MARJORAM

Description

Marjoram belongs to the Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family and its scientific name is Origanum majorana. It is often confused with oregano, different, however, by its much sweeter and less pungent aroma. Marjoram is a perennial plant native to Africa that reaches 60 cm in height in our climates. It is widely used in cuisine both fresh and dried, and is the ideal condiment for meat, mushrooms, and legumes, as well as to flavor herbal liqueurs (vermouth). Folk medicine attributes antispasmodic, tonic, stimulant, and anti-rheumatic properties to marjoram.

Cultivation

Marjoram is a very hardy plant resistant to both summer heat as well as the cold temperatures of winter. During the cold period, it loses its leaves but blooms again in the spring. In the central- southern part of the peninsula, it has no problems surviving the winter, while in the northern regions of the country, one does better to protect the roots with piles of leaves, or by placing the pots in sheltered places. For cultivation in pots, the soil must be fertile, with 70% organic matter and 30% inert material. It is important to always place a layer of expanded clay on the bottom of the vessel which ensures a good draining of irrigation water. To grow well, marjoram needs to be exposed to direct sunlight or partial shade. Irrigation must be frequent as must fertilization, to be done with soluble fertilizers dissolved in the irrigation water. At the end of the good weather, one can prune the plant to 10 cm tall.