Oregano Origanum vulgare 'Country Cream' (v)
Origanum vulgare 'Country Cream' (v), commonly known as the 'Country Cream' oregano, is a variegated variety of the classic herb. This plant is recognized for its attractive foliage, which comprises of softly textured leaves adorned with creamy white edges that contrast beautifully against a backdrop of green. The leaves retain a classic oregano shape, being small, rounded, and slightly wrinkled with a pleasant, aromatic scent when crushed. Throughout the growing season, the 'Country Cream' oregano may produce delicate, petite flowers that typically exhibit a subtle purple or pink hue, adding a sprinkle of color to the cream and green tapestry of its foliage.
About this plant
Country Cream Oregano, Variegated Oregano, Cream Variegated Marjoram
Oregano 'Country Cream' is not considered toxic to humans. This herb is commonly used in cooking and has no known toxic effects when ingested in normal food quantities. However, consuming large amounts of oregano can potentially lead to stomach upset due to its high oil content and potent active ingredients.
Oregano 'Country Cream' is generally considered safe for pets in small amounts, such as when used as a seasoning in foods. However, if a pet ingests large quantities of oregano, it might experience mild gastrointestinal upset. It is not known to be fatally poisonous to pets, but it is always best to prevent your pets from consuming large amounts of herbs and plants.
Color of leaves
1 foot (0.3 meters)
1 foot (0.3 meters)
- General Benefits
- Culinary Uses: Adds flavor and aroma to a variety of dishes, particularly Italian cuisine.
- Aesthetic Appeal: 'Country Cream' (v) has variegated foliage that can add visual interest to gardens and landscapes.
- Drought Tolerance: Once established, it requires less water than many other plants, making it suitable for dry or xeriscape gardens.
- Pest Resistance: It is known to be resistant to many common garden pests, reducing the need for chemical insecticides.
- Herb Gardening: Ideal for herb gardens due to its compact size, taste, and aroma.
- Attracts Pollinators: Oregano flowers can attract bees and butterflies, aiding pollination in the garden.
- Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, making it a hassle-free addition to the garden.
- Edging and Borders: Can be used as an attractive, fragrant border plant that delineates garden spaces.
- Companion Planting: Oregano can be beneficial when planted near other vegetables, potentially improving their growth and flavor.
- Culinary Versatility: The leaves can be used fresh, dried, or as an essential oil, offering a range of uses in the kitchen.
- Medical Properties
- Antibacterial: Oregano contains compounds like carvacrol and thymol which have antibacterial properties.
- Antifungal: It also has antifungal effects, particularly against Candida species.
- Antioxidant: Rich in antioxidants, it helps combat oxidative stress in the body.
- Anti-inflammatory: Oregano can help reduce inflammation, making it beneficial in conditions like arthritis.
- Digestive aid: Can alleviate digestive issues by soothing the gut and promoting digestion.
- Immune support: The plant has been known to boost the immune system.
- Respiratory health: Used traditionally to ease respiratory conditions such as coughs and bronchitis.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Oregano 'Country Cream' can be used as a natural dye for fabrics, giving them a subtle beige to green tint depending on the mordant used.
- The flowers of oregano 'Country Cream' can be incorporated into potpourri mixes for a mild, herbaceous aroma.
- When dried, the leaves can serve as an all-natural bookmark with a pleasant fragrance, enhancing the reading experience.
- Aromatic oils from oregano 'Country Cream' can be infused into homemade soaps for a gentle, herby scent.
- The plant can be grown as a companion plant in vegetable gardens to help deter harmful pests.
- Leaves of oregano 'Country Cream' may be used to line serving trays or plates for decorative presentation of cheeses and appetizers.
- Dried sprigs can decorate wreaths and other craft items, providing a rustic touch and a subtle scent.
- Small bouquets of oregano 'Country Cream' can be used as natural, eco-friendly wedding confetti.
- The plant can be used in natural burial practices where it is placed alongside the deceased, to decompose in an eco-friendly manner.
