I Lost My Prized Oregano Plants to Nasty Pests So Now I Protect Them with These 6 Methods

Presenting Oregano, the Troublesome Pests and How to Safeguard Against Their Pest-Infested Havoc
Without oregano, where would we find ourselves? Pizza sauce would lack flavor, stews would lack vibrancy, gardens would miss a resilient soldier, and individuals would yearn for a natural remedy for coughs and colds.

There exist numerous reasons to cultivate this essential herb in your garden. However, like other garden herbs, oregano encounters certain challenges that might discourage future attempts at growing it.

While oregano is undoubtedly hardier than basil or sage, it still faces its own battles. This piece will explore the pests and diseases that could afflict oregano in your garden or on your windowsill, as well as effective strategies to counter them!

Managing Oregano Challenges

Behold the exquisite, fresh green leaves of the oregano plant.


Origanum vulgare, the most prevalent oregano species, is relatively easy to grow, provided it is placed in the right location. The key to preventing pest infestations and diseases from overwhelming your plant is to ensure it is planted in an ideal spot.

Oregano flourishes when exposed to direct sunlight for most of the day. It thrives in well-draining soil and, most importantly, requires sufficient spacing between each plant to facilitate proper air circulation through its leaves. Additionally, avoid overwatering the oregano, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

While proper spacing is crucial, pruning also plays a vital role in preventing potential issues. Trimming excessively long or bushy branches that impede the herb’s growth promotes a more spread-out growth pattern, reducing the likelihood of leaf congestion.

Fungal Diseases

Diseases affecting oregano predominantly stem from various types of fungi. Fungi thrive in damp conditions with inadequate air circulation, emphasizing the importance of providing ample space for your oregano plants to breathe.

It is equally essential not to overwater your oregano herbs. Failure to allow the soil and leaves to fully dry out renders them more susceptible to infestations and diseases. Three primary diseases commonly affecting oregano are as follows:

Botrytis Rot: This fungal disease induces rotting in your oregano plant, typically manifesting as decaying roots and/or leaves. Identification of botrytis rot becomes relatively easy in such cases.
Remedy: Unfortunately, no cure exists for this fungal disease. The only viable solution involves removing and eliminating the infected plants.

Rhizoctonia Rot: Gradual wilting, originating from the roots, signifies the development of rhizoctonia rot in your plant. Brown discoloration at the stem base further confirms its presence.
Remedy: Another incurable disease, rhizoctonia rot necessitates the removal and disposal of infected plants. To prevent its recurrence, avoid planting anything in that area for at least three years.

Rust: Another fungal disease, rust is the most prevalent yet least severe among oregano ailments. Detection of rust involves spotting small circular brown spots on the foliage.
Remedy: If caught early, rust can be easily managed by pruning the infected branches before it spreads to the rest of the plant. Ensure proper disposal of the infected branches.

Behold the flourishing oregano plant basking in the sunlight.


Surprisingly, oregano possesses natural insect-repellent properties. Gardeners often plant oregano alongside highly susceptible plants to deter pests.

Although oregano serves as an excellent companion plant, particularly for tomatoes and strawberries, it is not entirely immune and still falls victim to a handful of troublesome pests:

Aphids: These sap-sucking insects are easily noticeable and have likely plagued plant enthusiasts before. Aphids congregate near the veins of plants, resembling tiny black grains of rice.
Remedy: To control mild infestations, a forceful blast of water from a hose can dislodge aphids. Alternatively, manual removal or wiping them off with a cloth soaked in insecticidal soap (although challenging due to the small size of oregano leaves) is effective.

Spider Mites: These minuscule pests take up residence near the stems of plants. The presence of delicate spider-web-like wisps around the base of oregano branches indicates a spider mite infestation.
Remedy: Spider mites are easily dealt with, as they do not cling to leaves as firmly as aphids. Gentle spraying of water or using insecticidal soap (opting for an all-natural solution like Dr. Bronner’s) effectively eliminates them.

Leaf Miners: Leaf miners are the larvae of black flies and resemble tiny worms. They feed on the interior of oregano leaves, leaving behind brown trails as evidence of their presence.
Remedy: Since leaf miners inhabit the inside of leaves, spraying them off is ineffective. The only solution is to remove all leaves exhibiting trails and properly dispose of them before the larvae mature into adults.

How to Dispose of Infected Oregano Plants

Focus your attention on the growing rosettes of oregano leaves.

If unfortunate enough to encounter any of the aforementioned issues, you may have had to prune a significant portion of your plant or dispose of it entirely.

Disposal is not as straightforward as discarding it in the trash, as infected specimens require responsible handling. While many assume infected plants can be added to the compost since it’s all-natural, this could prove detrimental.

Introducing an infected plant to your compost bin significantly raises the risk of infecting your entire garden with the same pests or diseases. Many of these fungi and pests can survive, or even thrive, in the compost bin’s temperature. If you plan to incorporate compost into your potting soil, you might bid farewell to your entire garden.

The most responsible disposal methods involve burning the plants (subsequently composting the ashes) or sealing the infected plants in a plastic bag and disposing of them with regular garbage.

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