Let oregano flower before harvesting it. It’s not the leaves you want, but the flower heads. Yep, just like dope (marijuana) it’s the ‘heads’ that pack a punch, not the leaves (or so I am told, re marijuana!). It also encourages bees into your garden, which is a very good thing.
Here’s what I wrote about oregano on Shared Kitchen in 2017.
‘Oregano’ (origanum vulgare), the green leafy plant you buy from the garden centre, makes great ground cover, fills in gaps in rock gardens and is reasonably hardy, but it’s got as much potency as grass clippings. Look for ‘origanum vulgare’ (hirtum), or Greek oregano (rigani). The test? Crush a few leaves. Garden oregano will not smell of much and if you put a little of the crushed leaf on your tongue not much will happen (you should only do this if you are buying organically grown herbs). So what’s the point of adding that to food? But crush some rigani leaves and the smell will be pervasive. Put a little on the tip of your tongue and fireworks will start in 10-15 seconds: It’ll bite like crushed black pepper! It’s amazingly powerful. Although fresh is usually considered best, when it comes to oregano, dried is better as it becomes more potent.
Read More Oregano – Joy of the Mountain!