Herbs forum: Trimming Mexican oregano

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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 14, 2016 9:43 AM CST
I received my ordered plants of Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) yesterday. I plan on growing it in a pot since it won't survive our winters. The plants I received look healthy although a bit crowded in their individual pots so appears they need to be put into a bigger pot very soon. I've never grown this before and, to me, the plants seem a little leggy with most of the leaves at the top. Can these plants be trimmed back a bit to encourage more side shoots? I don't want to make a mistake by pruning too much or at the wrong time.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Apr 14, 2016 6:31 PM CST
Cindy--I'm not aware of any specific pruning for mexican oregano, but a good rule of thumb is to never prune more than 1/3 of the height of the plant. You might want to do a little less and see if you are getting branching from your cuts.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 15, 2016 7:59 AM CST
Thanks for that tip. I didn't want to prune too far down on the more woody part of the stem. Since these plants were grown in OH, I'm assuming they spent the winter indoors, perhaps resulting in the leggier growth. Maybe?
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 16, 2016 8:30 AM CST
My Mexican oregano has been happily growing outside in a pot all summer. I've even managed to harvest and dry some leaves. It has grown to about a foot tall and I've moved it inside already. I did put it in a small pot when I first received it and I know it will grow into a small shrub. It's probably about the size to now require a bigger pot. Should I transplant it now or wait until spring? It probably will drop some leaves over winter due to reduced sunlight.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Oct 16, 2016 10:49 AM CST
In s Tx the mexican oregano overwinters and starts growing its best. I usually lop ours back with hedge trimmers about Dec and like rosemary, that thickens the lower parts. It slows down after June or July, depending mostly on seasonal rains, heat.
kitt
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 17, 2016 4:38 PM CST
Thanks, kitt. Golly, I would have thought that it would like the heat. I'm hesitant to transplant/trim mine as it's still young and I don't get the best sunlight in the winter.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Oct 17, 2016 5:24 PM CST
Indiana is the coldest, windiest, iciest state in the USA. Flat. Pure miserable.
That said, Your summers arent even close to our winters. Dont think my dau said it got below 65-70* last winter. My oregano grows abt 18" above ground level in a raised bed that gets rain only. Too wet in the sandy area for growing in ground. It loves to cuddle up next to a cement block, or stone, and drape and creep itself all over.
Your conditions are so very different. Treat it like a basil tho- wait til creepers are maybe 5" long before you snip the xtra length back. Good luck!
kitt
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 18, 2016 7:49 AM CST
kitt - last year our summer was wetter and cooler - tomatoes came in late. This summer, it's been hotter and drier for extended periods of time. Tomatoes started producing early.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Oct 18, 2016 9:31 AM CST
I have a friend from Anderson- I know about your weather. EVERYTIME I roll into Indiana I am getting rain this year. Doesn't change my mind, Texas is supposed to have all 4 seasons happen everyday, chuckl, but Indiana would be hard for me to live in with winters like you have. I love my herbs I grow.
kitt
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 18, 2016 3:01 PM CST
Yep, Anderson and the southern part of the state have gotten a lot more rain than we have up here in the NW corner. A lot of weather systems split apart just as they're crossing the state line south of Chicago and we get zero rain. Lake Michigan has a weird effect on weather systems.

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