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Origanum majorana

A fast-growing perennial herb with countless uses.

Marjoram's flavor is similar to that of oregano, but it is definitely more sweet, and it has stronger, clearer tones of lemon and pine (though it doesn't taste much like either of these). This culinary herb is at home in cuisines and medicinal traditions around the world. It rings like a bell when sprinkled into a salad with parsley, basil, and other herbs; it's also terrific on top of a pilaf or diced finely and thrown on any main dish just before serving.

Marjoram has roots in the Mediterranean and Arabian Peninsula, where it thrives along dry, mountainous slopes. The ancient Greeks associated Marjoram with Aphrodite and wore fragrant wreaths made from the herb at weddings. Native bees love Marjoram too and spend summer afternoons foraging its soft, fluffy blooms.

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Grow marjoram similar to oregano, but use more care. It is a bit more delicate and not as hearty. Start seeds indoors 8 weeks before last frost. Transplant outdoors when plants are 3" high. Marjoram is a Mediterranean herb, it enjoys full sun, well drained soil and moderate water. Keep pruned and do not let it flower to encourage more leaf growth and maintain peak flavor. Does extremely well in containers. Marjoram is a tender perennial usually grown as an annual in colder climates where, alternatively, it can also be overwintered indoors in pots.

Days to Germination 7 to 21 days
Days to Maturity 70 days
Planting Depth ¼ inch
Spacing in Row 12 inches
Spacing Between Rows 18 inches
Height at Maturity 10 to 12 inches
Width at Maturity 10 inches
Sun Preference Full to Little Sun

Alexandra Hemrick finds solace in nature and in making art. In this design, she draws upon formal Greek architecture to highlight Marjoram's historical and cultural use in contrast to its wild and rugged nature.

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