Mexican Oregano Plant: The Ultimate Growing And Caring Tips

oregano herbs kitchen

Mexican Oregano: A Flavorful and Aromatic Herb

Mexican oregano, scientifically known as Lippia graveolens, is a herbaceous plant native to Mexico and Central America. Despite its name, it is not botanically related to the Mediterranean oregano commonly used in European cuisine. Mexican oregano belongs to the verbena family and offers a distinct flavor profile that sets it apart in the culinary world. Characterized by its vibrant and pungent aroma, Mexican oregano has leaves resembling traditional oregano but with a unique twist. The intense flavor profile of this cuisine is often praised over its Mediterranean counterpart.

While there’s plenty of debate on the health benefits of oregano, it’s certainly not a plant most people would have on their list of must-grow herbs. But when it comes to oregano, size doesn’t matter.

It was discovered in Mexico, where it was named after the country. It is actually a native herb that grows wild throughout Mexico. It is called Oregano de México. This name was given because it looked similar to oregano. Oregano is very well-known around the world. It is very effective against colds, coughs, flu, and other infections. But, when they found the plant, they were amazed. It has much bigger leaves than oregano. The leaves of oregano are long, thin, and pointed. It also has much more prominent flowers.

When was the last time you tasted Mexican oregano? Probably never, since most people don’t know that Mexico is the world’s largest producer of Mexican oregano.

How to Grow and Care Mexican Oregano Plant.

Mexican Oregano Plant (Poliomintha longiflora) is a flowering perennial native to Mexico. A jewel in the kitchen as well as in the garden.

Melissa officinalis

History

Mexican oregano has been used in cooking since the early colonial period in Mexico. It is a member of the mint family. Oregano has a strong flavor, is high in antioxidants, and is known to help reduce fever and ease digestive discomfort.

What Is Mexican Oregano?

Mexican oregano is a member of the mint family, along with the plant’s spearmint and peppermint. It has a strong, pungent flavor. The leaves of Mexican oregano are used in Mexican cooking to give a spicy, peppery flavor to dishes like enchiladas and tamales. It’s also a key ingredient in some traditional teas.

If you are looking for a herb that you can use in your culinary creations, you might want to try using this herb instead of oregano. Like oregano, it’s a member of the mint family, but it’s naive to Mexico. It can also be found growing wild in those regions.

In the kitchen, L. graveolens is used to make infusions and teas. Its use is more common in Europe than in the U.S., but it has found its way into the culinary repertoire of many Latin American countries. It is sometimes called “angel’s trumpet” because of its trumpet-shaped flowers.

It is known as “The Healing Herb” and is very popular in the United States. Many people have reported using this herb to help digestion and reduce gas and bloating.

Climate and Care:

This Oregano plant variety thrives and flourishes in hot and dry climates. It is winter hardy in USDA Zones 8-10. This plant thrives in rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils and prefers full sunlight.
Mexican Oregano tolerates part shade and also accepts brief periods of drought. During the winter months, it will need some winter protection except in the mildest climates.

It produces tiny lavender-pink tube-like flowers when it’s blooming in summer and fall. Mexican Oregano plants located in USDA zones 7b through 8a may not survive the colder weather conditions, but their hardy roots will likely survive the winter. They will probably regrow in spring.

Propagation

There are several methods of propagation available to us. The most common method used today is by seed. This method is the quickest and easiest and produces the largest plants in the shortest amount of time.

Seeds come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many seeds grow into large, heavy plants with broad, fleshy leaves and giant flowers. Other seeds are so tiny that they look like grains of sand. You can choose the best method for your needs.

You can also use cuttings for growing your herbs and spices. This is a slow method that produces smaller plants than seeds. You can easily divide cuttings using tools such as the pruner or a knife; before planting them in soil, place cuttings in water for a few days.

Finally, you can plant seeds directly in the soil and then cover them with soil until germination. Seeds are the best way to start plants from seeds. The seeds are cheap and easy to find, and they grow into healthy plants in only a few days.

Origanum vulgare young plant

How to Grow

This plant thrives in rich, medium moisture, is well-drained, and is in full sunlight. Add compost when preparing the soil to plant your seedlings is always important. However, fertilize sparingly as too much may cause issues such as browning leaf tips, yellowing, and wilting leaves. In USDA Zones 10 or higher, consider pruning your plant down to about one foot tall, as this will encourage new growth in the new season.

To grow Mexican oregano from seed, you will need a container with holes in it for drainage. It would help if you also had a sunny spot in your garden to plant your seeds; you should sow them in the late spring and early summer. Seeds should be sown about 2 inches deep and 5 inches apart and add anywhere between 2-5 seeds in each hole. Uniformly distribute water on the soil; seeds will typically germinate in a reasonably short period between two to three weeks. After planting, you should keep the soil moist until germination occurs. After germination, the seedlings should be potted into individual pots with a drainage hole and kept in a warm place.

oregano herbs kitchen

Mexican Oregano may be potted in containers indoors. However, place it next to sunny windows or an area with an abundant source of sunshine. Mexican Oregano or Rosemary Mint typically grows to about 3 to 4 inches tall. It is widely grown in the Southwestern parts of the U.S. Leaves generally are used as a culinary herb like Oregano but produce a more robust flavor. Mexican Oregano leaves taste overwhelmingly of mint and Oregano. It has magnificent lavender flowers, which are edible and taste amazingly delicious.

