Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) - a magnet for bees, butterflies and other pollinators

If I would have only space for one plant to attract pollinators I would plant wild marjoram (Origanum vulgare) as pollinators find the flowers irresistible. Often 20 - 30 bumblebees and quite a lot of butterflies are to be found at any time during the day on the plant I grow on the allotment.

Wild marjoram (also called Oregano) is a perennial herb, grows up to 80 cm tall and has lots of small purple flowers in July and August. It needs a sunny place and not too fertile well-drained soil but can be grown in ordinary garden soil. It does not need any fertiliser and the only thing you have to do is to cut down the old flower stems in winter or early spring. The plant self-seeds easily and you can also propagate it by cutting off sections of the plant and replanting them somewhere else.

Bumblebees love wild marjoram
Lots of pollinator activity
Butterflies such as this Meadow brown like wild marjoram too

The aromatic leaves are edible and can be used to flavour lots of different dishes. The leaves are more flavourful when dried than fresh and ideally you pick the leaves before the plant starts to flower.

Pollinators, especially bumblebees and butterflies, are really fond of the nectar-rich flowers and you will soon find your wild marjoram plant a hotspot of pollinator activity in your garden.

A Small skipper visits the nectar-rich flowers
Two bumblebees meet each other
A little Bombus lucorum male enjoys wild marjoram
Bombus lucorum male poking its head out between the flowers


  1. I agree - we planted lots of pollinator plants over the last few years, but marjoram wins by miles.

  2. This has always been popular with the bees on my allotment too but at the moment they are ignoring it in favour of Veronica spicata

  3. Thiese topics and article are so information based.This is so interesting blog. You are best listing knowledge provide at this site. I am very excited read this nice article. This is great and important elements in the modern world that mean Marjoram Leaves.

  4. Lots of bees and bumblebees on my marjoram plants every year. ❤❤❤

  5. Best plant for bees and butterflies in my garden

  6. My golden marjoram plant has been flowering for months and there are dozens of bees of different sorts every day.