Alphabetical Plant Listing

Laurus nobilis (Bay Laurel)

Bay Tree, Bay Laurel, Bay, Poet's Laurel, Roman Laurel, Royal Bay, Sweet Bay, True Laurel, Victor's Laurel


Cultivated around the Mediterranean since at least Roman times, Laurus nobilis (Bay Laurel) is a slow-growing, evergreen shrub or small tree of densely pyramidal-oval habit. It is prized for its aromatic, narrowly ovate, leathery leaves, up to 4 in. long (10 cm). Beautiful through the seasons they are useful in cooking and indispensable in French and other Mediterranean cookery. Small pale greenish-yellow flowers borne in dense clusters bloom in spring. They are followed by glossy purple-black berries on female plants. Long-lived, Bay Laurel is wonderful for topiary and hedges, essential in the herb garden and serves as a great container plant.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 12-40 ft. tall and wide (3-12 m). Size and shape can easily be controlled by pruning.
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in rich, moist, well-drained soils. Salt tolerant.
  • A charming addition to coastal gardens, herb gardens, Mediterranean gardens or containers. Can be grown as a screen or hedge .
  • Pick green leaves for use at any time. Dry them out of direct sunshine and store in an airtight bottle.
  • Generally trouble-free, but keep an eye out for bay sucker, horse chestnut scale, soft scale, tortrix moth, Powdery mildew and leaf spot.
  • Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings. Seed may take 6 months to germinate. Cuttings may take 3 or more months to form roots, and must never be allowed to dry out.
  • Native to Northern Africa, western Asia, southern Europe.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 1 – 11
Climate Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 12' – 40' (3.6m – 12m)
Spread 12' – 40' (3.6m – 12m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Salt
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Mediterranean Garden

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 Aniana, Graham Corney, Niglesias, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 1 – 11
Climate Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 12' – 40' (3.6m – 12m)
Spread 12' – 40' (3.6m – 12m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Salt
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Mediterranean Garden

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