Golden Oregano Origanum vulgare 'Aureum'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
golden oregano


The plant commonly known as golden oregano (Origanum vulgare 'Aureum') typically displays a vibrant, golden-yellow to chartreuse foliage that adds a splash of bright color to gardens. The leaves of this attractive plant are small, oval, and slightly fuzzy, imbuing the plant with a soft texture. During the growing season, the leaves may become greener, especially if the plant is in a shadier location. It produces delicate sprays of tiny, purplish-pink flowers that are arranged in loose clusters, creating a lovely contrast against the lighter-colored leaves. The overall appearance of golden oregano is bushy and spreading, creating a lush, ground-covering mat that is both aromatic and visually appealing, often used in herb gardens, borders or as a decorative ground cover. The scent of the leaves is typically warm, aromatic, and spicy, characteristic of oregano, which is popular for culinary use in various dishes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Golden Oregano, Golden Marjoram, Aureum Oregano

    • Common names

      Origanum vulgare var. hirtum, Origanum hirtum, Origanum tyttanthum, Thymus origanum.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Oregano is not typically considered toxic to humans when consumed in culinary quantities. However, consuming large amounts or concentrated extracts of Oregano could possibly lead to stomach upset or digestive issues. There is no well-documented evidence of serious poisoning from Oregano in humans. Pregnant women should use it cautiously as large amounts might affect the pregnancy.

    • To pets

      Oregano is generally not considered highly poisonous to pets, but it can cause mild stomach upset if consumed in significant amounts. The essential oils in Oregano can be more potent, so concentrated forms should be avoided. If your pet ingests a large amount of Oregano, symptoms may include vomiting or diarrhea. It is not typically considered seriously toxic to pets. However, monitoring and consulting with a veterinarian is advised if any adverse reaction is observed.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Culinary Uses: Gold marjoram is a popular herb used to flavor various dishes, especially in Mediterranean cuisine.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: Its vibrant golden foliage adds visual interest to gardens and landscapes.
    • Pollinator Attraction: The flowers of gold marjoram attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, supporting biodiversity.
    • Aromatic Qualities: The plant emits a pleasant fragrance, which can enhance the sensory experience of a garden or outdoor space.
    • Easy to Grow: Gold marjoram is a hardy plant that is relatively easy to cultivate, making it a good choice for novice gardeners.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it's fairly drought-tolerant, requiring minimal watering in suitable climates.
    • Culinary Diversity: The leaves can be used fresh or dried, providing versatility in the kitchen.
    • Garden Companion: It is considered a good companion plant for vegetables and other herbs, potentially improving growth and flavor.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antimicrobial: Oregano has compounds such as carvacrol and thymol which are known for antimicrobial properties against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
    • Antioxidant: It contains numerous phytochemicals including rosmarinic acid and thymol that exhibit antioxidant activity, helping to protect cells against oxidative stress.
    • Anti-inflammatory: Oregano may help reduce inflammation due to its high content of phenolic derivatives.
    • Respiratory health: Traditionally, oregano has been used to help relieve symptoms of respiratory conditions like coughs and bronchitis.
    • Gastrointestinal aid: It has been used to ease digestive issues such as bloating and indigestion.
    • Menstrual cramps: Oregano tea has been used traditionally to alleviate menstrual pain.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Natural Dye: The leaves of Golden oregano can be used to create a natural dye for fabrics, yielding a range of colors from green to brown depending on the mordant used.
    • Garden Ornament: With its bright golden foliage, Golden oregano can add visual interest and contrast when planted in flower beds or along pathways.
    • Companion Planting: By planting Golden oregano near vegetables, it can help to repel certain pests, thereby acting as a natural form of pest control.
    • Soil Erosion Control: The dense growth habit of Golden oregano can help to prevent soil erosion in sloped garden areas.
    • Flavoring Homemade Liquors: Leaves of Golden oregano can infuse homemade liqueurs with a unique flavor.
    • Crafts: Dried Golden oregano can be used in potpourris or as a component in homemade sachets to impart a pleasant scent.
    • Fragrant Bouquets: Fresh Golden oregano leaves can be included in bouquets or floral arrangements for both their color and fragrance.
    • Culinary Garnish: Although more commonly used as a herb, the vibrant leaves of Golden oregano can be used as an edible garnish to brighten up dishes.
    • Photography Prop: The distinctive color of Golden oregano can make it an interesting prop or background plant in garden photography.
    • Homemade Cosmetics: The aromatic properties of Golden oregano can be utilized in creating homemade soaps, creams, and bath products.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Golden Oregano is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Golden Oregano is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Peace: Origanum vulgare, commonly known as oregano, has been symbolically associated with peace, often used in folk traditions to bring calmness and serenity.
    • Happiness: The bright golden leaves of the 'Aureum' variety can symbolize joy and happiness, reflecting its vibrant and cheerful color.
    • Protection: In various cultures, oregano is believed to offer protection against negative energies and is sometimes used in rituals to ward off evil spirits.
    • Health: Historically associated with well-being and vitality, oregano represents the plant's medicinal properties and its use in herbal remedies.
    • Love: While not traditionally associated with romantic love, oregano can symbolize an affectionate gesture when given, owing to its role in culinary applications that bring people together.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Golden Oregano should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Typically, you might need to water this plant every 5 to 7 days during active growth periods, especially in the heat of summer. Aim to provide enough water to moisten the soil throughout the root zone, which means watering deeply but infrequently. Depending on the size of the plant and the pot, this can range from a few ounces for smaller pots to a gallon or more for larger containers. Overwatering or letting the plant sit in water can lead to root rot, so ensure proper drainage and allow the soil to dry between watering sessions.

