shrub

Sweet Bay Leaf

Laurus nobilis

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Sweet Bay Leaf (Laurus nobilis) at Minor's Garden Center

Sweet Bay Leaf

Sweet Bay Leaf

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Sweet Bay Leaf (Laurus nobilis) at Minor's Garden Center

Sweet Bay Leaf foliage

Sweet Bay Leaf foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Sweet Bay Leaf (Laurus nobilis) at Minor's Garden Center

Sweet Bay Leaf bark

Sweet Bay Leaf bark

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  8b

Other Names:  Bay Laurel, Bay Leaf

Description:

A normally pyramidal, aromatic, evergreen tree or large shrub, with leathery, glossy dark green leaves commonly used as a culinary herb; may be pruned to any shape and size; great as a hedge, screen, or container plant; an excellent houseplant

Ornamental Features

Sweet Bay Leaf has attractive green foliage throughout the season. The glossy oval leaves are highly ornamental but do not develop any appreciable fall color. It features subtle chartreuse flowers at the ends of the branches from early to mid spring. It produces plum purple berries in early summer.

Landscape Attributes

Sweet Bay Leaf is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and can be pruned at anytime. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Sweet Bay Leaf is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Sweet Bay Leaf will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more. This is a dioecious species, meaning that individual plants are either male or female. Only the females will produce fruit, and a male variety of the same species is required nearby as a pollinator.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings.

Sweet Bay Leaf makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, this plant may be too tender to survive the winter if left outdoors in a container. Contact our store for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.

Sizes Available:

4.5" QT $9.99

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features
Minor's Garden Center (414) 354-4830
7777 N. 76th St., Milwaukee, WI 53223
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