Bay leaves add their essence and aroma to soups and stews, but did you ever wonder how to grow a bay leaf tree? As a seasoning herb, it is wonderful but many people don’t know that the leaves are from a growing tree. The sweet bay laurel tree (Laurus nobilis) grows to a 40- to 50-foot tall tree in its native Mediterranean region but it won’t grow to a fraction of that size as a potted house plant.
Sold in 6” plastic pot, picture is of actual plant.
It was once made into a wreath to crown the winners of ancient Greek games and is considered to be one of the oldest cultivated tree species. Bay leaf tree is only hardy to USDA plant hardiness zone 7. It prefers a full sun exposure and blooms in spring to summer. The leaves are leathery and stiff with a strong mid-rib. Crushing the leaf releases aromatic oil that is the source of the flavoring for foods.
Bay tree care is very simple- plant it into a larger pot and keep near a sunny window. Let dry slightly between waterings.