The Marjoram plant is becoming an ever more popular herb for home gardeners.  The leaves are an outstanding spice, and full of essential oils.  Marjoram is from the mint family.

There are a variety of health benefits that are associated with the Marjoram plant.  Due to its high fragrance and oil content, it is often used in aromatherapy and massages.  It is also used as a decongestant and to loosen phlegm.

Growing Marjoram

Most species of Marjoram are annuals, although perennials do exist.  If you want to grow marjoram year-round, the plants should be transplanted into pots and moved inside before the first frost.

Marjoram plants should be grown in full sun in well-draining soil.  If your soil does not drain well, consider adding sand or small pebbles to increase draining capacity.  If you have very waterlogged soil, you may want to consider planting in pots with a well draining potting mix.

Harvesting and Using Marjoram

Marjoram leaves should be picked before the first flowers appear. Once flowers begin to grow, the leaves will take on a bitter flavor.  To harvest the leaves, pinch off the ends of health branches.  If you do notice flowers appearing, pinch off the branches with the flowers to encourage flavor development in the other branches.

Left over leaves may be stored for a few days at room temperature in a sealed container.  Leftover leaves may also be dried or froze for later use.  If drying, make sure the leaves dry fully and completely.  Frozen Marjoram leaves may last 4 to 6 months if kept in a tightly sealed bag.

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