Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis)

Bay Laurel is an upright growing, evergreen shrub with glossy mid-green, narrow leaves up to 10cm (4in) long.

The leaves are aromatic and often dried and used in cooking.

Bay Laurel, also called Bay or Sweet Bay, is an excellent plant for topiary and can be kept in pots or planted in the ground.

Bay Laurel makes an excellent formal hedge in sheltered positions. Bay will survive most winters in the south of England but may struggle in very cold winters in the south and in colder areas of the UK. Many Bay Laurel died or had their foliage burnt by the cold frosts in the winter of 2009-2010 which was the coldest winter for 30 years but some of these plants had survived for the previous 20-25 years without too much damage.

Hardiness is rated from -5 to -10oC but Bay can survive colder temperatures in sheltered positions (out of the wind). Bay will also survive colder temperatures if planted in the ground but plants in pots can be moved into a sheltered greenhouse during colder periods in the winter.

Bay Laurel will grow in any free-draining soil in full sun or partial shade.

Ultimate height if left untrimmed is 8m (25ft) tall.


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