By Shirley Miller
Origanum majorana, Lamiaceae
Marjoram is a herbaceous or shrubby tender perennial, with tiny
white or mauve flowers.
The leaves are oval, pointed, mid to dark green and aromatic. Marjoram grows
from 6 inches to 2 feet in height. Some compact species make ideal container
How to grow - Marjoram needs sun to develop its full flavor,
however, protection from hot afternoon sun is recommended. Plant in well
drained, dry, mildly alkaline soil. Provide nutrients throughout the growing
season. Marjoram develops a stronger flavor when planted in nutrient rich soil.
Thin seedlings to 12 inches apart.
Propagation - Propagate Marjoram by planting seeds early in spring.
Germination is slow. Take stem cuttings from spring to early fall. Divide in
Harvesting - Pick young leaves any time. If using for storage,
pick leaves just before the blossoms open.
Preserving - Dry or freeze individual leaves. Dry flowering tops.
As with most herbs, after drying, store in well sealed glass containers. Infuse
in oil or vinegar.
Culinary uses - Greeks have used this native herb since ancient
times. The leaf can be used to make tea. Marjoram combines well with tomato
dishes and is vital for use in meat dishes such as meatloaf and sausage. Chop
the leaves finely, add to butter and use on fish. Use in salads, egg and cheese
dishes and in pizza and pasta sauces. Rub crushed leaves on poultry and
roasting meat. Mix Marjoram with bread crumbs and stuff fresh haddock.
Other uses - Lay Marjoram stems on charcoal fire to impart a subtle
flavor. Use in Potpourri. Marjoram blossoms attract honeybees.