With its knockout, dark green leaves, the evergreen Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) makes an ideal patio container plant. For gardeners in Zones 8 - 11, you can plant it in the ground to use as an aromatic screening plant.
For millennia, people have enjoyed the fragrance and lovely look of this classic plant, with its aromatic leaves. After all, aromatic Laurel leaves were woven into circlets and worn by early Olympian champions to celebrate their victory.
Allow it to reach its full size, or easily hold it as a smaller accent plant by pruning for size.
Train it as a single or multi-trunk tree, this plant looks great when limbed up and used to increase the height of a "good neighbor" fence without giving up extra space in the yard. No matter how you use it, this evergreen plant gives you much-needed privacy year-round.
You'll love being able to pick and dry your own fresh Bay leaves for favorite recipes to add a wonderfully complex flavor while cooking. Simply use a slotted spoon to remove them before serving. Heavenly!
Include the dried leaves in homemade soap, potpourri or holiday garland. Create dried Bay wreathes for your kitchen. What a thoughtful gift for other chefs in your circle of family and friends.
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Pest and disease resistant Bay Laurel is wonderful in an organic garden. There is nothing that adds the depth of flavor like dried Bay leaves. Grow Bay to harvest fresh leaves and dry them yourself.
This is a fabulous screening plant. A dense canopy of fragrant Bay leaves provides privacy and can block out unwanted views in a beautiful way.
The gorgeous, evergreen Bay Laurel makes a striking backdrop when grown in the ground. Or, use it in large Tuscan-style containers as a specimen or focal point.
For large patios, consider planting multiples of the same container to create a curved grouping behind your outdoor furniture. Also strategically place ones in containers to create privacy points on the patio. Or place one on either side of a doorway to announce to the world that a gourmet foodie lives here!
Live outside hardiness zones 8 - 11? Move your ornamental Bay Laurel containers inside for the winter.
Laurel plantings can be done in either full sun or partial shade. They are also adapted to a wide range of soils and climate.
This plant only requires good drainage to thrive. It's best to give it fast draining soil. Mound up if you need to improve drainage by adding 18 - 24 inches of soil on top of your native soil. You'll be planting your Bay Laurel in that mound.
Mulch over the root ball. Once established, the Bay Laurel is extremely drought tolerant and requires little in the way of extra care besides pruning.
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Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.
Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!
Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.
|Young Plants to 18 Months|
|2"x2"x3"||Ranges from||.18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume|
|4.5" Container||Equal to||.65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume|
|Sprinter Pot||Equal to||.63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume|
|4" Container||Ranges from||.31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume|
|6" Container||Equal to||1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume|
|1 Quart||Equal to||1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume|
|5.5" Container||Equal to||1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x5"||Ranges from||.8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x6"||Ranges from||1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x9"||Ranges from||1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x10"||Ranges from||1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old|
|2 Quart||Equal to||2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume|
|#1 Container||Ranges from||2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume|
|5"x5"x12"||Equal to||3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 2 - 4 Years Old|
|#2 Container||Ranges from||1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume|
|#3 Container||Ranges from||2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 3 - 5 Years Old|
|#5 Container||Ranges from||2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume|
|#7 Container||Ranges from||5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume|
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One of the best evergreen plants, the Bay Laurel, also known as the Sweet Bay or Grecian Bay, traces its history back to ancient Greece where it is one of an ancient variety of plants that once covered vast areas of the Mediterranean basin. Known as the Laurel Forests, the fossil records show Laurus were widely distributed in the region before the Pleistocene glaciation, 2 million to 11 thousand years ago.
In the ancient Roman culture, a wreath of Bay Laurel worn around the head was a symbol of the highest status, this powerful herb was said to possess the power of victory; today the Bay Laurel is still worn by graduating Italian school students. One of the most important plants in the history of mankind, this plant provided food, medicine, ornamental and spiritual nourishment for tens of thousands of years throughout all of the Mediterranean and China as well.
The versatility of the Bay Laurel is what makes it one of the most commonly planted herbs. The plant makes the perfect screen tree or an ideal patio container plant. It can grow in the full sun or in part shade. For outside the recommended USDA growing zones, Bay Laurel grow outdoors in the summer needs brought into a protected location during the winter months.
A slow to moderate growing tree, the dense canopy makes a great hedge to block out unwanted views. It can be easily held with pruning to almost any height or allowed to grow into a beautiful accent tree up to 25 feet tall. Bay Laurel is resistant to most pest and disease problems. This makes Bay Laurel a must for the organic garden. The occasional scale or mite problem can easily be sprayed off with high pressure water.
While most of the great forests are gone, lost to climate change, a few isolated remnants remain in locations around the mountains of Turkey, Syria and Spain as well as other small pockets. In the garden however, once established, the Bay Laurel is extremely drought tolerant and requires little in the way of extra care, besides pruning and extreme frost protection. When grown in containers, an application of citrus food four times a year, will keep the Bay Laurel healthy for years to come.
Laurus nobilis is considered a low water user and is recognized by the California Department of Water Resources, Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS) list. Meaning that once established it requires occasional water in the summer. Though in container growing it will require more regular watering. This plant is recommended for all drought tolerant and xeriscape landscape.
Bay Laurel is found on the Los Angeles Fire Department's list of fire-resistant plants and recommended be planted at least 20 feet from all structures and not to be planted under taller trees. Check with your local fire department to see if and how Laurus nobilis is recommended for your fire-safe Landscape.
|Botanical Name||Laurus nobilis|
|Mature Height||12 - 15 feet|
|Mature Spread||12 - 15 feet|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun, Partial Shade|
|Soil Type||Well Drained|
|Growth Rate||Medium, Slow|