Can Oregano Grow in Shade? [Planting Guide]

Can Oregano Grow in Shade?

I have some sections of my garden with shade and was thinking of adding another useful herb like Oregano. And I thought I could make use of that extra space. So I wondered, “can Oregano grow in shade”? Here’s what I found out.

A big yes! Oregano can grow in the shade. Even though studies show that Oregano needs full sun, it can also grow well in partial shade. You do not need to create a unique garden for you to plant oregano successfully. Instead, just take advantage of any space in your garden that gets partial shade and add some Oregano seeds there.

Oregano is a fantastic herb that can be used in many different ways. You might use it to spice up your favorite dish, or you might even grow it if you live in an area where the climate is too hot for other herbs. Let’s find out its growth requirements.

Growth Requirements of Oregano

Oregano is a hardy perennial plant native to Europe, North America, and temperate Asia. It is an evergreen subshrub with culinary, medicinal, and ornamental uses. 

The plants are small, woody shrubs with short branching stems and dark green leaves with a pungent aroma when crushed. There are many types of oregano, such as pilgrim, aureum, compactum, and hope flower among others.

The following are some insights on how much water oregano needs, what kind of sunlight oregano needs, what type of soil oregano prefers, and how much light oregano wants.

Oregano Water Requirements

You should water the Oregano frequently but be careful not to overdo it. Immediately the soil begins to get dry, ensure that you water it. Pour enough water into it until the top 5 inches of the soil gets moisturized well. 

Avoid watering it during the rainy season. If it’s a potted Oregano, water it and then remove the water that collects on the drip tray. Oregano thrives in slightly dry soil, so you should overwater it.

Oregano Sunlight Requirements

Just like Sage, Oregano prefers full sunlight but can also grow well in partial sun. Ensure that the oregano is not exposed to harsh winds as this may cause browning or drooping leaves. Keep your oregano plant adequately watered to prevent wilting.

Oregano Soil Requirements

Oregano prefers loose, well-drained soil. Ensure that the PH of your oregano’s soil is between 6 and 9 to avoid root rot, stem rot, and fungal infections. 

The top 6 inches should be rich in organic matter with a sandy or loamy texture. For optimal growth, amend your oregano soil with organic fertilizer before planting and again every six months.

How to Grow Oregano From Seed

 It can be challenging to find oregano in stores, so why not try growing it yourself? Not only will you get the freshest, most effective product for your cooking needs, but you’ll save money and have fun doing it. Once you know how to start oregano seeds, the rest is easy.

Step 1: Find a Pot

Any type of pot will work for growing oregano. However, make sure the pot has drainage holes. It’s also helpful to choose a deep pot to accommodate the developing roots without having your oregano plant sit in too much water. 

If you feel creative, why not go ahead and paint or decorate your pot before you plant? It can be fun to use potted plants as decoration, and it is always nice to have something handmade.

Step 2: Fill Your Pot

Place some stones or pebbles at the bottom of the pot for drainage purposes. Cover these with soil, which you can buy from any nursery or plant store. Fill the pot with this soil until it is about a quarter of an inch from the top edge of the container.

Step 3: Check for Moisture

The next step is to moisten your potting mixture. Oregano seeds do not require soaking, but you should get some water into them anyway. Think of it as pre-soaking. It is okay if your potting mix is dry at this point, but you still need to moisten it for the oregano seeds to have a good start.

Step 4: Plant the Seeds

Now it’s time to plant your oregano seeds. If you are planting more than one seed, space them out around the pot. The seeds should be placed at least an inch apart so that they have room to grow.

Step 5: Water Your Oregano 

Once you have planted your oregano seeds, you should water them lightly. You do not need to soak the soil or leave it feeling wet, but putting some water on top of the soil is helpful.

Step 6: Wait for Your Oregano Plant to Sprout

Cover your pot with plastic or any other type of coverage until your plant germinates. This will ensure that the soil stays moist, warm, and protected. It takes about 3-5 days for your seeds to germinate. When you see your first sprout, you can remove the cover.

Oregano plants are relatively easy to grow, and they will provide you with a remarkably fresh product for your cooking needs.

How to Grow Oregano from Cuttings

The best time to take oregano cuttings is in the spring before the plant begins to flower.

  •   Cut a piece of stem that contains at least two sets of leaves on it. It should be about 4 inches long. 
  • Remove the bottom set of leaves and place each cutting into a pot filled with lightly dampened potting soil.
  • Keep the pot in a warm, well-lit space. Many people cover the top of the pots with plastic to trap heat and humidity inside. Don’t allow the soil to dry out, or you’ll kill your plant before it even has a chance to grow roots. The cuttings should root within about a month.
  • Once they have rooted, it’s time to pot them up. Move your plants into pots about 6 inches deep and 10 inches wide, then place the potted plants outside or under a grow light. 

Your oreganos will need enough sunlight now, so be sure to move them around often if you can’t keep them in direct sunlight all day.

How Do you Harvest and Store Fresh Oregano?

Fresh oregano can be harvested any time during the growing season.  It should be picked before it flowers (before the white flowers begin to open). 

Picking oregano too early will result in a less flavorful herb. Waiting until after the plant has flowered will render it incapable of producing any flavor. 

To harvest oregano, use a blade to cut back all of the branches on the side facing away from your body. 

You can cut as much or as little oregano as you need at one time; usually, this means picking leaves that are easily accessible without severing too many stems.

How To Dry Oregano In the Sun

After the oregano has been harvested, it’s essential to dry it. To do so, place the oregano leaves on a clean tray in an area away from any moisture or direct sunlight. 

Allow them to dry for several days. If they aren’t thoroughly dried after two days, turn off devices that produce heat (such as furnaces, ovens, and kitchen appliances) and keep them out of areas with high humidity. 

You can also place a fan nearby to speed up the drying process.  Aim it away from the oregano to avoid blowing any dust or debris onto the leaves. 

Once thoroughly dried, you can store your oregano either in an airtight container or a vacuum-sealed bag. The leaves should retain their flavour for up to six months.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Hours of Sunlight Does Oregano Need?

Six hours. Oregano does need a good amount of sunlight to flourish, though, so it will be best to plant your oregano in an area of your garden where it will get at least six hours of direct sunlight every single day. 

If you do not have that kind of time on your hands, then it is recommended that you grow your oregano indoors near a large window or in partial shade.

How Long Does Oregano Take to Grow?

Oregano will take  80-90 days to grow after you sow the seeds and 6-8 weeks for the leaves to mature.

What Does the Oregano Plant Look Like?

Oregano is a perennial herb with purple flowers that also bears fruit containing two seeds. It can grow to be 30 inches tall.

Does Oregano Need Acidic Soil?

No. Oregano won’t be bothered by soil PH levels. It can thrive in very alkaline or slightly acidic soil. Its required soil PH is between 6.0 to 8.0.


We all know that oregano is an excellent spice for pizza, but did you know it’s also easy to grow this plant? Oregano can thrive in partial shade and at least 6 hours of sunlight. This herb will be perfect for your next dinner party or backyard barbecue when planted in the right spot.

If you liked this article, feel free to share it with friends on social media so they can plant and enjoy using oregano.


I love nature and fresh food from the garden. That's why I started this gardening journey and decided to share my experience with the world. So far it has been an amazing journey. I hope you will enjoy reading my gardening journal and never be the same again!

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