HerbsEdible Plants

How To Grow Bay Laurel?

Bay laurel

Are you ready to bring some aromatic beauty to your garden with the bay laurel plant?

This Mediterranean native is a fragrant herb that has been used for cooking and perfumes for centuries.

And did you know that bay laurel is also said to bring good luck and protection to your home? 

But here’s the thing, this sweet-smelling plant can be a bit finicky when it comes to growing.

Don’t worry, this article will help you every step of the way. It will explore the basics of growing bay laurel, from selecting a planting site to caring for your plant.

What Is Bay Laurel

Bay laurel, also known as Laurus nobilis, is a Mediterranean herb that has been used for cooking, perfumes, and medicine for thousands of years.

This evergreen shrub can grow up to 15 feet (4.5 m) tall and features shiny, dark green leaves.

The leaves of Bay Laurel are the part used for cooking, and their fragrance makes this plant so special.

Not only is bay laurel beautiful and fragrant, but it’s also low maintenance and a great option for those who want to add some green to their home without a lot of fuss.

So, whether you want to cook with fresh bay leaves or simply enjoy their sweet scent, this plant is definitely worth a shot!

Laurel Is for the Royals

In ancient Greece, Bay Laurel was considered sacred to the god Apollo and was used to make crowns for winners of the Pythian games.

Growing Bay Laurel

Bay laurel plant
Source: Wikimedia

You’ve decided to bring the sweet-smelling bay laurel into your garden. But where do you start?

Don’t worry; we’ve covered you with all the essential tips to make your bay laurel thrive. Let’s dive in and learn how to grow bay laurel like a pro.

Soil Requirements

Bay laurel loves well-drained soil that’s slightly on the acidic side.

So, make sure to choose a potting mix that’s specifically formulated for acid-loving plants or mix in some peat moss to create the perfect growing environment.

Light Requirements

Bay laurel needs bright, indirect light to thrive.

So, place it near a window that gets plenty of natural light. Avoid direct sunlight that can scorch the leaves.

Water Requirements

Bay laurel likes to stay evenly moist but not soggy. So, make sure to water your plant regularly, but don’t let it sit in water. Check the soil regularly and water only when the top inch is dry.

Fertilization Requirements

Bay laurel doesn’t require much fertilization, but it’s a good idea to give it light feeding once a month during the growing season.

Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer and follow the package instructions.

Potting & Transplanting Bay Laurel

Bay laurel can grow quite large, so make sure to choose a pot that’s big enough for its eventual size.

If your bay laurel is outgrowing its pot, you can transplant it into a larger container in the spring.

Make sure to water it well for a few days after transplanting to help it settle in.

How To Care for Bay Laurel?

Large bay laurel
Source: Wikimedia

Now that your bay laurel is growing, it’s time to learn how to keep it in tip-top shape.

From pruning to protecting it from winter winds, we’ve got all the care tips you need to make your bay laurel thrive. Let’s get started.

Pruning Bay Laurel

Bay laurel can grow quite large, so it’s important to prune it regularly to keep it in shape.

Prune it back in the spring or summer to encourage new growth and remove any dead or yellowing leaves.

Pests and Diseases

Bay laurel is relatively pest-free but can be susceptible to scale insects and mealybugs.

If you notice any pests, wash them off with a strong water spray or use an insecticidal soap.

Winter Care

Bay laurel is hardy and can handle frost, but protecting it from harsh winter winds is a good idea.

If you live in a cold climate, simply wrap your bay laurel in burlap or place it in a sheltered spot to keep it safe.

Propagating Bay Laurel

Propagating bay laurel is easy and a great way to get more plants for your garden.

You can propagate bay laurel by taking stem cuttings in the spring or summer and rooting them in water or soil.

The Bay Laurel Is Known To Repel Insects

Bay Laurel tree is a natural insect repellent, as the strong aroma of its leaves is said to deter mosquitoes, flies, and other pests.

How To Propagate Bay Laurel?

Ready for even more bay laurel in your garden? Propagating bay laurel is easy and a great way to get more plants for your garden.

Stem Cuttings

The best time to take stem cuttings is in the spring or summer when new growth is abundant.

Simply cut a 4-6 inch (10-15 cm) stem and remove the lower leaves. Stick the cuttings in water or soil and keep them moist.

Rooting Hormones

For faster rooting, you can dip the cuttings in rooting hormones before planting.

This will help stimulate root growth and ensure a healthy plant.

Water or Soil

You can root bay laurel cuttings in either water or soil.

If you’re rooting in water, make sure to change it regularly to keep it fresh. If you’re rooting in the soil, make sure to keep the soil moist but not too wet.

Possible Problems & Solutions

Uh oh! No garden is perfect, but don’t worry. Here’s what to look out for and how to fix any issues with your bay laurel.

Pests

Bay laurel is generally pest-resistant, but it’s not immune to pests.

Keep an eye out for caterpillars and scale insects, and treat them with a safe insecticide if needed.

Diseases

Bay laurel can be susceptible to root rot and leaf blight.

Keep the soil well-drained, and avoid over-watering to prevent root rot. Remove any infected leaves to prevent the spread of leaf blight.

Poor Drainage

Bay laurel needs well-drained soil, so make sure to plant it in a spot where water doesn’t collect.

If you notice your bay laurel is starting to turn yellow or wilt, it could be a sign of poor drainage.

Conclusion

So there you have it! Everything you need to know about growing and caring for bay laurel.

These fragrant, evergreen shrubs make a great addition to any garden and are perfect for cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or just giving your existing plants a little extra love, we hope you’ve found this guide helpful.

Remember, the key to success with bay laurel is giving it plenty of light and well-draining soil and not overwatering.

If you encounter any problems, don’t hesitate to refer back to our possible solutions section.

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