- Oregano 'Country Cream' can be incorporated into homemade candles to embed the essence of the herb in the wax.
- Feng Shui
The Oregano is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Oregano is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Peace: Oregano, which is the common name of Origanum vulgare 'Country Cream', is traditionally associated with peace and tranquility. Having oregano in the home is thought to help calm the environment and reduce tension.
- Happiness: The herb is also linked to feelings of happiness and contentment, and it's said that growing oregano can promote a joyful atmosphere.
- Protection: Oregano is often considered a plant of protection, believed to guard against negative energies and to offer safety to those who keep it in their garden or home.
- Health: Symbolizing physical and emotional well-being, oregano is commonly used in traditional medicine, and thus it stands for good health and vitality.
- Love: In some cultures, oregano represents love and is used in various rituals to encourage amorous feelings and lasting relationships.
The common oregano, including the 'Country Cream' variety, prefers to be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch; this typically translates to watering approximately once a week. Use deep watering methods to encourage strong root growth, applying about half a gallon for outdoor plants or 8-16 ounces for those in pots, depending on size. During hot, dry periods, more frequent watering may be necessary, while in cooler or rainy seasons, less will be required. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so ensure good drainage.
Oregano, such as 'Country Cream', thrives best in full sun conditions, receiving at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. A spot that gets morning sun and some afternoon shade can also be beneficial, especially in hotter climates to prevent scorching.
'Country Cream' oregano is hardy and can tolerate a range of temperatures, ideally between 60°F and 80°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to around 45°F and maximum temperatures up to 90°F. However, prolonged exposure to extremes outside of its comfort zone can be detrimental.
Regular pruning of 'Country Cream' oregano promotes healthy growth and prevents legginess; the best time to prune is in spring or early summer. Cut back the plant by one-third to one-half, focusing on removing woody stems and spent flowers. Pruning every few weeks during the growing season encourages bushier growth.
Oregano 'Country Cream' thrives in well-draining soil with a pH range between 6.0 and 8.0. A suitable mix can consist of equal parts of loam, perlite, and compost to ensure proper drainage and fertility. Avoid soil that is too rich or retains too much moisture as this could lead to root rot.
Oregano 'Country Cream' should be repotted approximately every two to three years, or when the plant becomes root-bound. It's important not to repot too frequently as this can disturb the root system and growth pattern.
- Humidity & Misting
Oregano 'Country Cream' prefers a dry to moderate humidity level. It is well adapted to typical household humidity levels and generally does not require additional humidity support.
- Suitable locations
Place in a sunny spot and water when topsoil is dry.
Plant in full sun, well-draining soil, water sparingly.
- Life cycle
Origanum vulgare 'Country Cream', commonly known as Variegated Oregano, begins its life cycle with seed germination, typically in the spring when soil temperatures warm. This perennial herb then develops into a young seedling, producing a rosette of variegated leaves that are cream and green in color. As the plant matures, it grows larger and begins to spread through its rhizomatous root system, creating a fuller plant with woody stems. During the summer, Variegated Oregano produces small, pink or purple flowers that attract pollinators and can lead to seed production if not harvested. After flowering, the plant may go dormant in late fall or winter, depending on the climate, dying back to the ground in colder regions. In the following spring, the plant regenerates from its roots, ready to grow, flower, and potentially set seed once again, completing its lifecycle.
Spring to early summer
The most popular method of propagating Oregano 'Country Cream' is through stem cuttings. Propagation is usually done in late spring or early summer when the plant has vigorous new growth. To do this, one takes a 4 to 6 inch (10-15 cm) long cutting from a healthy, non-flowering stem, strips the leaves from the bottom half, and places the cutting in a pot filled with a moistened mix of peat and perlite or sand. The cutting should be kept under indirect sunlight and maintained at a consistent moisture level. Roots will typically develop within a few weeks, after which the new oregano plant can be transplanted to a permanent location.