Growing Guide: Bay Leaf

Plant Type:
Evergreen Shrub, Small Tree 

Harvest Season:
Leaves can be harvested year round. Bay Leaf blooms throughout Spring and Summer.

Foliage is best harvested in the morning when it is most fragrant. Prune annually for the best growth and production.  Pruning is best done when the tree is not actively growing to maximize growth but to maximize flavor, harvest leaves in the mid summer.

Mature Size:
10–60 ft tall, 5–20 ft wide; container or in-ground plants are easily kept pruned to 4–6 ft

Soil & Moisture: 
Well-draining, rich, moist soil.

Although it prefers well-drained soil and regular moisture, it is fairly tolerant of most conditions but doesn't like to dry out completely. In its native areas it grows amid damp rocky ravines, thickets and old walls.

Light Requirements: 
Full Sun, Part Shade

In cooler climates, Bay Leaf can be acclimated to thrive in full sun, but in warmer climates they may benefit from part shade.

Self-Fertile:
No. Laurus nobilis is dioecious, meaning that the tree is not self-pollinating. You will need both a male and a female plant to get more than leaves and flowers.

Growth Rate: 
Slow, Medium

Zone Hardiness: 
Outdoors 7-10; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Can be grown as a long-lived houseplant or outdoor container plant in cold climates. Indoor plants can be moved outdoors in the spring and back inside in the fall when temperatures are consistently above freezing. If kept in a cool room (35-60˚F), the tree will stay dormant and does not need much light and very little water (just enough to keep the soil barely moist). In a warmer room provide regular watering like any houseplant and as much sun as possible. 

Propagation:
Grown from seed. Ready to harvest within one growing season.