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Mexican Oregano

Lippia graveolens

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Mexican Oregano (Lippia graveolens) at Bast Brothers Garden Center

Mexican Oregano

Mexican Oregano

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Mexican Oregano (Lippia graveolens) at Bast Brothers Garden Center

Mexican Oregano foliage

Mexican Oregano foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  8b


Not a true oregano, but used as a seasoning in Mexican food; an attractive shrub especially when pinched back early in its life; clusters of white flowers all season; great for the garden or shrub border

Ornamental Features

Mexican Oregano features showy clusters of fragrant white flowers at the ends of the branches from late spring to mid fall. It has attractive green deciduous foliage which emerges chartreuse in spring. The fragrant oval leaves are highly ornamental but do not develop any appreciable fall color.

This plant is primarily grown as an ornamental, but it's also valued for its edible qualities. The savory leaves are most often used in the following ways:

  • Seasoning

Landscape Attributes

Mexican Oregano is a multi-stemmed deciduous woody herb with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This woody herb will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Mexican Oregano is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • General Garden Use
  • Herb Gardens
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Mexican Oregano will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This woody herb does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America.

Mexican Oregano makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Garden  Herb  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features