fun begins! You can start harvesting once the plants are about 6 inches tall.

I recommend doing your first harvest by cutting stems just above a set of leaves, which encourages the plant to branch out and become bushier.

Regular trimming also prevents marjoram from becoming too woody.

Harvesting in the morning preserves the essential oils better.

Pest and Disease Management

Marjoram is generally pest-resistant, but keep an eye out for aphids and spider mites.

If detected, spraying them off with a hose or using an insecticidal soap can keep the problem in check.

Powdery mildew is another foe. I ensure good air circulation and avoid overhead watering to mitigate mildew issues.

Healthy marjoram plants are less likely to succumb to pests and diseases.

Preserving Your Harvest

Once harvested, you can use your marjoram fresh, but it's equally delightful dried.

To dry marjoram, bundle and hang it upside down in a dark, airy place. This retains its flavor and aroma quite well.

Marjoram’s flavor can be stored through freezing as well. I often chop and freeze it in an ice cube tray with a bit of water or olive oil.

Dried marjoram can retain its flavor for up to a year when stored properly.

Growing marjoram has been a consistently rewarding experience for me. Its delightful fragrance and myriad culinary uses make it an invaluable addition to any garden.


1. How do I grow marjoram?

To grow marjoram, plant seeds or young plants in well-draining soil. Ensure it gets full sun and water moderately.

2. When should I plant marjoram seeds?

Plant marjoram seeds in the spring after the last frost date.

3. Can I grow marjoram indoors?

Yes, marjoram can be grown indoors. Ensure it receives at least 6 hours of sunlight or use grow lights.

4. How often should I water my marjoram?

Water marjoram *sparingly* as it prefers slightly dry conditions. *Do not overwater*.

5. Should I fertilize my marjoram?

Fertilize marjoram *moderately* during the growing season using an all-purpose organic fertilizer.

6. Can I use marjoram leaves in cooking?

Yes, marjoram leaves have a *pleasant flavor* and are great for enhancing the taste of various dishes.

7. How do I harvest marjoram?

Harvest marjoram by *snipping* the stems just above a leaf node. Avoid cutting too much at once.

8. How can I dry marjoram for later use?

To dry marjoram, tie small bunches together and hang them in a warm, dry location until they are fully dried.

9. Can I propagate marjoram from cuttings?

Yes, marjoram can be propagated from *softwood* or *semi-hardwood* cuttings.

10. Are there any pests or diseases that affect marjoram?

Marjoram is generally *resistant* to pests and diseases. However, it may occasionally face issues like aphids or powdery mildew.

Marjoram is an extremely versatile herb that can add flavor to a variety of dishes. It has a slightly sweet, spicy and fruity flavor and can be added to savory dishes such as soups, stews and salads, as well as to sweet desserts. Growing Marjoram is very easy - it just needs a sunny spot and some regular watering. The herb can be harvested throughout the growing season and preserves easily for extended use. Growing Marjoram gives you a consistent supply of delicious and healthy ingredients to use in your cooking.

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