Growing Oregano From Cuttings: Directions for Water and Soil Method

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If you would like to expand your oregano supply, you can easily do so with this hardy perennial herb that grows as a low-lying ground cover and produces plenty of stems for harvest. To propagate more oregano, follow the steps below for useful tips and a variety of techniques to successfully grow new plants in a short amount of time!

You can grow oregano from cuttings by snipping a few stems, placing them in soil or water, and letting them grow all on their own! Oregano produces thick stems that will grow new roots if separated from the plant, eventually maturing into a full-size plant. 

How Long Does It Take for Oregano Cuttings To Root?

Your oregano will begin to grow thin white roots from the bottom of the stem in about 2 weeks, but it may take 4 weeks or longer before new roots appear. The temperature, the age, and the substance in which you are rooting them will determine how easy it is for them to begin growing new roots. 

Can Oregano Be Rooted in Water?

Yes! Rooting oregano in water is one of the easiest ways to propagate this perennial herb. It won’t be able to live only in the water forever, so make sure you plant it into the soil once a significant amount of roots has grown. 

Can You Propagate Oregano in Soil?

Propagating oregano in the soil is also completely possible! It can be more difficult than rooting in water because the stems may become infected if not planted in a sterile potting mix. It can also be more difficult to tell if roots have begun growing since you can’t see them like you can in the water. 

Is Rooting Hormone Good for Cuttings?

Rooting hormone is good to use on your cuttings to help expedite the rooting process and help prevent infections. While formulated rooting hormones are great products, dipping the end of the stem in honey will also help to prevent infection while the cutting is able to grow roots all on its own.

How To Take Oregano Cuttings

When taking oregano cuttings, you should aim to cut any sprigs you hope to propagate in stems approximately 4 to 6 inches long. You’ll want to identify older growth with woody stems that are strong.

Using woody stems is the best way to ensure your oregano has enough stored energy to grow roots without rotting. Many times new growth does not have the stored energy to grow new roots on its own and is very tender, which may cause it to rot quickly.

Method #1. Rooting Oregano Cuttings in Water

Rooting oregano in water is easy and fun because you can watch the new roots grow! It can also be beneficial because soil commonly carries fungus or bacteria that may infect the open wound and kill the cutting. Follow the 6 steps below to root your cuttings in water!

  1. Begin by locating some healthy mature oregano. 
  2. Then choose a few sprigs that are at least 4 to 6 inches long. It is best to harvest a few since they all may not begin to grow. 
  3. Place your oregano cuttings in a container that allows the leafy portion to still receive sunlight. Placing your cuttings in a confined space may lead to rot due to a lack of airflow.
  4. Fill the cup with enough water to cover the bottom 2 inches of the stems. 
  5. Monitor the cuttings weekly, and change the water if it begins to become murky, usually about every 1-2 weeks. 
  6. Once the stems have grown 4-6 roots each, they are ready to be planted in the soil. 

Method #2. Rooting Oregano Cuttings in Soil

Using soil instead of water to root your oregano is easy because you won’t have to change the water or replant the cuttings once they root. Follow the steps below for the best chance of growing new oregano plants in soil! 

  1. Collect your oregano cuttings, ensuring they are at least 4-6 inches in length.
  2. If using a rooting hormone (this one is great) or honey, dip the end of the stems in the material before planting it into the soil.
  3. Place your cuttings in the soil, and ensure they are securely standing up. Burying them 1-2 inches into the soil should be perfect. 
  4. Keep the soil moist but not overly saturated. Constantly overwatering will rot the stems. 
  5. The cuttings should show signs of new growth within 4-6 weeks. If the plant looks wilted or is graying, it may be best to check and see if it is still living. 

Alternative Propagation Method: Layering in Soil

Instead of using individual cuttings, you can simply allow the plants to be layered on the soil to promote new adventitious root growth. Then the plant will cover the ground, or you can take mature parts and plant them elsewhere. 

  1. Utilizing your existing oregano plant, locate the longest stems near the outer edge of the oregano patch. 
  2. Gently bend the middle of these stems down so they are close to the soil. This should create an area where bare stems will come into contact with the soil.
  3. Once touching the soil, it can be helpful to hold the plants down with landscaping staples.
  4. Place a layer of soil over these stems allowing the foliage to still show. 
  5. Over time, roots will begin to grow from the stems as they sense and reach for the soil.

When To Transplant Oregano Cuttings

If growing in water, you should transplant your cuttings once the roots have reached 2-3 inches long and they each have at least 4-6 roots growing. This will most likely be 1 to 2 months after you first harvested your oregano cuttings and placed them in the water. In a general sense, an oregano plant will most likely outgrow its pot after 2-3 years. 

How To Plant Oregano Cuttings Once Roots Have Formed

If you started your oregano cuttings in soil, you may not need to replant them if they have ample space to grow in their current pot. However, if you root them in water, you will have to transfer them into soil since the water does not provide minerals and nutrients to the new plant. 

  1. Gently remove your cuttings from the water. Sometimes the roots will become tangled with other stems, so be sure to separate them without damaging the roots.
  2. Plant the cuttings deep enough to allow all of the roots to be in the soil. 
  3. Continue to water the cuttings regularly, but don’t oversaturate the soil. If you are transferring them from water, they may need some time to acclimate to being in soil and will show light signs of wilting. 
  4. If you notice wilting for over a week, the stem may be rotting. Lightly excavate the soil to see if the stem still has vigor.
  5. If the cutting appears rotten, remove it, and try the process again with new cuttings and fresh soil. 

Conclusion 

Oregano is great for Italian cooking or to add to some homemade sauces and soups. While it grows at a moderately vigorous rate, sometimes it is good to have multiple potted plants or propagate numerous shoots to plant in an area as ground cover. Use one of the methods above to propagate your oregano with ease!