Re: Pruning oregano (and other herbs)

Pinch it off before it has a chance to flower by cutting the central stem just immediately above a pair of leaves. I harvest mine with a pair of kitchen shears at least once a week - once they flower, they lose a lot of flavor, I think. You can be fairly merciless, but don't cut more than half the stem's height at one time, or you will over-stress the plant.
If you can't use all that oregano at once, freeze it. I put mine in small cube storage containers with a little olive oil. They go into the microwave to thaw, and right into the crock for sauce. (Same goes for basil, too.)
-=>epm<=-
In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same. - Albert Einstein
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Hi Peter, General rule of thumb with herbs is that you snip it down before it flowers. The pungency of the herb lessens during flowering. You can snip it frequently for your culinary requirements, but don't snip it down to the base.Just take an inch or two off every time. This will also delay it's flowering J.Lane

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J. Lane wrote:

I have a Purple Ruffles Basil that I bought more for the garden and than the kitchen, it just started blooming. Can I just deadhead the flowers?
Janine
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Deadhead them at the point where the last set of true leaves are attached to the stem. If you aren't going to use it as an herb, you might want to selectively remove only some of the stalks; then let them bloom on another stem of the plant when the first flowers are finished. Most basil will keep flowering, with some encouragement, once it starts as long as you remove the spent flower stalks before they go to seed.
-=>epm<=-
In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same. - Albert Einstein
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HI Janine, Been my experience that once it flowers, it's too late to get the full essence of the herb. You can still prune or harvest it, but the strength of the flavour won't be as good. I've mass harvested flowering and non flowering herbs. Cut them down to 4 or 5" from the base of the plant and snip off any flowers, tie the stems together, hang them upside-down to dry, and remove the dried leaves from the stems over a cookie sheet. Put in a labelled jar for winter use. Cool huh? J.Lane

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The preferred method for maximum basil leaf production is to pinch back/trim/clip the tips of stems, incl 1-2 pair of small leaves, as soon as they look as if they're even *thinking* of flowering -- that is, the tiniest little bundle of buds getting ready to spring up. By the time the stem flowers, "deadheading" is likely to just produce 2 more flower stems, and you must prune lower to try and encourage leaf growth.
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I don't know where the original poster lives, but if you cut them once a week at less than half the height, they aren't going to flower - anywhere. Unless you have some super-duper speedy growing Audrey (little shop od horrors) version of an herb. If that is the case, you have far more important problems than flowers to worry about....[g]

The original poster was asking about oregano. Says so right up ^ there. -=>epm<=-
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