Bay Laurel is an evergreen tree or large shrub with green leaves. This flowering shrub falls to the family Lauraceae. Native and freely growing in the areas of the Mediterranean. This shrub has been famous worldwide and is also cultivated due to its aromatic leaves that can be used in cooking and as a therapeutic oil. Let's take a closer look at how to grow a bay laurel Tree also known as Laurus nobilis.
Buying Bay Lauren
I usually prefer to grow our plants from seeds but when it comes to bushes or trees it's best to buy one that is already established. I spent weeks going to and calling gardening stores to try and find a bay tree locally with no luck. With a little hesitantly I decided to Amazon. I was happily surprised to find several available from different sellers on Amazon.
Bay Laurel Indoor Plant
The good thing about this aromatic plant is you can plant it in a container and can be displayed inside your house. Not to mention that this plant has a long life span as well. Place your indoor bay laurel near the window and let the aromatic scent spread all over your place and provide you a calming effect.
Growing Bay Laurel
- Requires full to a partial shade of sunlight either planted in the yard or in a container.
- This plant does not prefer any specific soil, as long as you provide it with well-draining soil together with correct plant care, your bay laurel will grow healthy.
- Do not let your Bay Laurel sit in wet soil, weekly deep watering is preferable to help your plant develop good and strong root growth. Always allow the soil to dry between watering.
- The best time to fertilize your Bay Laurel is Springtime. Use a general-purpose fertilizer to feed your plant.
- Bay Laurel Plant Hardiness Zone is 8 - 11
Harvesting and Drying Bay Leaves
Harvesting Bay Leaves
There's no specific time or season to harvest the leaves of your plant, you can do it any time of the year. But, the flavor and fragrance are much stronger when the plant begins to bloom. As an indoor plant, bay laurel provides a more flavorful scent during summertime.
Using Bay Leaves
Since that bay laurel provides its strongest fragrance during summertime, you can pick the largest leaves or just how many leaves you prefer to harvest and let that dry but be sure to do the picking in the morning after the dew has evaporated to be sure that the leaves you harvested won't wilt, since that cooking with bay laurel requires dry leaves to be used. You can try these steps.
How to Dry Bay Leaves
1. Paper towels & Baking Sheet - Simply cover the baking sheet with a paper towel (be sure to cover the sheet FULLY). Spread the leaves correctly without them being on top of another. Place the leaves you prepared in a warm, dry room with enough ventilation. Note that you should avoid any kinds of light in order to dry your bay leaves correctly. This drying process may take up to 2 weeks.
2. Microwave oven - if you just need a few leaves to dry, simply use a microwaveable plate and scattered the clean leaves without them being on top of each other. 30 sec sessions and after every that 30 sec be sure to flip or turn your leaves. Repeat the process for about 4 to 6 sessions or until you noticed that the leaves are all dry and brittle.