Sweet Bay, Bay Laurel, True Laurel, Grecian Laurel, Laurel Tree, Laurel, Lourier (Afr.)
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Bay trees are versatile evergreen trees that can be grown in full sun as well as shade. They make great container plants and can also be pruned into hedges. Bay leaves are dark green, very aromatic and can be used in various Mediterranean dishes. Bay trees can also be turned into topiaries and shaped into interesting shapes, and some have ornately plaited or spirally trained stems.
Leaves can be harvested throughout the year. The leaves should be dried before use, as fresh bay leaves are bitter. Dry for 48-72 hours.
Collect seeds in autumn, remove the fleshy outer shell and sow as soon as possible. Soak bought seeds in warm water for 24 hours. Sow seeds 2.5 cm deep.
Take 8cm stem cuttings in early summer/autumn. Remove upper and lower leaves and dip root end in hormone cutting mix. Plant in two parts sand, one part peat moss. Be patient - it will root in 9 months.
Air layering takes longer than propagation from cuttings or seedlings/seeds.
Bay Trees are medium feeders and if grown in a pot, should be repotted every two years.
Bay trees make great container trees and thrive if watered regularly and sheltered.
Repels harmful insects
Bay leaves are a weevil deterrent. Place some leaves in the cabinet where you keep your flour and other grains to repel bugs.
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun
Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Culinary, medicinal, insect repellant
Scale, leaf spots, yellow leaves, and peeling bark.