For most of us, oregano is the staple herb of the Mediterranean, so why not bring this beauty right into your garden? Ornamental Oregano is a hardy, low-maintenance plant that looks amazing in hanging baskets, containers, rock gardens, or as a small-scale groundcover.
Although Kent Beauty Origanum is not edible, as the leaves have a mild “oregano” taste, it does have a very unique appearance that gets people talking. Some even call Ornamental Oregano magical and can’t stop raving about it. With its spectacular flowers and perky rosette leaves, Kent Beauty Oregano has an unmatched appearance that seems out of this world.
Except for their flowers bracts, Ornamental Oreganos are similar to their culinary varieties when it comes to growth requirements. They are easy to care for and can survive in different garden situations.
Because most Ornamental Oregano varieties drape and hang, we recommend planting them over the edge of something, rather than letting them lay flat on the ground.
In this article, we’ll go over the main aspects that gardeners need to keep in mind when adding Kent Beauty Origanum to their plant collection. Keep reading to find out more!
About Ornamental Oregano Kent Beauty
- Ornamental Oregano Kent Beauty is one of the easiest plants to grow, indoors or outdoors. They are a magnet to bees and other pollinators.
- Kent Beauty Origanum is considered the peacock of the herb family, as it has received the prestigious Award of Garden Merit by the United Kingdom, Royal Horticultural Society. The award is made annually after the plant is analyzed for one or more years and it’s based on performance under U.K. growing conditions.
- Kent Beauty is sometimes misnamed “Origanum rotundifolium”, which is not entirely wrong, as it is a hybrid between Origanum scabrum and Origanum rotundifolium.
- The genus Origanum comprises approximately 20 species of perennials herbs and evergreen shrubs. The name “orī́ganon” comes from the Greek words “oros” which means mountain and “ganos” meaning brightness. Therefore, Origanum means the brightness of the mountain.
- Although Ornamental Oregano Kent Beauty can be eaten and some people even use the stems to make potpourri, we recommend keeping it away from pets. The herb is not very toxic, but it can cause digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhoea. In some rare cases it can lead to more serious problems, so take your dog to the vet if you suspect oregano poisoning.
Ornamental Oregano Kent Beauty Features
- One of the particular features of Ornamental Oregano Kent Beauty is the prominent veins on their heart-shaped green leaves.
- Oregano Kent Beauty is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae. Unlike mint, oregano is not considered invasive, even if it does send out runners in the ground.
- Its attractive flowers are small but definitely eye-catching – they are visible through the large bracts which cover the stems. Flowers bloom profusely all summer long, so don’t be surprised if by late summer you can hardly see the leaves anymore.
- Ornamental Oregano grows to be about 6 inches (15cm) tall because of its trailing habit. Most varieties are hardy to USDA zones 4 or 5, except for Dittany of Crete which can grow only in zone 7.
- During the winter, Kent Beauty dies and comes back to life with the arrival of spring. Each spring its crown gets bigger and the stems root in different spots in the ground. The stems will continue to elongate until the flowers emerge.
Growing Ornamental Oregano Kent Beauty
When growing Oregano Kent Beauty, you need to provide it with bright light and cool night temperatures to ensure the plant will beautifully bloom. Although it is considered a cold-hardy perennial, it might not survive harsh winters in cooler climates. We recommend protecting the plant with cold frames, row covers, or some extra mulch. If you properly shelter Ornamental Oregano, you increase the chance of healthy plants returning after winter’s dormancy period.
- Kent Beauty Origanum prefers temperatures of 55-70°F (13-21°C) but can tolerate 50-80°F (10-27°C) or even higher.
- If grown indoors, you might need to provide some extra humidity if the air gets too dry during winter.
- You can place the pot on a tray filled with water and pebbles to add some extra humidity to the air around the plant.
- Even though direct afternoon sun might be too much for Ornamental Oregano, some morning bright light will make the pink colour of its flowers more vibrant.
- Such color play, such fragrance, such texture. Kirigami is a fabulous ornamental oregano, the perfect choice for baskets and flowerpots where long, trailing stems in a wash of brilliant hues is sought.
- The bracts on this plant are a combination of rich purple and green, while the blooms are a rich rosy shade of deep red. The show begins in late spring and continues all summer on plants that stand up to heat and humidity. Breathtaking.
- Somewhat resembling hops, the bract-and-bloom laden stems are set among small, light green, heart-shaped ¾-inch leaves. This plant from seed is more dense and flower-filled than vegetative varieties—not to mention less expensive. Kirigami reaches just 8 to 10 inches high but trails up to 14 inches long.
- Grow Kirigami as an annual north of its zone 5 hardiness range, bringing it indoors for winter or simply re-sowing in spring. The blooms are excellent in dried arrangements, their unusual shape adding hard-to-find texture to any display. And this plant is quite low maintenance, thriving even in dry soil to form a bushy, trailing plant.
