Oregano is one of my favorite culinary herbs. I had it at home in pots since my years as a student and ever since I have a own garden multiple oregano plants are growing happily there. Oregano is easy to grow and to care for. As long as you water it regularly, that is. One thing a lot of new Oregano owners worry about is if the plant will come back the next year. So after reading this article you will know exactly if Oregano comes back, how many years it will come back, and more.
To make it short, Oregano will come back every year. It is a perennial plant which means, that it will grow back every year for more than two years. Oregano can, in fact, live up to 10 years or more. Oregano will start to regrow in spring and it will take around 6 to 8 weeks until it has its original size again.
So when your oregano seems like it has died at the end of the year, then don´t throw it away. It will probably regrow in the spring next year.
I personally did not know this when I had my first Oregano plant and I thought it simply died because I didn´t take care of it enough. So I actually through mine away.
After the same thing happened to my two new oregano plants next year I got suspicious, however, and I asked a good friend of mine, who is a professional in the gardening industry.
He told me, that a lot of people think the exact same thing and throw their Oregano plant away at the end of the year without knowing, that it will actually come back the next year.
So just be patient and don´t repeat the same mistake, that I made. wait until next year and if the plant does not show any signs of life until at least the end of spring, then it is safe to assume that the plant has actually died.
You don´t have to water the plant during the winter. It can actually even be harmful. Because if you overwater the plant it may die and not come back. So just leave the plant where it is. In spring you can stimulate its growth by putting the plant in a sunny spot.
It is also very important, that you don´t prune the plant at the end of the year. wait until next year when the plant regrows and then you can start cutting the dead branches. Otherwise, you may damage the plant unintentionally.
Is Oregano an Annual or Perennial?
This is a very common question and even though I already kind of answered the question in the section above I will still answer the question more in-depth in this section. Oregano is one of my favorite herbs to cook with and I personally was very confused when I had my first Oregano plant and it only lived for a year. Or so I thought because after some research I found out, that my first plant wasn´t dead and I threw it in the trash even though it would have come back the next year.
So in short, Oregano is a perennial plant. This means, that Oregano will come back every year for multiple years. Oregano plants can get up to 10 years old or even older when they are being cared for correctly. The plant will not lose its taste over the years and it will grow healthy if it is pruned regularly.
I will very quickly explain what the terms annual and perennial mean, for all of you that might be confused.
You can categorize plants by their growing behaviour in three major categories. These Categories are annual plants, biannual plants, and perennial plants.
Annual plants are plants, that only live for one year and then they will begin to grow from zero next year. Most flowers are annual plants for example.
Biannual plants are plants, that live for two years. Most of these plants will grow to a full plant in one year then they will survive the first winter in order to bloom and carry seeds in the next year. Then they will die and grow anew in the next year.
Perennial plants are plants, that will live for more than two years. These plants will grow throughout the years. Normally you only categorize non-woody plants in these three categories because all woody plants live for more than two years. So theoretically they are perennials but you normally don´t say that because it is kind of obvious.
So now you know the difference.
Oregano is indeed a perennial plant but it is very often mistaken for an annual one. That is because the plant will look as if it is dead at the end of the year.
But it will come back in the next year so don´t make the mistake of throwing it away at the end of the year. Just be patient and keep it around until at least the end of spring next year.
If you want to know how to grow oregano and everything, that you need to know to get a healthy oregano plant even indoors in a pot, then you can check out my article about growing oregano indoors right here.