The Laurus nobilis - Bay Laurel belongs to the Lauraceae family. The largest family, the laurel family, Lauraceae, contains 50 percent of the genera and about 85 percent of the species. Plants related to the Baytree are the Persea (avocado plant), Cryptocarya, and Cinnamomum (the source of camphor and the spice cinnamon). The Bay tree is a classic evergreen originating from the Mediterranean.
The ancient Greeks considered the Bay as the symbol for purity. The Greek God Apollo loved the nymph Daphne and pursued he relentlessly. She wanted nothing to do with him.Her father, Peneus, changed her into a Bay tree to protect her. When Apollo learned of this, he fell before the Bay tree and declared it would be forever sacred. The Baytree is also a symbol of glory, honor, victory and reward. The bay was used to make the laurel wreaths worn by winning athletes in the original Olympics.
In ancient Rome, the conquerors were honoured with a laurel wreath. Also later emporers, like Napoleon, were often pictured with a laurel wreath. Also later Kings and emperors - like Napoleon - were often depicted with a laurel wreath.
Because of its mediteranean origin, the baytree is moderately frost hardy. You can keep your bay in shape if you hibernate it from November to March in a frost-free place (2-10 °C). This is the ‘rest periode’ of the Bay tree. The growth has stopped completely. Therefore you should not water the bay too much.
At a temperature of 5 °C the Bay should be watered every 6 weeks. It is important that you do not allow the soil to dry out. Too much water is not good for the Bay. The leaves will turn yellow and fall. When there is not enough water, the leaves will turn greyish and crispy. If you want to enjoy your bay as long as possible, you can leave your bay outside as long as it does not freeze. Just remember to put it inside when the frost comes. If you want to be absolutely sure, just store your bay in a frost-free place. Light is not necessary, providing the plant is allowed to get accustomed to the bright spring sunlight. Do not place the Bay immediately in full sun to prevent leaf scorch.
After the middle of May there is little risk in putting the Bay outside. The plant can be put in full sun, but it flourishes in shade as wel. The bay should be watered regularly during the summer (daily when placed in full sun). Please note that the bay does not remain with its feet in the water. During the summer, your Bay will show when it is thirsty; the young shoots will 'curl'. If you water the plant, everything will be back to normal within a few hours. In May and July you can add fertiliser. We recommend a dried organic fertiliser to be put on the pot. As a rule you give 1 handfull per 10 liters potcontents. You can also use a slow-working fertiliser like osmocote (3 months). This should be added in May. No fertiliser should be added after August.
Size: from 80 cm