Hardiness: USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F) USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Foliage: Grown for foliage Evergreen
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From hardwood heel cuttings
Seed Collecting: Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
I have had a Bay wherever we have lived so I wanted to have one here. It is a bit of trouble if we have very very cold nights but that is not often, so it is worth the trouble to cover it. It's about 2 1/2 feet tall. Died back to the ground the first year I had it but not since then. I planted it in a protected area that gets really good sun year round.
I have three young Sweet bays all so far are indoor trees they are all approximately 3 years old. They are in my kitchen window. I bought them all from the same sourse the new arrivals have pale green leaves just like my original one did, the original one's leaves have turned a beautiful dark green with the easternish exposure, I expect the new arrivals will soon darken as well in a few months. I've had my original bay for about two years. Usually plants/trees tremble when I buy them I have two brown thrumbs LOL. But my original bay tree has been triving! They see to be very hardy. I've read as much as I could find about them online. I use the leaves both fresh and dried I have a food dehyrdator and when I do pruning I dry those leaves and they keep holding flavor for at least a year or more. The leaves seem a bit harder to dehydrate than other herbs but it's probably the nature of the leaves I'm wondering about drying them at a higher temp but I'm worried about losing the flavor.
What I've had actually no luck at finding out is at what age they bloom. Does anyone know? I'm hoping that I have at least one female and a male. I would like to be ablte to have seedlings eventually.
Thanks in advance for any information on when they start to bloom.
On May 26, 2012, elgordo75 from Surrey Canada wrote:
I've grown this plant for three years in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. I started off with a 4-inch and now it's in a three gallon. I brought it in for the entire first winter, about half the second and left it outside (in a pot) throughout this past winter. There wasn't a trace of damage on it, and now it's growing like a weed. My wife uses it regularly in cooking. It's a great culinary and aesthetic shrub.
When we lived in Dana Point, California we had the most beautiful little tree that we planted in the back yard. The tree did well in that area though slow growing at first. We saved some of the leaves when we moved away. 12 years later the leaves still contain the wonderful scent of bay...
On Sep 6, 2010, Donnabeverin from Earleville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
Everything I read says Laurus nobilis grows in zone 8, but there is a gorgeous, outstanding speciment at least 15 feet or more growing at the National Aboretum in DC....go visit. It is free to visit.
Anyone growing in zone 7?
On Nov 25, 2007, jtelles from Casa Grande, AZ wrote:
I have had two bay trees. One was planted in full Central Arizona sunlight (temperatures up to 125) and it burned and died. The other was planted where it received morning light and afternoon shade and is kept well watered. It is doing extremely well and contributes its leaves to our annual Christmas day prime rib dinner and other favorite dishes throughout the year.
On Sep 16, 2007, btc129psu from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
Sweet bay also makes a good house plant and seems adaptable to bonsai. My best friend has had a sweet bay growing in her living room for over 5 years now. I don't know how big it was when she planted it but it is currently about 5-6 feet. For most of the year it gets bright, diffuse sunlight through the bay window but in summer she moves it out to her front step where it gets dappled shade.
Not quite a year ago now I also bought a bay seedling in a four inch pot and have been trying to adapt it to bonsai culture. It is still too young to be considered a true bonsai and I can't garuntee success as the tree ages but so far it has been healthy and unphased by the stresses of pruning and root binding. It does grow extremely slowly this way though and has definitely been a good excercise in patience.
On Jun 14, 2007, soldiersong from North Plains, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:
This is our second year with our tree. We received it bareroot from One Green World. It is doing very well and is growing slowly, but steadily here 25 miles west of Portland Oregon at 600'. It is heavy clay soil with ammendment and receives water about twice a week during dry weather. It wintered well here. I believe our low this year was in the high 20's F. Didn't phase it a bit.
On Nov 4, 2006, Nkytree from Burlington, KY wrote:
I have two of these potted as summer patio trees here in Northern KY (Cincinnati metro area). Im always envious when I see one of these magnificant plants growing outside in milder climates.
Someone should start selecting for increased cold hardiness...they would make a fortune off a cold tolerant selection as friends and family are always begging me to prune my trees so they can have a few leaves. I just wish I could grow them year-round in the ground in my part of Z6a.
On Mar 9, 2006, rhondakirschman from Kill Devil Hills, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:
I had one of these on a sandy hill in Colington, Kill Devil Hills, NC (Zone 8a). It grew very large and flavored many meals. I would recommend this shrub/herb to anyone who cooks. Any cheap chicken in a dutch oven w/a bay leaf and a couple spices will make you look like a super-chef in front of all your friends.
I planted it in a well prepared bed and watered regularly when first planted. Once it was well established, it required very little maintenance. This shrub/tree was dear to me like an old and close friend. We were unable to bring it with us when we moved, and it was very sad...
