The way to Develop and Look after Bay Laurel, the Small Tree That Produces Bay Leaves for Cooking

You’ve got in all probability made a number of recipes that decision for bay leaves (particularly for those who cook dinner soup usually), however do you know you can really develop your personal at house? A bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), the tree that produces these herbs, makes a beautiful addition to most indoor and out of doors backyard setups. Here is what that you must learn about rising and caring for a bay leaf plant, a culinary backyard staple.

The way to Plant a Bay Leaf Plant

It is a in style kitchen backyard herb, says Tom Monson, the proprietor of Monson Garden and Landscaping, who is commonly requested develop bay leaf crops by his purchasers. “Many individuals are stunned to be taught that rising bay leaves is not as tough as they could suppose,” he says.

When planting them exterior, choose a sunny spot; keep away from low-light areas or locations the place water usually swimming pools after a rainstorm, provides Monson. “Bay leaves want loads of daylight and good drainage in an effort to thrive,” he says. “You may additionally wish to give them loads of room to unfold out, as they are usually fairly massive.” In case you’re hoping so as to add one to your backyard, you will be higher off beginning with a longtime plant than making an attempt to begin one from seed, says Monson.

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The way to Look after a Bay Leaf Plant

If you wish to preserve your bay leaf plant near the motion, like in your kitchen or on a window ledge inside house, you will have to do your greatest to copy the sunny situations it craves exterior, says Stacie Krljanovic, head groundskeeper and adviser at Patio Productions. Plant your bay laurel in a well-draining potting combine and place it in an space the place it should get loads of gentle. “Present humidity to your bay leaf by misting the leaves usually or by inserting the pot on a tray of moist pebbles,” Krljanovic says.

Simply word that this plant might be poisonous to pets, so you will wish to be certain that your four-legged mates cannot get to it wherever you resolve to develop it.


When your plant is exterior, you will wish to guarantee it is in a location that will get vivid, oblique gentle, says Krljanovic; be certain that it has ample area to develop, so it does not overcrowd close by crops, provides Monson. The identical gentle situations have to be replicated indoors.

Soil and Water

When rising a bay leaf plant indoors, use a well-draining potting combine. You may get away with selecting an all-purpose selection or one particularly formulated for edible crops.

And for those who’re planting exterior? Pay additional consideration to how shortly your soil dries out between waterings, says Monson. After an intensive soaking post-planting, give the tree a drink earlier than the highest layer of soil dries out.

Pruning and Harvesting

This hardy plant does not really require common pruning. You may get away with trimming it again as you see match to regulate each its measurement and its form, says Krljanovic, who advises towards attending to snip-happy once you do begin chopping. “Remember that the leaves are the principle supply of taste and aroma, so do not prune an excessive amount of,” she says. Pruning ought to solely be finished within the late winter or early spring earlier than the brand new development begins. “It will assist preserve the plant trying tidy, whereas additionally encouraging extra leaf manufacturing,” says Monson.

Whilst you can harvest the leaves as wanted, you need to keep away from chopping greater than a 3rd of the plant’s leaves at a time.


You may wish to give your bay leaf plant a lift by hitting it with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer each 4 to 6 weeks, says Krljanovic. This must be sufficient to make sure your plant’s well being with out stressing or over-feeding it.

The way to Repot a Bay Leaf Plant

In case your plant wants a change of surroundings, you will wish to ensure you’re slowly sizing up the pot (or backyard plot) once you transfer it. Based on Monson, fastidiously transfer the foundation ball right into a gap that is barely greater than the present root ball. “Place the plant within the gap and gently fill within the soil round it,” he continues, including that you’re going to want to present it one good soaking after you progress it; water it usually shifting ahead.


Widespread Issues With Bay Leaf Vegetation

This plant experiences just a few frequent points, however happily, they’re simple to determine and repair (for those who catch them early, that’s).


Due to their woody stems, bay leaf crops usually tend to fall sufferer to boring bugs (together with beetles) that lay their eggs inside the wooden, killing them within the course of. Prune off any affected areas as quickly as you notice them.

Bay leaf crops are additionally a favourite deal with for armored and oleander scales. These bugs have been recognized to latch onto the tree and feed in massive teams. Over time, they will trigger the leaves to die off, slowly killing again the plant. Introducing pure predators to the plant (like lacewings) will help management them with out chemical compounds.

Canker Ailments

Sadly, wooden decay and canker ailments may also trigger issues. They’re each pushed by fungal development and might shortly destroy the tree from the within out. Stopping overwatering and pruning offdiseased branches as quickly as you see them are two good methods to forestall these ailments from taking up.