How to Grow a Bay Tree

Опубликовал Admin
21-07-2021, 08:40
The bay tree (Laurus Nobilis) has been treasured by people for millennia for its culinary uses, its beauty, and its representation of wisdom and victory.


  1. Purchase a bay tree seedling or take cuttings. Many nurseries and garden centers will have a bay tree in their herbal area. If you'd rather take a cutting to propagate it, then follow these steps:
    • Take a heel cutting, a fresh shoot or tip in early summer or in autumn/fall. Cut from a mature bay tree. The cutting should be about 8cm (3") in length.
    • Remove the upper and lower leaves from the cutting.
    • Dip the intended root end into hormonal cutting mix. This will stimulate vigorous root growth.
    • Put the cutting into a container filled with two-thirds coarse sand and one-third peat moss.
    • Put the container under a plastic bag hanging over wire or similar to keep it from touching or landing on the cutting. This creates a mini-greenhouse for the cutting.
    • Be patient. It will take around 9 months for the cutting to root.
  2. Plant the bay tree. Decide whether you want to grow the bay tree in the garden or in a container. It will do well in both places but the container bay tree will need to be given continuous re-potting and renewed soil to ensure best growth. Spring is the best time to plant a young bay tree.
    • Bay trees prefer full sun aspects in cool to warm zones. For a hot zone, provide partial shade for very hot or tropical climates. They should also be sheltered from wind.
    • Select soil that drains well, of a medium richness. If you are placing the bay tree into a container, add a little lime to balance out acidic soil.
  3. Keep watered but allow the soil to dry out thoroughly between watering. Water more often during hot weather.
    • Bay trees in a container need more regular watering.
  4. Mulch the bay tree. Do this for both in-ground and container-grown bay trees. The topsoil is adequate. However, be sure to keep any mulch away from the tree's trunk.
  5. Fertilize once every spring. Give the bay tree complete plant food.
  6. Prune. There isn't really a need to prune bay trees unless you want them to form a particular shape or you don't want it to grow beyond a certain height. Bay trees grow to about 10-20 meters (33-66 feet) but if they're in a container, they'll grow much shorter.
    • The bay tree responds well to being turned into a topiary; this is more commonly done for bay trees grown in containers.
  7. Harvest. The leaves are used for cooking and can be picked any time once the tree is established. They're best picked early in the day to preserve their aromatic flavor.


  • Once grown, the shade created by a bay tree is very thick. Keep this in mind when deciding where to plant it.
  • Bay leaf is an important addition to white sauces, court bouillon, stocks, relishes, and bouquet garnish.
  • If growing the bay tree in a container, ensure that it is large enough for the bay tree's root ball. As well as quality potting soil, be sure to add well decayed animal manure or compost.
  • Bay leaves have been used to flavor many foods, including soups, marinades, stews, casseroles, meat, fish, and more. One leaf is usually sufficient to flavor the entire dish and it should be removed prior to serving.


  • The bay tree is very slow growing; be patient!
  • Bay trees cannot tolerate harsh winters. You may need to cover the tree if you experience an unusually harsh winter in an area not used to such winters. For those who have harsh winters all the time, grow the bay tree in a container and bring it indoors for the winter. It will continue to grow happily provided it has adequate light and watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Bay tree seedling or cuttings
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