How to Grow Sweet Marjoram
Sweet and aromatic, marjoram is valued for its culinary use. It is an easy plant to grow indoors or outdoors and makes an excellent addition to your herb garden. A member of the mint family, marjoram has grayish green leaves, small clustered white flowers, and grows 1-2 feet tall. In warm climates it can be a perennial; in colder climates, it is an annual.
Why Plant Marjoram?
Besides its culinary uses, marjoram also is valuable in the garden because it attracts beneficial insects and butterflies. It is a hardy plant that can grow in all types of soils and doesn’t need a lot of watering. No finickiness here! It is a great plant for beginner gardeners.
Five Steps of Growing Sweet Marjoram
Step One – Plant Indoors or Outdoors
Six to eight weeks before the last expected frost for your region, sow the seeds indoors. Seeds can be started outdoors 2 weeks after the last frost.
Fill starter trays or pots with good potting soil. Water the soil really well before planting the seeds. Lightly press the seeds into the wet soil and cover them with a little bit of the soil – about ¼ inch.
Step Two – Maintaining the Perfect Growing Temperature
Marjoram can be a little tricky to get started. The main reason for this is that the soil needs to be around 20C (70F) to succeed. To maintain this temperature, you may need to get a heating pad to put under the trays or use a grow lamp.
In about 10 days, you should see the seedlings begin to sprout.
Step Three – Choose a location Outdoors and Transplant
Once the seedlings have at least 3 established leaves, they are ready to be transplanted. Plant outdoors in a location with full sun and well-draining soil. Marjoram prefers a soil pH of 6.7 to 7.0. However, as mentioned before, they are quite hardy and will do well in many different soil types.
Outdoors: After all danger of frost has passed, plant seedlings 10 inches apart in all directions. They need a location in full sun and prefer a good draining soil.
Indoors: Transplant seedlings to individual pots or to a window box. Use a good well-draining potting soil and make sure the pot you are using has drainage holes in the bottom. Place the pots in a well lit, warm location. In the summer, the pots can be put outside and then brought back inside once the weather turns cold.
Step Four – Care & Maintenance
Marjoram seedlings will need regular watering until they get established. Once they are established, the soil should be allowed to dry between watering. They do not need any fertilizing.
Pinching the plant back a bit while it grows will help to concentrate its flavor and induce a heartier growth.
Marjoram doesn’t have any serious or specific pest problems. Sometimes aphids or spider mites can be an issue, however, they are easily treated by removing problem plants or treating with an organic pesticide.
Step Five – Harvesting
When the plants reach 4-6 inches tall, the stems can be cut for harvesting. Cut off what you need during the season and more will grow in its place. It is a fast grower and will produce new leaves in abundance all season. The flavor is at its peak right before the flowers bloom.
To dry sweet marjoram, cut the stems, tie them together in bundles and hang them upside down in a dark, dry, well-ventilated room. Once they are completely dry, remove the leaves from the stems and store them whole or crushed in an airtight container.
Fresh and dried marjoram can be used in tea, to flavor soups and sauces, as an addition to potpourris and herbal wreaths.
Our Selection of Marjoram Seeds for Sale:
Sweet marjoram – Often cooked with meats and added to soups or stews.