Origanum vulgare 'Variegatum'
Variegated Oregano foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 12 inches
Spacing: 16 inches
Hardiness Zone: 4a
Other Names: Variegated Marjoram, O. vulgare Variegata
Grown primarily for culinary use and noted for great flavor; white to pink flowers in mid summer; leaves have creamy white margins adding visual interest in the garden or containers;
Variegated Oregano is a perennial herb that is commonly grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. The fragrant oval green leaves with distinctive creamy white edges which emerge chartreuse in spring are usually harvested from late spring to mid summer. The leaves have a spicy taste and a distinctive fragrance.
The leaves are most often used in the following ways:
Features & Attributes
Variegated Oregano's attractive small fragrant oval leaves emerge chartreuse in spring, turning green in color with distinctive creamy white edges the rest of the year. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.
This is an herbaceous evergreen perennial herb with a mounded form. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect. This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Aside from its primary use as an edible, Variegated Oregano is sutiable for the following landscape applications;
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Herb Gardens
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Variegated Oregano will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 16 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years.
This plant is quite ornamental as well as edible, and is as much at home in a landscape or flower garden as it is in a designated herb garden. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Variegated Oregano is a good choice for the edible garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a canvas of foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.