Growing Greek Oregano Hot and Spicy in Northeast Florida Herb Gardens
(Origanum vulgare Hirtum ‘Hot and Spicy’)
Uses and Origins for Greek Oregano Herb Plants / Origanum vulgare ‘Hot and Spicy’ For Northeast Florida:
Oregano herb plants are natives of the Mediterranean regions. Oregano has been grown and cultivated for many years for culinary and medicinal uses. Many forms or varieties are available today, each with their own unique characteristics and common uses.
Greek Oregano ‘Hot and Spicy’ is a selected cultivar of the culinary Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare Hirtum) plant propagated for its unusual pungency and subtle heat.
A newer selection that is gaining popularity, Hot and Spicy Oregano is the perfect selection for use in Spanish and Mexican dishes. Use with vegetable and meat dishes, or add to herb breads for a wonderful added kick. Great choice of Oregano for traditional Spanish black bean dishes.
Remember, like all Oreganos it looses its potency when cooking so add it in the last few minutes!
Growing Season for Northeast Florida Greek Oregano Hot and Spicy:
Culinary Greek Oregano herb plant Hot and Spicy will grow year round in out mild Northeast Florida Climate. Plant any time in spring, summer or fall from an S & J nursery container.
Sun Exposure for Greek Oregano in Northeast Florida:
Plant Greek Oregano in a full sun to partially shaded area in he Jacksonville and St. Augustine area gardens.
When planting Greek Oregano on a porch, patio, or as an indoor house plant, place them in a location to receive at least 6 hours of light each day.
Soil Preference for Greek Oregano ‘Hot and Spicy’ Herb Plants / Origanum vulgare subs. hirtum / Origanum vulgare heracleoticum:
Greek Oregano Hot and Spicy herb plants do not require extremely fertile or moist soils to grow and thrive. But Florida’s sandy soils will still benefit from amending the soil with a good quality compost when planting.
Avoid using cow manure or Milorganite as these will help the soil to retain moisture and Oregano prefers it a bit on the dry side.
In Northeast Florida, unless you have a sandy garden spot, planting oregano in dry soils may prove to be a bit difficult during our rainy seasons. If planting your Hot and Spicy oregano herbs into the ground consider adding some sand to areas where water will stand after rains, or planting your oregano into raised beds, elevated mounds, or containers.
Hot and Spicy Oregano makes an ideal container garden herb as it does not mind drying out and needs only a 12 inch space for its root system to develop and mature.
Water and Fertilizer Requirements of Greek Oregano Hot and Spicy Herb Plants / Origanum vulgare ‘ Hot and Spicy:
Hot and Spicy herb plants do not require heavy watering, they tend to like the soil a bit on the dry side. Weekly watering for in ground plants and weekly to biweekly for raised bed or contained plantings should be sufficient for the Jacksonville and St. Augustine are landscape.
In general, herbs require little in the way of fertilizer. To much fertilizer with herbs can be worse than not enough. Over fertiliztion can lead to lush green growth with a reduced quantity of volatile oils in the leaves. Reduced oils, means reduced flavor and aroma in your herbs.
However, in Florida’s sandy soils you may find your plants in some need of som help, particularly if compost wasnt added to the soil when planting. Try fertilizing with a mixture of fish emulsions and seaweed at one ounce of each per gallon of water. Put into a sprayer and water every other week or as needed with the mixed solution.
If you find your plant struggling at any point, make up a batch of compost tea and water generously. Repeat as needed weekly or biweekly.
Size of Greek Oregano Hot and Spicy Herb Plants / Origanum vulgare ‘Hot and Spicy’ When Mature:
The size on a Greek Oregano Hot and Spicy plants will generally remain around 6-12 inches when being harvested frequently for use, but when left unpruned can grow to over two foot tall when in bloom. Expect Greek Oregano Hot and Spicy to reach maturity in its second or third year in the landscape and have up to an 18 inch spread.
Greek Oregano does not like to be crowded and will do best with at least a 12-18 inch garden spacing here in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area landscape.
Sowing Greek Oregano Hot and Spicy Herb Plants / Origanum vulgare ‘Hot and Spicy’ Seeds into Northeast Florida Soils:
Oregano seeds germinate easily, but can vary in growth, leaf color, flavor, and smell from the original mother plant. They can be directly sown right into their final location in the garden, or planted into pots indoors during late winter and transplanted into the garden after all danger of frost has passed.
Sow your seeds 1/4 th of an inch below the soil surface and remember to thin them to at least one plant every six inches or more in a row.
Note: Culinary Greek Oregano Hot and Spicy is a specific selection of Origanum vulgare and should be propagated by divisions of existing plants rather than seeds in order to ensure that your plants don’t loose the intended characteristics of the mother plant.
Harvesting Culinary Greek Oregano Hot and Spicy Herb Plants / Origanum vulgare Hot and Spicy in the Northeast Florida Landscape:
Greek Oregano Hot and Spicy can be cut and harvested at any time during the growing season.
When growing Greek oregano Hot and Spicy for culinary use, be sure to harvest the stems in order to remove those tasty leaves. Trim when the plant’s stems begin to elongate and flowers are beginning to form, that is when the flavor is said to be at its best.
Fresh Oregano can be placed into a plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
Oregano herbs retain good flavor when dried. Store in an airtight container in a dark place for up to 6 months for the best results.
Blooms and Seeds of Oregano Herbs for Northeast Florida Landscape:
Greek Oregano Hot and Spicy will have small, white flowers in summer if left unharvested.
Oregano seeds are tiny, round tear shaped and tan in color.