Oregano Origanum rotundifolium

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


Origanum rotundifolium, commonly known as the round-leaved marjoram, is a perennial herb characterized by its rounded, slightly hairy leaves that have a pleasant aroma. The plant bears tiny, tubular flowers that can range in color from pale pink to purple, which typically form in small, clustered spikes. These flowers are often visited by a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies. The round-leaved marjoram has green, sometimes with a grayish tinge, foliage that may take on a more intense coloration during cooler weather. The overall appearance of the plant is somewhat bushy, with a spreading habit that makes it an attractive ground cover or edging plant. The leaves and flowers together create a soft, textured look that is appealing in many garden designs.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Roundleaf Marjoram, Oregano Hopley's

    • Common names

      Origanum vulgare var. rotundifolium, Majorana rotundifolia.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Origanum rotundifolium, commonly known as oregano, is not toxic to humans. It is widely used as an herb in cooking and is safe to consume in the amounts typically used in food. There is no significant risk of poisoning from ingesting this plant, and it is generally recognized as safe.

    • To pets

      Oregano is not considered highly toxic to pets, but it can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested in large amounts. Symptoms might include vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. While oregano is not likely to cause serious poisoning, it is best to prevent pets from consuming large quantities of any non-pet food plant, including oregano.

  • 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 Use: Origanum rotundifolium, commonly known as marjoram, is often used as a flavorful herb in cooking, adding a sweet, balsamic flavor to various dishes.
    • Aromatic Properties: Marjoram's pleasant and warm aroma is used in aromatherapy and can be found in soaps, body lotions, and perfumes.
    • Ornamental Value: With its round, attractive leaves and flowers, marjoram can be grown for its ornamental appeal in gardens or as part of a landscape.
    • Beneficial for Pollinators: The flowers of marjoram are known to attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators, thus supporting biodiversity.
    • Companion Planting: Marjoram is beneficial when planted alongside vegetables and other plants as it can help repel harmful pests and encourage growth.
    • Herbal Teas: Its leaves can be used to prepare herbal teas that are enjoyed for their flavor and aroma.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antimicrobial: Origanum rotundifolium contains compounds that have been shown to exhibit antimicrobial activities against certain bacteria and fungi.
    • Antioxidant: The essential oils and phenolic compounds found in the plant may have antioxidant properties, potentially neutralizing free radicals and preventing oxidative stress.
    • Anti-inflammatory: It may have anti-inflammatory effects due to the presence of certain constituents in its essential oils which can help reduce inflammation.
    • Antispasmodic: Extracts from Origanum rotundifolium might possess antispasmodic properties that can help alleviate spasms in the muscles.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • As a natural dye: Origanum rotundifolium can be used to produce a range of natural dyes for coloring fabrics or other materials in various shades of green and brown.
    • In potpourris: Dried leaves and flowers of Origanum rotundifolium add a pleasant fragrance to homemade potpourris.
    • Insect repellent: The essential oil from Origanum rotundifolium can be used as a natural insect repellent for warding off mosquitoes and other insects.
    • Livestock feed: In some cultures, the plant is mixed with other forage to feed livestock, enhancing the flavor of milk and meat.
    • Garden aesthetics: With its attractive round leaves and pale pink flowers, this plant is commonly used in ornamental gardens for aesthetic purposes.
    • Culinary decoration: Fresh or dried leaves can be used to decorate dishes, adding a touch of elegance to culinary presentations.
    • Flavoring agent: Although not commonly known, the leaves can be used to infuse oils and vinegars with subtle flavors for gourmet cooking.
    • Companion planting: Origanum rotundifolium is sometimes used in companion planting to enhance the growth of vegetables by repelling harmful pests.
    • Crafting: The stems and flowers can be incorporated into handmade wreaths and other decorative crafts.
    • Educational purposes: The plant can be used in educational settings to teach about herb growth, harvesting, and uses in a hands-on gardening activity.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Origanum rotundifolium, commonly known as oregano, is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Oregano is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Peace: Oregano plants often symbolize peace, as their soothing scent and the tranquil ambiance they create in gardens and natural spaces reflect a sense of calm.
    • Happiness: Bright flowers and delightful fragrance of oregano, including Origanum rotundifolium, are thought to bring joy and happiness, making them a popular choice for gardens that aim to uplift the spirit.
    • Protection: Historically, oregano has been used in various cultures as a plant that offers protection. It was believed to protect against negative energies and even to ward off evil spirits.
    • Health: Known for its medicinal properties, oregano symbolizes health and well-being. It's been used in traditional medicine to treat a number of ailments, so its presence often alludes to healing and vitality.
    • Love and Honor: Oregano is also representative of love and honor. Its presence in bridal wreaths and other ceremonial decorations in ancient times points to the value placed on these qualities.