  • sunLight

    Golden Oregano thrives best in full sunlight conditions, which means at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day. Select a spot in your garden where the plant can receive ample sunlight without being shaded by larger plants or structures. If growing indoors, place it in a south-facing window or under grow lights to ensure it receives sufficient light for healthy growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Golden Oregano prefers a temperature range between 60°F and 80°F and can survive temperatures down to 50°F and up to 90°F. However, it will thrive and produce the best flavor when kept within the ideal range. Ensure that it is protected from frost, as temperatures below freezing can damage or kill the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Golden Oregano is essential to promote bushy growth and prevent legginess. Pruning is best done in early spring just as new growth appears, or after flowering to prevent the plant from becoming woody. Deadheading, or removing spent flowers, encourages more foliage growth and can be done as needed throughout the growing season. Trim back about a third of the plant to maintain its shape and size.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Golden Oregano thrives best in a well-draining soil mix with added perlite or sand to enhance drainage. Aim for a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.0 and 7.0 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Golden Oregano should be repotted every two to three years to renew the soil and accommodate root growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Golden Oregano prefers a dry environment and does not require high humidity levels; average room humidity is sufficient for this herb.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Needs full sun and well-drained soil; hardy and drought-tolerant.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Origanum vulgare 'Aureum', commonly known as golden oregano, begins its life cycle as a seed, which germinates in early spring in well-drained soil and a location with ample sunlight. Upon sprouting, the seedling develops into a young plant with characteristic golden-yellow leaves, entering a vegetative growth stage where it increases in size and produces more foliage. Throughout the summer, golden oregano reaches maturity and enters the flowering stage, producing small pink or purple flowers that are attractive to pollinators. After pollination, the plant sets seeds, which can be dispersed by wind or animals, ensuring the propagation of the next generation. As a perennial herb, golden oregano dies back to the ground during the winter, with its root system remaining dormant until the next spring. The cycle repeats annually, with established plants expanding through vegetative growth or through the germination of fallen seeds.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • Propogation: The most popular method of propagating Origanum vulgare 'Aureum', also known as Golden Oregano, is through stem cuttings. This is typically done in late spring or early summer when the plant's growth is most vigorous. To propagate by cuttings, a gardener should select a healthy stem and cut a 4 to 6-inch-long piece, ensuring there are several nodes present. The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end may be dipped in rooting hormone powder to encourage root growth. The cutting is then planted in a soil mixture, with the bottom half of the stem buried and kept moist. Rooting generally takes place within 2-4 weeks, and once established, the new plants can be transplanted to their permanent locations.