Watering.

Sparingly water Mexican Oregano, especially during the winter months. The general recommendation is to water when the soil is bone dry. In indoor locations, place plants next to a sunny window or an area with an abundant source of sunshine. Found in the Southwest of the U.S., this plant grows to about 4 inches tall.

Mexican Oregano leaves are mainly used as a culinary herb like Oregano, producing a more robust flavor. This herb tastes overwhelmingly of mint and Oregano. It has magnificent lavender flowers that are edible and taste amazingly delicious.

Oregano

Care and Maintenance

Care and maintenance for Mexican Oregano plants are relatively straightforward. The plant thrives well in drought conditions and tolerates periods of little or no rain. It flourishes in a relatively wide variety of soil types but prefers slightly alkaline soils with good drainage. It’s an ideal plant of choice for locations plagued by deer-related issues since it’s well-known to be a deer deterrent. As a result, threats of pests and diseases are minimal.

Managing Pests and Disease

To ensure your oregano plant is pest and disease-free, you’ll need to understand the pests and diseases that affect Mexican oregano and how to control them. The first step in controlling pests and diseases is correctly identifying the problem. There are many pests and diseases that attack oregano plants, but the most common are aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs. Once you’ve identified the problem, you can treat it appropriately with the appropriate insecticide. For example, aphids may be killed with neem oil, whereas whiteflies and mealybugs may be treated with pyrethrins. There are many other options for treating specific problems, but the main point is to use the most effective method for the particular pest or disease you are facing.

Proper soil management, planting in rich soils, and mulching will help mitigate pest and disease issues. Also, the oregano plant can become infected with the fungal disease known as leaf curl. In this case, the leaves turn yellow and wilt. 

Mexican Oregano Uses.

The everyday use of the plant is in Southwestern and Mexican cooking. It is a perfect addition to your salsas, tacos, burrito fillings, beans, lentils, and soups.
Cooks and chefs rely on its unique and robust flavor for a wide range of traditional dishes in Mexico, including using it in burrito and taco meat filings and making a variety of sauces.
In a variety of delicious Cuban cuisines, one can find Mexican Oregano’s peppery properties. It is also considered an essential ingredient in Ropa Vieja, which comprises braised and shredded beef.
Certain Central and South American countries prominently feature Mexican Oregano in various local dishes. In addition, it is vital in preparing popular dishes due to its unique and distinct flavor.

mexican Oregano

Examples of dishes featuring Mexican Oregano Spice prominently include Mexican Black Bean Soup, Ancho Chicken Enchiladas, Spicy Chicken Tinga, Pinto Bean Soup, and Easy Red Sauce Enchiladas.

Where to Buy

You can buy Mexican oregano plants at your local garden store. Planting these in a large pot with plenty of space would be best. Be sure to repot them after some time and keep them watered. Make sure that you water the plant regularly. Water should be applied so that the soil is damp but not wet. In general, water plants during the day and let them dry out in the sun at night.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mexican oregano edible?

Even though it is not the same plant as Mediterranean Oregano, it is used for flavoring, cooking, and medicine. 

Is Mexican oregano easy to grow?

Several methods of propagation can be used. Seed procreation is the most popular today. It is the fastest and easiest method to grow the largest plants in a short amount of time.

Is Mexican oregano perennial or annual?

Yes, it’s both! Mexican oregano is a perennial herb that grows from seed. Perennial herbs are generally considered annuals because they come up from seed each year but usually live for several years. Unfortunately, the herb does not reseed in its native Mexico, so it dies off after several years when it’s planted outside its natural range.

Where do I find Mexican oregano?

While they share “oregano,” Mexican oregano and oregano are from entirely different plants. Mediterranean Oregano is native to the Mediterranean region of the world. It is found predominantly in Greece, France, Turkey, Italy, Israel, and Morroco.

What is the difference between Mexican oregano and oregano?

While they share “Oregano,” Mexican Oregano and Oregano are from entirely different plants. Mediterranean Oregano is native to the Mediterranean region of the world. It is found predominantly in Greece, France, Turkey, Italy, Israel, and Morocco. Even though you can find Mediterranean Oregano in different world regions, they all originate from the same plant; they still have other flavor profiles based on where and the soil it was grown on.

Oragano Flowers

Mediterranean Oregano is grown in various regions, and soil types may have slightly different flavor profiles even though they are from the same plant species.

Most food enthusiasts swear that Greek Oregano is the best among the many varieties in its overall flavor. Mexican Oregano, however, originates and is indigenous to Mexico. It is an entirely different plant unrelated to the Mediterranean Oregano plant. It has an earthy flavor relative to the Mediterranean Oregano. In addition, Mexican Oregano is more closely related to the verbena family, while the Mediterranean Oregano is an integral part of the mint family.

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