Growing bay laurels in your garden provides an incomparable grace of presentation with a touch of class. The aromatic, dewy leaves of this evergreen tree are frequently used whole for seasoning foods and soups and, later discarded at the very end of the preparation. The beautiful leaves add an elegant touch to any kitchen decor and are ideal for use in herb gardens as well. The bay laurel is considered an annual herb, so pruning must be done in the springtime of each growing season. This allows the root system to stretch out and distribute nutrients to growing growth points, making the plant stronger and healthier through out the growing season.
Bay laurels require an adequate amount of sunlight and fresh air during the daytime, and they do best in a variety of conditions, including full sunlight, cool and moist soil, high levels of fertility, and proper drainage. Bay laurel prefers well drained, rich soil, and will grow perfectly in a variety of potting mediums. Planting them in a standard potting mix will provide the ideal starting point, but it is always wise to check with a local nursery or landscaper to ensure that the planters you purchase will suit your yard. They should hold enough water to allow the herbs to sprout new leaves each year.
Planting the bay laurel in a standard potting mix will provide the ideal environment for the tree to grow strong and healthy, but it will not provide the required sunlight or fresh air needed to encourage the growth of healthy flowers. The best way to provide these essential elements is by planting them in containers. Containers allow you to control the environment the plants are growing in and they are also ideal for ensuring the proper growth of your herbs. Containers can be used throughout the year, or you can move them around to different areas of your garden or lawn. Bay lily containers can be placed on top of a bedding plant or they can be grouped with other flowering herbs in a sunny window box.
Bay laurel has beautiful green leaves that should be planted right after they have emerged from the seed pod. Harvest them as soon as they turn gray, but keep the tops of the leaves green so that they will brighten up the garden. If you harvest before the tops turn brown, the leaves will turn black. Place the young plants at the base of a container, add some good soil and then cover with another layer of organic matter, such as pine bark or wood shavings, until the herbs start to bloom.
You should prune the tree regularly, removing any dead or broken roots. This also helps to keep the branches from twisting and injuring your garden when the wind picks up. When pruning, however, it is important to keep some of the branches overhanging the roots so that they can still grow upward toward the main trunk of your tree. You do not want to cut down too much of the tree’s canopy, since this encourages new growth.
Like most slow-growing evergreens, bay trees are susceptible to insects. Some of these insects, such as caterpillars, beetles, ground hogs, snails and aphids, can be harmful to the plant. The main way to protect your Bay laurel from insects is to make sure that it receives at least six hours of light per day. This will also help to repel pests. Pest prevention can be done with natural or organic methods, so be sure to read up on safe pest control methods.
Another serious problem for Bay laurels occurs when the roots rot. The first symptom is usually deformation of the trunk, and later, deformed foliage. As the rot progresses, the tree may not produce new foliage and may just continue to die. If the damage is severe, the entire stem may have to be cut away, and new growth must be supplied to replace it.
Once a tree starts to rot, the only way to prevent it is to prevent pests from getting inside the core. One way to prevent pests is to make sure that the tree gets enough sunlight and nutrients. The most popular way to provide the tree with sunlight is by installing tall stalks of well-grown trees, like the Bay laurel. If the tree has no nearby tall stalks, a supplement of soil and fertilizer can be used until it is able to get some sunlight. Be sure to check the fertilizer often to make sure that there is no residue left, since this could provide a source of additional nutrients for pests.