Oregano is a rustic, herbaceous plant. Its growth is
perennial, the first planting lasting approximately
four years. It is a bushy shrub, growing to a height
Oregano originates from Mediterranean Europe.
The main producers in Latin America are Mexico,
Brazil, Chile and Costa Rica. (The principal
oregano-producing counties of Peru are Tacna,
followed by Moquegua, Ancash and Arequipa.)
Oregano is resistant to the cold, although
temperatures below 5°C stunt growth and burn the
Figure 1: Oregano. Photo: Practical Action /
The crop is suitable in any soil type that is not over-saline, although it will flourish best in
Franco-sandy and Franco soils.
Oregano is a species with very high tolerance in terms of altitude and temperature. However,
the majority of essential oils come from colder zones.
Preparing the ground
Choosing the site
Plantations are best situated on flat or mildly undulating land. If the ground is sloping,
terraces or platforms must be built.
Fallow or thrash irrigation (watering)
This is done three days before ploughing. Turn the earth two or three times in order to allow
the manure to decompose, to prevent weeds growing, and to eliminate grubs and soil blights.
Fallow / Ploughing
Deep ploughing is required. The previous crop must be very thoroughly cleared, and the earth
turned at least twice to prevent weeds and to renew the ground. In order to improve the
texture and fertility of the soil, it is a good idea to integrate ten metric tons of manure per
hectare during preparation of the land.
The correct season
For agro-climatic mountain conditions, the best time to plant [in the Southern Hemisphere] is
September to December, when temperatures are favourable and the rains are beginning.
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