Sweet Marjoram

Sweet Marjoram growing in a terracotta pot.

Sweet Marjoram growing in a terracotta pot.

There are many kinds of marjoram. My favorite is, Origanum majorana or Sweet Marjoram.

There’s nothing like the bright, warm scent of a fresh sprig of sweet marjoram rubbed between your hands. In my opinion it rivals even the most expensive smelling cologne. With that fragrance, it seems like it shouldn’t work in cooking, but somehow it does.

Sweet marjoram gives boring white beans a savory richness and is also said to help with flatulence, a perfect pair! I love to add it to spaghetti sauce for the sweet herbaceous note that makes everyone ask, “what do you put in your sauce to make it so good?” Another favorite pairing is with roasted winter vegetables. As I cut pieces off for cooking, I trim up the dead leaves and twigs while shaping it into a neat compact form. This creates a fuller and healthier plant.

I’ve found that the best way to grow sweet marjoram is in a container. Anytime I’ve ever grown it in the garden the weeds devour it before it’s had time to establish itself. Just remember to check to see if it needs watering daily and to give it a liquid seaweed fertilizer, bi-weekly. If you do grow it, compare it to the dried stuff  from the grocery store in a bottle and you’ll see what you’ve been missing.

Sweet Marjoram doesn’t like cold weather. That’s another good reason to grow it in a container. I bring it inside during late fall, and put it in a nice sunny spot somewhere in the house. During late winter my plant can start to look ragged but I just remember that spring will be back around soon and I can start all over again.

Try My Vegan Cookbook’s Herbalicious Butternut Squash Soup.