Marjoram, also sometimes called knotted marjoram, is a popular culinary herb whose leaves and shoots are used as a seasoning. A main component in Herbes de Provence, marjoram has small and smooth opposite leaves, usually around 1″ in length with a wide base and tapered tip, that grow off of reddish-brown stems. A close relative of oregano, its taste is sweet and delicate and is sometimes described as piney or citrusy. Marjoram is a common ingredient in spaghetti sauce recipes and can be used in all types of savory dishes and rubs.

Golden marjoram is frequently used as an ornamental variety in gardens thanks to its lovely yellowish-green hue. A low-growing, mounding-type plant, it does well in containers. Although slightly less pungent than other varieties, Golden marjoram is still valuable as a cooking herb because of its aroma, delicate flavor, and attractiveness as a garnish.

  • Botanical Name: Origanum majorana syn. Majorana hortensis
  • Plant Type: Herb
  • Variety: Golden
  • Growth Cycle: Annual Perennial
  • Season(s): Spring Summer Fall Winter
  • Climate Zone(s): 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b 9a 9b 10a 10b
  • Light: Full Sun Partial Shade
  • Soil Type(s): Clay Loamy Sandy
  • Yield: 0.4 lbs per plant per year
  • Garden Dimensions: 1–4 plants per square foot
  • Germination: 7–14 days
  • Maturity: 60–80 days
  • Harvest: 60–720 days



Seed: Do not cover seeds with soil as they require light for germination.

Seed Depth: Press into soil surface.
Space Between Plants: 6–12″
Space Between Rows: 8–12″
Germination Soil Temperature: 65–70°F
Days for Germination: 7–14
Sow Indoors: Recommended. 4–6 weeks before average last frost date.
Sow Outdoors: After all chance of frost has passed.

Vegetative: Can be propagated by dividing the root ball of established plants. Will also grow well from stem cuttings.


Prefers a more moderate climate. If living in cooler zones, we recommend that you take cuttings in fall to grow inside over the winter since it’s possible the plants will not survive deep freezes. Covering plants’ roots with mulch or straw can increase their chances of overwintering. If living in an extremely hot region, indoor planting may be a better option as the plant cannot endure scorching, humid weather. This type will grow best as an outdoor perennial in USDA Zones 5–9.


Natural: Full sun. Will tolerate some partial afternoon shade.

Artificial: Grows well under T5 fluorescent lamps.

Growing Media

Soil: Prefers well-drained soil; however, it will grow well in most soil types. A pH of 6.6 to 7.0 will keep plants healthy and nourished.

Soilless: Will germinate in most soilless potting mixes such as vermiculte, coco coir, or rock wool.

Hydroponics: Will thrive in a hydroponic media-based system.


Water: Requires moderate levels of water. Unlike many other plants, marjoram prefers a soil that is slightly dry over one that is too wet, so take care not to overwater your plants.

Nutrients: A light to moderate feeder, marjoram reacts well to slow-release fertilizers and most balanced nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium mixes; however, they are not necessary. Plants can be fertilized prior to planting and on a monthly basis following transplanting or sowing, if you want.

Foliar: Spray seaweed extract or compost tea 2 to 4 times throughout the growing season to keep plants robust.

Pruning: Trim back any dead or dying flowers or branches to keep nutrients flowing to the healthy parts of the plant.



  • Aphids
  • Cutworms
  • Mites
  • Thrips


  • Damping-off
  • Powdery mildew
  • Root rot
  • Rust

Rotation and Companion Plants

Companions: Grows well with almost all vegetables and herbs. Avoid planting next to onions or garlic.

Harvest and Storage

Harvest: Can begin to harvest once plants have reached approximately 3″ in height and before the flowers have opened. Harvest by cutting or picking stems, leaving at least 2/3 of the plant.

Storage: Freshly cut stems will store for up to one week in the refrigerator. You can place the cut end of stems in a glass of water to extend their life. After drying, leaves will keep in an airtight container in a dark, dry place for up to a year.

Other Info

Fun Fact: If grown in shade, the leaves of golden marjoram will lose their golden color and emerge in a more green tone.


Preserve and Prepare

Preserve: Keeps best when dried by either hanging upside down in a well-ventilated location or placing leaves in a dehydrator or oven set to a very low temperature.

Prepare: Can be added dried or fresh to any number of dishes. As it has a similar flavor profile to oregano, it’s commonly used in Italian dishes.


Nutritional: Contains high levels of antioxidants as well as trace amounts of vitamin(s) A, C, calcium, and iron.

Medicinal: Historically, marjoram has been used for many ailments related to the stomach, such as reducing gas, acting as a laxative, relieving nausea, and improving overall stomach health.


Spice up your rice with some Marjoram Flavored Rice with Grilled Veggies!


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