By Jennifer Poindexter
Are you in the market for a new herb for your indoor herb garden? What about sweet marjoram? It’s wonderful for culinary use, and it’s gorgeous to look at as well. If you’d like a trailing herb that can boost your food’s flavor profile, this could be a great choice.
You’re in the right place, too, because I’m going to walk you through what you should know when growing sweet marjoram indoors. We have a great deal of ground to cover, so let’s get started.
What You Might Need to Grow Sweet Marjoram Indoors
When growing sweet marjoram there are a few items you might need to improve your indoor gardening experience.
The first is a flat surface to grow your herb. It must be level and work with your lighting source. If you don’t receive enough natural sunlight to grow this plant well, you should invest in supplemental lighting.
This can be an actual grow light, or you can purchase an LED lighting system. Consider how you will get the lighting near your plant.
Some lights are stand-alone while others must be hung above the plant. Ensure you have a shelf or shelving system which will allow you to hang the light close enough to the plant.
It’s wise to always maintain a space of six to twelve inches of space between the plant and the light. After you get the lighting worked out, make sure you have a well-draining container and soil for growing the herb.
Once you have all the items necessary for growing this herb, you’re ready to begin the process.
Growing Conditions for Sweet Marjoram Indoors
When growing sweet marjoram, there are a few things you must get right to have a positive growing experience with this herb.
To begin, the plant needs full sun. It should be placed where it can receive a minimum of six to eight hours of sunlight per day.
I realize during certain parts of the year this may be difficult to provide. You might also live in a home that doesn’t get much sunlight at any time of the year.
In either case, you can use supplemental lighting to care for the plant. However, for each hour of sunlight that you’re supplementing, the plant will need two hours beneath the grow light.
It’s also important to plant sweet marjoram in both a container and soil which are well-draining. The plant likes consistent moisture but should never be left in a soggy state.
The container you grow this herb in should be approximately a half foot wide or more. Yet, the planter doesn’t need to be especially deep.
These specifics are important to make sure the plant is given the opportunity to trail. If you can provide adequate lighting, a proper growing container, and the right growing medium, sweet marjoram should do well under your care.
How to Plant Sweet Marjoram Indoors
There are multiple ways to plant sweet marjoram. The least expensive method is to start the herb from seed.
The process isn’t overly complicated. Once you have the correct growing container, fill it with well-draining soil.
Sweet marjoram seeds are extremely small, so it’s difficult to say how many you should plant. Instead, dig a small trench in the container that’s approximately a ¼ inch deep.
Take a pinch of the seeds and sprinkle them in the trench. Lightly cover them with soil. Use a spray bottle to moisten the soil with water.
It’s also a good idea to wrap your container in plastic wrap to provide a greenhouse effect. Keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout.
Once they’ve sprouted, pick the sturdiest plant to keep. The rest should be cut off at the soil-level using scissors to protect the root system of the plant you’re keeping.
The second method for growing sweet marjoram involves another sweet marjoram plant. If you have an established plant, moisten the soil, and dig it up. Be sure you remove all the roots from the soil.
Using a spade, divide the plant down the middle. Depending upon the size of your established plant, you may be able to divide the plant multiple times.
Ensure each division includes part of the root system. Place each division into a proper container with well-draining soil.
You must dig a hole in the soil, place the division in the hole, ensure it fits snugly, and cover the hole with the remaining soil.
Press firmly around the base of the plant to ensure no air can reach the plant’s roots.
Our final way of planting sweet marjoram also involves a mature plant. Take a cutting from the established plant that’s a minimum of six inches long.
Dip the cutting in rooting hormone and place it in well-draining soil. Keep the growing medium moist for approximately thirty days.
During this time, the plant should have developed roots. Once the roots are protruding from the bottom of the container, it’s time to transplant your new herb into a larger container following the instructions mentioned above.
These are three methods for growing sweet marjoram inside your home. Pick the method you’re most comfortable with and get your journey started.
Caring for Sweet Marjoram When Growing Indoors
Sweet marjoram is an herb which requires minimal care. The only things you will need to do is prune and water the plant properly. It might also require additional fertilizer.
Sweet marjoram should be watered using the deep watering method. Move the planter to the sink when watering it. Allow water to pour over the soil of the plant, until it’s running out of the bottom of the planter.
Leave the herb in your kitchen sink until it has fully drained. Once finished, move it back to its growing location.
Don’t apply any more water without testing the soil. Insert your finger into the soil and ensure it’s dry to your second knuckle.
If it is, it’s time for another watering session. If not, hold off until the soil is dry to this point. Pruning is also vital to this plant because it determines the shape of the plant and its life cycle.
Once the plant reaches a half foot in height, begin removing the ends. This will help it to become bushy, and it will keep the plant thinking it’s younger than it is. Therefore, discouraging it from blooming to produce seed.
The herb might need more fertilizer applied to it as well. You can use an all-purpose fertilizer but be sure it’s diluted by half. Apply the diluted nutrients up to two times per month.
By providing these basic things for this herb, you should keep a healthy plant that produces for longer periods.
Potential Pests and Diseases for Sweet Marjoram When Growing Indoors
There are a few pests and diseases you must stay aware of when growing sweet marjoram indoors. Growing this herb inside can protect it from many threats, but some will still find their way into your home.
The diseases which tend to bother sweet marjoram are usually fungal based. Therefore, be sure to provide enough light to the plant. This helps keep the soil temperatures up.
Be mindful to use the deep watering method to avoid adding too much water to the plant. Also, pruning will help increase airflow around the plant.
If you see signs of fungal disease, treat the herb with a fungicide and prune any impacted areas. You should also back down on the watering sessions and do more to increase the airflow surrounding the plant by either pruning or placing a fan near the plant for a few hours per day.
The pests which most commonly impact sweet marjoram, when growing indoors, are aphids and spider mites.
Both pests can be treated by spraying the plant hard with soapy water and applying an insecticide. Stay aware of things which might harm your plant to protect your harvest.
How to Harvest Sweet Marjoram
Now that you know how to grow and care for this herb, let’s discuss how you can cash in on your harvest. When sweet marjoram has become a minimum of six inches tall, it can be harvested.
You can remove up to 75% of the plant at once, and it should regrow. It’s important to cut where two leaves meet. This is also referred to as a node.
By harvesting from these locations, it will encourage the plant to continue growing and produce even more of a harvest.
The herb can be used fresh for immediate use or dried for later use.
You’ve now learned all you must know to have a successful time when growing sweet marjoram indoors. It isn’t a complicated herb and would be great for those new to indoor gardening.
By caring for your plant and watching for potential threats, you increase your odds of having a bountiful harvest. Hopefully this information will help you to grow a gorgeous, and tasty, herb inside your home to add more flavor to your cooking.