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Laurus nobilis (Bay tree)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
12m
Max height
12m
Max spread
20-50 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Laurus nobilis

Other names

Bay tree, True laurel, Victor's laurel, Roman laurel, Royal bay, Sweet bay, Bay laurel, Bay, Poet's laurel, Kitchen bay, Bayleaf herb, Bay leaf herb

Genus

Laurus Laurus

Species

L. nobilis - L. nobilis is a large, evergreen shrub or small tree with aromatic, evergreen leaves. It can be clipped into shape if desired. Its leaves can be used to flavour cooking but discarded rather than consumed. Small, yellow flowers are produced in spring and female plants may produce black berries in autumn.


Laurus nobilis is: Evergreen

Fragrance

Foliage is aromatic and used for culinary purposes.

Habit

Erect

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

Flower

Pale-yellow in Spring

Foliage

Grey-green in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Horse chestnut scale , Soft scale , Tortrix moth , Bay sucker Horse chestnut scale , Soft scale , Tortrix moth , Bay sucker

Leaf diseases of laurel , Leaf spot , Powdery mildew Leaf diseases of laurel , Leaf spot , Powdery mildew

General care

Propagation

Best to start from seed in autumn.

Propagation methods

Seed, Semi-hardwood cuttings


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Where to grow

Laurus nobilis (Bay tree) will reach a height of 12m and a spread of 12m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Coastal, Flavouring food and drinks, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean

Cultivation

Plant in free-draining soil in a sunny position, although will tolerate partial shade. Can be grown successfully in a container and may be clipped to a standard or geometric shape. Shelter from cold, drying winds.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4), Tender in frost (H3)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Laurus nobilis

Other names

Bay tree, True laurel, Victor's laurel, Roman laurel, Royal bay, Sweet bay, Bay laurel, Bay, Poet's laurel, Kitchen bay, Bayleaf herb, Bay leaf herb

Genus

Laurus Laurus

Species

L. nobilis - L. nobilis is a large, evergreen shrub or small tree with aromatic, evergreen leaves. It can be clipped into shape if desired. Its leaves can be used to flavour cooking but discarded rather than consumed. Small, yellow flowers are produced in spring and female plants may produce black berries in autumn.

Foliage

Evergreen

Fragrance

Foliage is aromatic and used for culinary purposes.

Habit

Erect

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


Colour

Flower

Pale-yellow in Spring

Foliage

Grey-green in All seasons


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Horse chestnut scale , Soft scale , Tortrix moth , Bay sucker

Specific diseases

Leaf diseases of laurel , Leaf spot , Powdery mildew

General care

Propagation

Best to start from seed in autumn.

Propagation methods

Seed, Semi-hardwood cuttings


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Laurus nobilis (Bay tree) will reach a height of 12m and a spread of 12m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Coastal, Flavouring food and drinks, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean

Cultivation

Plant in free-draining soil in a sunny position, although will tolerate partial shade. Can be grown successfully in a container and may be clipped to a standard or geometric shape. Shelter from cold, drying winds.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4), Tender in frost (H3)

USDA zones

Zone 10, Zone 9, Zone 8

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Laurus nobilis (Bay tree)

Common pest name

Japanese long scale; Japanese maple scale; Long scale; Japanese; Pear white scale

Scientific pest name

Lopholeucaspis japonica

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Regulated only on Citrus at present; regulation on other hosts needs to be considered. Only likely to be a pest under glass in UK.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Laurus nobilis (Bay tree)

Common pest name

pink wax scale; red was scale; ruby wax scale

Scientific pest name

Ceroplastes rubens

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Based on its biology and low potential impact continued action on this pest in the UK would not be considered appropriate. It is likely to be of more concern to southern Member States of the EU; as it is an economic pest of citrus.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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Kitchen Bay (10/10/2011)

(04/05/2012)

(26/06/2013)

Bay tree 2009 (17/10/2010)

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4), Tender in frost (H3) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Bay Tree Disease/Bug problem

HelloAlmost all leaves of my large Bay Tree are strangely curled (see attached picture). When I open the curls, there is liquid and a white powder inside. Could it be eggs of an insect? Any advice… read more

My poor Bay Tree

I have a Laurus Noblis planted in my garden from a pot last summer. The harsh show this winter has not been kind and appears to have all but killed it. I have trimmed it but some of the shoots are… read more

thx for the answers Kathy C

my bay tree is very tall,in a metal container, it can barely fit inside around 2.3 meters..:(so i must say that i have no choice...but to plant it outside...can u sugest in what conditions should i… read more

some advice please...for a begginer

can i grow laurus nobilis (bay tree)in winter conditions?10F average temperatures read more

Bay tree

The leaves on my bay tree (plant approx 4 ft) are turning light yellow from dark green. What would cause this? I bought this a month ago and is kept outside - not too much sun, not too much shade.… read more

There are 10 active discussions about Laurus nobilis (Bay tree)

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