Also known as Laurus Nobilis, the Bay Leaf tree can grow to a considerable height and girth if not looked after. It can reach a dizzy height of 40 ft. The leaves of this tree have a very pleasant aroma and beautiful shiny leaves with dark green colour.
You should have a large garden if you want to grow this plant because if you plant it near the edge, it will consume all the sunlight and leave nothing for the plants behind it. A single leaf is all that is needed, as usually, only one or two leaves are used at a time. Take care of your bay tree and prune it as needed. People buy bay plants ranging in height from 9 inches to 2 feet. However, the taller the plant, the more expensive it is.
People like to grow their bay tree in a large container to have the shape of an ornament. They do this to get the most attractive view of the plant as they have shiny dark green leaves. Only one leaf of the plant is enough to use at a time, so only one plant is enough for you, but people like to have a pair of them. For the first two years, you should take good care of the plant and water it properly, but the plant will grow on its own after two years.
Laurel needs a sunny, sheltered place to grow. You will need to dig a hole in average soil and add compost while sowing the seed, which will give the plant a good start. The seed germination process can take up to 3 months. Simply sow the seed and leave it to grow on its own. I feel you don’t need to wait. We bought this tree for £50, and it is a real eye pleasing plant.
You can buy an annual or biennial plant and grow it in your garden in mid or late spring. You can shape your tree by pruning it into different styles. The most popular shapes are pyramid, cone, and sphere. Growing a bay laurel plant is a lengthy process, so you need to be patient while growing this plant. If you live in a cold area, you may need to bring your laurel plant indoors as it does not survive harsh winters. You will need a sunny, sheltered spot to grow a bay plant, just as you would for a Mediterranean plant.
The leaves can be picked off for use at any time, but all the flavour comes from larger, developed leaves. Lay them out to dry and powder them, or use them whole, but eliminate them before eating. The leaves are typical of the French seasoning packet, the bouquet garni, wrapped in cheesecloth and infused with soups and sauces. It’s worth finding out how to grow a bay tree for decoration and new healthy flavours.
In general, the plant is relatively free from pests. Interestingly, the plant and its leaves are often used to deter bugs from other plants. However, scale insects can sometimes become a problem, and moths sometimes lay their eggs between two leaves, circling them with a wadded cushion. If you see two leaves that appear to be staying together, carefully remove them and get rid of the eggs or hatchling. To manage this situation, use pesticides to get rid of unwanted insects and pests on the plant. Also, the bay plant can get windburn, and if that happens, you can cut off the affected area and let the plant get healthy again.
It can also suffer from what is known as Sooty Mould, which appears on the surface of the leaf. It is not a killer – it just looks unsightly, and if not treated, could cause premature falling of leaves. Get a good safe insecticide, treat the affected areas, and wash down with warm soapy water.
The bay plant is an aromatic, glossy plant that has several uses, especially for seasoning food. All in all, it is an excellent plant for the garden, both for its looks and its use in cooking.
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