This hardy, evergreen shrub is renowned for its unique, refreshing fragrance. Its glossy, dark-green leaves will add color to your porch, patio or balcony year-round. During the summer months it produces small black fruit that is a favorite with native birds. This shrub will add a touch of class to any aspect of your home landscape in zones 5 through 9 outdoors and 4 through 11 on a patio.
The Bay Laurel is exceptionally hardy, and requires little maintenance. They can withstand high temperatures and thrive in in both full and partial sunlight. There Mediterranean heritage gives them drought tolerance and the ability to quickly adapt to most soil types. It grows 1-2 feet each year, reaching a mature height of 10-15 feet.
The shrub is also pest-resistant so there's no need to worry about spraying pesticides. In fact, the plant's natural oils will also deter pests from other nearby plants. It also has a high resistance to disease and will settle in your landscape for years to come.
Fresh or dried Bay Laurel leaves can be used as a cooking spice, which is often added to traditional Mediterranean dishes such as soups, stews and fish dishes. Their mild flavor enhances the taste of vegetables, meat, and poultry. The dried leaves retain their flavor for several months.
Select a site with full to partial sun and moist or well drained soil for your Bay Laurel.
If you're planting a hedge, mark out a visual guide by placing stakes five to six feet apart and looping string around them. Plant the where the stakes are and they'll grow together to make a dense privacy screen.
First, dig each hole so that it is just shallower than the root ball and at least twice the width.
Then loosen the soil in the planting hole so the roots can easily break through.
Use your shovel or try dragging the points of a pitch fork along the sides and bottom of the hole.
Next, separate the roots of your Bay Laurel gently with your fingers and position them downward in the hole.
The top of the root flare, where the roots end and the trunk begins, should be about an inch above the surrounding soil.
Then make sure the plant is exactly vertical in the hole.
To make it just right, use a level.
As you backfill the hole, apply water to remove air pockets.
Remove debris like stones and grass and completely break up any dirt clumps.
Water your Bay Laurel again after the transplant is complete.
To help retain some of that moisture, it's recommended that you place mulch around each plant to a depth of 2"-3" up to but not touching the trunk. Organic mulches such as wood chips also help to better soil structure as they decompose.
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