How to Harvest Oregano Without Killing the Plant

  • By: Linda Simpson
  • Date: April 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

To harvest oregano without killing the plant, you’ll have to prune it without taking too much away. If you don’t, the plant will grow back in whack form. Here’s how to prune oregano without killing it.

Oregano can be pruned at any time except when temperatures are going to be close to 30°F or lower, that is, when there is going to be frost.

In climates where it does not usually freeze, pruning can be done at any time, although the result will not be the same in one as in another. We’ll see later.

It is important to leave a few inches of each stem uncut ―2 or 3 inches are enough―, and that they have leaves so that the plant can carry out photosynthesis.

In short, it could be said that you can prune oregano as you wish, as long as you do not do it when there is a risk of frost. Otherwise, you will not have a problem, since this plant resists cuts very well.

Pruning Objectives
Mainly three, although each one can have different ones.

Tips for Harvesting oregano without killing it

Oregano is a hardy perennial herb that can die in extremely cold winters. Preserving the tasty leaves is simple:

  • Wait until the morning after the dew has dried when harvesting the oregano.
  • The essential oils of herbs are more concentrated on warm mornings.
  • The best flavor is achieved when the herb is harvested just as the flower buds are formed.
  • Use shears or garden shears to remove the stems from the plant.
  • Trim back to just above a growth node or set of leaves. This will allow the plant to branch out from the cut area and produce more flavorful leaves.
  • Rinse the stems lightly if they have dust or mulch. Shake off excess moisture before drying the oregano.

How many times can you Harvest Oregano?

Harvest can be done once a year, two, three…, or as many as you want, since this depends on whether it is going to be consumed fresh or dried.

Best reasons for pruning oregano:

For Maintenance of the plant

A reason for pruning is to improve or maintain the shape and appearance of the plant.

With the cuts, the oregano is encouraged to sprout strongly, that the stems divide forming a thicker bush and the old or diseased parts are replaced by other young and healthy ones.

For this type of pruning, it is advisable to cut stems in half at first, and then closer and closer to the ends, so that a nice rounded bush forms.

For renewal of the plant

Sometimes -usually at the end of summer- the oregano gets old, the stems are very long -if they have not been harvested- and they tend to fall to the sides. It is time to cut the plant close to the ground so that it can renew itself before the arrival of winter.

Harvesting oregano without killing the plant requires careful pruning and careful timing. Also, you’ll have to learn how to prune without taking too much away.

You don’t want to take too much away, that way the plant will grow back in whack form. And finally, you’ll want to grow more oregano to compensate for the amount you remove. All things considered, harvesting oregano without killing the plant is possible.

How to preserve and store Oregano

Tips for drying oregano

There are a few different ways to dry oregano. You can either pluck off the small leaves and dry them separately or you can also dry the entire stem before shredding it into thin pieces.

Tie up stems in bunches, then hang them somewhere dark and well-ventilated so they can totally lose their moisture while they’re drying out.

To keep dirt away from your dried herbs, put a perforated paper bag around your finished product like an envelope!

You can also dry the stems by leaving them on food dehydrator trays, like in single layers. You could use a low-tech solution that consists of just placing the leaves on cookie sheets for several days near your stove or oven where it is warm and turning them over once in a while so they dry evenly.

Once the leaves have dried, you can remove them for storage. The best way to do this is by pinching the stem at its base and pull up. Most of it will come off easily.

The steams are woody and slightly bitter like most herbs, they should be avoided unless used in a smoker or added to meat during cooking on a grill.

Before placing them into a container to preserve them from season to season, check all leaves for bits of straw that may have been missed before drying and place those aside so they won’t contaminate future batches

How to store the Dry Oregano

After drying the oregano leaves, it is necessary to store them in a dark and dry place to preserve their flavor. Use glass bottles or airtight plastic containers.

Light will degrade the herb’s flavor over time, so do not keep it near any natural light sources like windows or lamps. Dried oregano will last up to six months with its best taste and quality if stored properly

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