Laurus nobilis doesn't produce seeds in this area and I was unsuccessful in propagating from cuttings.
I'm looking for another one, but all I've found are very small ones suitable for topiary. I prefer one that's more shrubby and ready for cooking.
On Nov 9, 2004, PvillePlanter from Pflugerville, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
My 3 year old bay tree is about 8 feet tall. Nice evergreen. Likes full sun but can tolerate some shade. Not too demanding water wise. Great winter interest since it is the only tree in my front yard that is evergreen. I keep a small jar of dried leaves on hand, but generally pick a fresh leaf or too and put it in pot right after picking. Dried leaves are also nice in potpouri and for craft projects.
On May 10, 2004, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have a Sweet bay tree that is now 25 feet tall. It was a rather slow grower at the start, but now it grows fairly fast. I use the leaves in cooking and also dry some of them to give to my friends for their cooking.
The tree looks beautiful and evergreen.
On May 8, 2004, angelam from melbourne Australia wrote:
We had a plant, about 4ft tall, that we needed to move as a new path was to go over its location. We only had one day to do it,if we were to get adequate roots,between the old path coming up and the new one going in. In the way of these things it ended up occurring on the hottest day of the Summer-well over 100 degrees. The new site hadn't been prepared as the work was rescheduled at very short notice. We got it up and into shade as fast as we could. Dug a hole and filled it several times with water before planting. I then pruned off all the new soft growth of the year to reduce stress. I watered it daily for the rest of that Summer and it survived. It grew very little the following Spring but has gone from strength to strength since. If it can survive moving on a day like that I'd reccommend the attempt any time.
One of my herb books says dried leaves are best as the drying process increases the oil content of the leaves several times over.
On Mar 13, 2004, watergarener from Denison, TX wrote:
The Bay leaf can be successfully grown in zone 7a in texas, and it becomes a 10' tree.zone 7b is better but this part of Texas is about to be reclassified as b soon, we believe. You definitely want to remove it from your dish before serving. We really enjoy using this tree in our landscape jobs.
An evergreen tree or shrub from the Mediterranean.
Has glossy, dark green, ovate, scented leaves with a strong mid rib and wavy margins. The bark is smooth and olive green or reddish. Bears green/yellow flowers followed by small, black, egg shaped berries on the female trees.
Likes moist, well drained, fertile soil in sun or light shade. Needs a sheltered position from wind and hard frosts.
A must have tree for anyone who has aspirations, it was worn by great men in ancient times be they poets, sports men, soldiers (after a battle was won) or the Emperor of Rome himself.
The Bay leaves are, now, more commonly used as a culinary addition to meats, fish, stews, soups an essential herb in Bouquet Garni, flavour vinegar and curiously milk puddings, the leaves are always removed before serving the dish. Bay leaves are best used freshly picked (and washed). This is the only Laurel species safe to use in cookery.
Bay is NOT a plant to play with, it has narcotic and emetic properties in large doses.
The Bay tree has been used in the past to treat a good many things. It is important to note that almost all the medicines were for external use only. Various concoctions were used to treat fits, ague, plagues (many and various), muscle sprains, earache and hysteria among other things. Nowadays, it is ONLY used in massage oil to relieve muscle sprains and rheumatic pains in the joints.
Bay was also thought to be an enemy of witchcraft and a protection against lightning.
Leaves were strewn ont he floors of rich people, an ingredient in perfume and aftershave, and was also an ingredient in Bay Rum, an alcoholic beverage.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (2 reports) Grenoble, Clayhatchee, Alabama Florence, Alabama Chuichu, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona Tucson, Arizona Carlsbad, California Chico, California Clovis, California Encinitas, California Los Angeles, California Rancho Santa Margarita, California Santee, California Sutter Creek, California Vista, California Boca Del Mar, Florida Campbell, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Palm Aire, Florida Palm Beach, Florida Pensacola, Florida Sarasota, Florida Spring Hill, Florida The Villages, Florida Honomu, Hawaii Maalaea, Hawaii Bossier City, Louisiana Kenner, Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana Learned, Mississippi Henderson, Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada (2 reports) New York, New York Kure Beach, North Carolina Raleigh, North Carolina Tryon, North Carolina Lebanon, Oregon North Plains, Oregon Erie, Pennsylvania Scranton, Pennsylvania Conway, South Carolina East Sumter, South Carolina , Tennessee Red Bank, Tennessee Austin, Texas (2 reports) Dalworthington Gardens, Texas Galveston, Texas Houston, Texas Irving, Texas Pflugerville, Texas San Antonio, Texas Spring Branch, Texas Tyler, Texas Springfield, Virginia Inglewood-finn Hill, Washington Navy Yard City, Washington