Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs
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Over the next year, the herb of the month feature will focus on those unusual herbs that a professional grower may occasionally be asked to supply. These profiles are supplied by Herbalpedia
brittle stems and colorful foliage resemble the common Coleus. Growth is
slow in the winter months and moderate in spring and summer. Heat and
direct sun don't seem to adversely affect growth or appearance.
Insignificant flower stems form in the fall. It is extremely tender so
grow in a protected area or keep it mobile in a pot so it can be placed in
a controlled environment in the winter.
Propagate vegetatively, from cuttings. Terminal cuttings only
slightly benefit from a root hormone, but it is probably not cost
effective. They are placed in a well-drained rooting medium with 72-75F
bottom heat. Rooting will occur in about 10-14 days. Can be direct stuck
or transplanted to 4" pots in 3-4 weeks. Plants grow best in the
winter months with as much sunlight as possible. However, if producing
plants for a summer market, 30-50% shade results in less stress and water
consumption. Supplemental lighting is not required unless a fast winter
crop is desired. Plant growth will be delayed at temperatures below
60F,.day temperatures of 70-75F day temperatures are recommended, night
temperatures of 62-65F are recommended. Oregano Plectranthus is best
finished in a 4" container, but for larger containers (one gallon,
~6" pot), two plants per container can be used or a single pinch can
be provided. For baskets, 3 cuttings per 10-12" basket. Plants
will finish in 4-9 weeks from a rooted cutting, depending on the container
size. No particular nutritional needs. Nutrition of 75-100ppm N 20-10-20
seems to be adequate, few nutritional problems have been seen. Do not over
fertilize or plants will get soft and too leafy. No growth regulators
needed in the greenhouse. In the greenhouse, white flies can be a problem.
Uses: This unusual, fleshy leaved plant is used as a
culinary seasoning in the Caribbean.
Leaves are mainly used in stuffing and for flavoring meat, also as
a substitute for sage. It has
a very strong long lasting flavor similar to common sage but too many
leaves will give a turpentine flavor and the younger leaves are milder.
Classic flavor partners: Rosemary, Lemon Thyme, Garlic Chives,
Savory, Garlic, Shallots, Marjoram.
Classic food partners: Pork, Veal, Duck, Lamb, Chicken stuffings,
Ham, Sausages, Potato, Pumpkin, Artichokes, Leeks.