Origanum 'Hot and Spicy'
Common Name: oregano 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: White to purple-pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Herb
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Does very well in gritty, sandy loams. Good heat and drought tolerance. Best to shear plants back regularly before flowering to keep the planting tidy and to promote new growth.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Origanum is a genus of about 20 species of herbaceous perennials and deciduous and evergreen sub-shrubs. They are native to the Mediterranean and southwestern Asia. Some are used as culinary herbs.

Genus name probably comes from the Greek words oros meaning "mountain" and gamos meaning "beauty" in reference to the physical appearance of this plant which is sometimes native of mountain areas where it is appropriately referred to as "beauty of the mountain".

‘Hot and Spicy’ is noted for its intense, somewhat spicy flavor. It is a sprawling, rhizomatous perennial that typically grows to 12-18” tall and spreads to 18” wide or more. Dark green leaves (to 1” long) are strongly aromatic. Tiny, white to purple-pink, two-lipped flowers (typical mint family) rise above the foliage in summer in terminal or axillary spikes. Flowers are conspicuous but not of high ornamental value. Leaves are used either fresh or dried to flavor food dishes, particularly in Italian cuisine.


No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot may occur in wet, poorly drained soils. Fungal diseases, aphids and spider mites are occasional problems. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid this plant.


Mass in border fronts, herb gardens or rock gardens. Also effective as an edger. Large containers.