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

    Oregano requires even moisture, especially during the peak growth season, typically in spring and summer. Round-leaved oregano should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, which generally means once or twice a week, depending on climate conditions. Provide enough water to soak the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches, which for a typical garden pot might be around 16 to 24 ounces of water. Reduce watering in fall and winter to prevent overwatering, when the plant's water needs decrease. Always ensure good drainage to avoid root rot; the soil should be allowed to dry out partially between watering sessions.

  • sunLight

    Round-leaved oregano prefers full sun to flourish, so the ideal spot is where the plant can receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. It can tolerate partial shade, but its flavor and growth might not be as robust. Place the plant in a south-facing window if it's indoors or an unobstructed sunny spot in the garden for best growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Round-leaved oregano enjoys warm temperatures and grows best when daytime temperatures are between 70°F and 80°F. It's a hardy plant that can withstand temperatures down to about 50°F at night but should be protected from frost, which could be damaging. Optimal growth occurs within this temperature range although oregano can survive slightly outside of these parameters.

  • scissorsPruning

    Round-leaved oregano should be pruned to encourage bushier growth and prevent the plant from becoming leggy. Pruning is best done at the start of the growing season, typically early spring, by cutting back a third of the plant. Additionally, after flowering, trim off the flower heads to direct the plant's energy into leaf production. Pruning can be done every few weeks during the peak growing season to maintain the desired shape and size.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Round-leaved oregano requires well-draining soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0. A mix of two parts potting soil, one part perlite, and one part coarse sand would provide good aeration and drainage. Ensure to mix in some compost for fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Round-leaved oregano should be repotted every two to three years or when it becomes root-bound. Spring is the best time for repotting to allow the plant to establish before the growing season.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Round-leaved oregano thrives in low to average humidity conditions typical of Mediterranean climates. It does well in the humidity levels found in most homes without the need for adjustment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place round-leaved oregano near a sunny window and water moderately.

    • Outdoor

      Grow round-leaved oregano in full sun and well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Origanum rotundifolium, commonly known as Hop Marjoram, begins its life cycle with the germination of seeds in moist, well-drained soil, typically in early spring. Once the seedlings emerge, they develop into vegetative plants with characteristic round to oval leaves and an herbaceous growth habit. As the plant matures, it enters the flowering stage in summer, producing small, pink to purple blossoms that are attractive to pollinators like bees and butterflies. Following pollination, the flowers develop into seed capsules, and by late summer or fall, seeds are dispersed for the next generation. Throughout the growing season, the plant may also spread asexually through the rooting of stem cuttings or by division. In winter, the above-ground parts of the plant may die back, especially in cooler climates, while the root system remains dormant until the next growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Early Summer

    • Propogation: The most popular method of propagating Oregano 'Kent Beauty' (Origanum rotundifolium) is through stem cuttings. This technique is best done in late spring or early summer when the plant's growth is most active. To propagate by stem cuttings, select a healthy, non-flowering stem and cut a 4 to 6-inch length (approximately 10 to 15 centimeters) just below a leaf node. Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting, dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder to encourage root development, then plant the cutting in a pot filled with a mixture of half perlite and half peat. The cutting should be kept in a warm, indirect light area and the soil should be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. Roots typically begin to form within two to three weeks, and once the roots are established, the new oregano plant can be transplanted into the garden or a permanent container.