Plant in the spring after all danger of frost has passed in a location that will receive full sun to partial shade. Space plants 14-18″ apart in fertile soil that is well-drained. Plant height 8-10″.
Heat and drought tolerant. Higher light and cooler night temperatures accent the purple bract color. Does well in containers or mixed pots. Attracts bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Oregano, Kirigami origanum x hybrid
Kirigami, a non-culinary oregano, is heat and drought tolerant and features a dense, mounded, and slightly trailing habit. It is tighter and fuller than standard vegetative varieties with an eye-catching display of texture from Spring until Autumn. With its large purple-green bracts and rose flowers on light green foliage, it is perfect when used as a patio plant, in hanging baskets, or in borders and rock gardens.
To harvest: bunch stems together and hang in a cool and airy place to dry. Once dry, the flowers can be used in dried bouquet arrangements or potpourri.
Kent Beauty, Hopley’s, Bristol, Dittany of Crete and Kirigami are valued for their flowers and we view them as mainly ornamental and although the foliage is aromatic, it is not usually used in cooking. The best culinary ones are Italian, Turkish, Greek and Hot & Spicy. Of these, Greek and Italian bloom about mid-summer through fall and have the most flavor-filled leaves right before the flowers bloom. Although the flowers are edible too, it’s usually the leaves that are used for flavoring foods. They retain their flavor better in hot dishes if added toward the end of cooking. Heating too long may result in bitterness.