- Good drainage is essential to the success of Kirigami. If yours is in question, improve the soil with the addition of porous or gritty material. For best flowering, cut this plant to the ground in late fall.
- We provide high-quality seeds like we have since 1879.
- Beautiful flowers from great seeds.
- See the Description below for specifics on this seed product.
- COLORFUL CABBAGE: This Ornamental Cabbage mix has been hybridized to have purple and creamy white colors alongside beautiful rich hues of green. While you could eat ornamental cabbage it has been bred for looks and not taste.
- ADDS EXOTIC STYLE AND COLOR: Very stately and colorful cabbage is sure to draw attention and awe from all that walk by this exotic vegetable.
- CZ GRAIN GUARANTEE: You get authentic seeds shipped from Iowa, USA. Reach out with questions or concerns for a fast solution.
In late fall, you can cut the plants to the ground. For a bushier appearance, regularly pinch back the plant branches so that new shoots will grow. If your oregano seems a bit too dry, cut back the affected areas and water generously to encourage its regeneration.
Even though Ornamental Oregano does not have any problems with pests and disease, planting with intention is the best defence. Make sure to provide the plants with sufficient space for airflow.
Also, using companion plants can be very helpful. Avoid planting oregano next to garlic and onions where thrips like to gather. Allow the soil to dry before watering again, and never let the plants sit in soggy soil that can cause root rot.
Planting Ornamental Oregano Kent Beauty
Oregano Kent Beauty should be planted in the spring, only after the threat of frost has passed. You can successfully grow the plant in raised garden beds, containers, hanging baskets, rock gardens, and anywhere where it can curtain and show off its beautiful flowers and foliage.
Wherever you chose to plant, keep in mind that well-draining soil is essential. Containers, rock gardens, and raised beds are normally well-draining, so all you have to do is choose soil that is not heavy in clay.
If you’re not sure what type of soil you have in the garden, test it by digging a one-foot-deep (30 cm) hole and filling it with water until the water stays in the hole. Next, time how long it takes for it to drain. The hole should be empty in 12 hours; if not then you need to find another planting area.
For better drainage, plant on 3 to 5 inches (7 to 12 cm) mounds and amend the soil with a one-third part planting mix. Ornamental Oregano prefers alkaline soil, so if your soil is more acidic you can add agricultural lime to raise the pH. Oregano is a rapid grower, so it will quickly fill a pot. If it gets too big, you can cut the plant back. Ideally, you should repot only once, from the nursery pot to a larger 6 inch (15 cm) clay pot.
Watering Ornamental Oregano Kent Beauty
Watering Ornamental Oregano should be done with great care, as it has a predisposition to drowning. Try to keep the plant on the dry side, and water only the top inch (2,5 cm) after the soil has dried out.
Oregano should be watered thoroughly but less frequently, as you would with a succulent. To test if the soil is dry, use your finger or a water meter.
Alternatively, you can sink a dry garden tool like a shovel into the soil away from any plant roots. Next, pull it out and see if the blade is clean and dry it means the soil can be watered. If the blase is damp and with bits of soil clinging to it, it means your soil is still moist. Container plants can be weighted to see if there is any difference in weight before and after watering. You can fertilize your Ornamental Oregano once a year in the spring, before the growing season.
Propagating Ornamental Oregano Kent Beauty
Ornamental Oregano can be easily propagated from seed and cuttings. If you want to start your baby Kent Beauty directly from seeds, you need to decide if you’re going to sow them directly into the garden or start them indoors.
- You can start them indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost and transplant them into the garden only after the danger of frost has passed and the soil temperature is over 65°F (18 °C).
- Sow the seeds ¼ inches (6 mm) deep, spaced 12 inches (30 cm) in rows that are 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) apart. Sprinkle the soil over them and gently press it with your fingers. Maintain the soil moist for one or two weeks until the plants are established.
- Another super easy method to propagate Ornamental Oregano Kent Beauty is by cuttings. Chances are it will grow even if you just break a piece of the mother plant and stick it into the ground. However, we recommend doing it the proper way. Start by taking 3-4 inch (7-10 cm) cuttings from the mother plant. Make sure you use a clean knife.
- Next, strip the flowers and buds from the last 2 inches (5 cm) so that you allow the cutting can channel its energy into developing new roots. Dip the ends of the cuttings into rooting powder and insert them into a container. Place the container into clear plastic bags that cover the sticks and tie them at the end. Keep the cuttings away from direct sunlight and keep the soil moist for the next three weeks. When you notice new growth, repot them until they are large enough to be transplanted into the garden.
Ornamental Oregano Kent Beauty is an interesting herb with a unique appearance people can’t stop raving about. Although its flowers are petite, this hybrid cannot go unnoticed. Moreover, caring for it is very easy as it can survive in different garden situations. Kent Beauty tends to drape and hang, so it’s best to plant them in hanging baskets or over the edge of something.
Are you already growing Ornamental Oregano? Tell us more about your experience in the comment section below!