Sweet marjoram is a hardy, easy-to-grow herb that produces velvety leaves and maroon-colored stems. The plant is an herb garden favorite and, although it's quite pest-resistant, it's one of the best herbs to plant if you want to attract honeybees to your landscape. The leaves smell sweet in the garden and when freshly cut, they add a delicious, spicy flavor to meat and egg dishes, fish, stews, soups, sauces and dressings.
Fill a planting tray or several small pots with good quality commercial potting soil. Sprinkle a few sweet marjoram seeds on the surface, and cover them with about 1/8 inch of potting soil. The seeds can be slow to germinate but will get a quicker start if the temperature during the day is at least 70 degrees.
Move the sweet marjoram seedlings outside when the young plants are about 3 inches tall. The seedlings should be planted at least a foot apart in a well-drained area that receives direct sunlight.
Water the sweet marjoram seedlings regularly until the plants are established. Once the plants reach maturity, cut back on the amount of water and give the soil an opportunity to dry out between each watering. Root rot can develop if the plants are kept too wet.
Thin the plants occasionally to keep the sweet marjoram from overcrowding. The area should be kept free of weeds to promote good air circulation and to prevent disease.
Pinch the sweet marjoram back occasionally to encourage outward growth and to keep the plant from becoming spindly. Trim the leaves for medicinal or kitchen use when the plants are at least 5 inches tall. The flavor will be best if the leaves are trimmed before the plant blossoms.