Laurus nobilis is an evergreen aromatic herb tree or large shrub,
variable in size and sometimes reaching 23 – 59 ft tall. The
stems bear dense, pointed, elliptical leaves, rather leathery
in texture, bright green when young and darker green when
mature. The leaves are 2-5 inches long and 2 to 4 cm broad
with smooth margins.On some leaves the margin undulates. The
bay is dioecious, with male and female blooms on separate
plants. Each flower is pale yellow-green, about 1 cm diameter, and they are borne in pairs beside a leaf. The fruit is a small, shiny black berry about 1 cm long that contains one seed. It is easy to grow at both indoor and outdoor.
Scientific Name: Laurus nobilis
Common Names: Bay laurel, sweet bay, bay, true laurel,
Grecian laurel, laurel tree or simply laurel.
How to grow and maintain Laurus nobilis (Bay laurel):
It grows best in full sun to partial shade. It requires six
to eigh hours of sunlight per day.
Bay prefers to grow in Well-drained soil with a pH between
6.5 – 7.5. Also can tolerate a wide variety of soils pH from
4.5 to 8.3.
Water your plant regularly during the growing season and
always keep the soil evenly moist but never allow your plant
to sit in water. You can allow the topsoil to become slightly
dry between each watering. During the winter months, reduce
It thrives well in normal room temperature. It can withstand
temperatures down to -5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees
Fahrenheit), but frost and cold winter winds can damage the
foliage. Take the plant indoors if temperatures fall below -5
degrees Celsius(23 degrees Fahrenheit).
Fertilize with ¼ tsp of fertilizer per gallon of water once a
week during active growth. Use a balanced fertilizer like a
15-15-15 or 7-9-5. Try not to fertilize the plant during the winter period and avoid high concentrations of compost.
You should prune your bay laurel tree twice a year, once in
the early spring and once in the late summer. Prune the
foliage in any shape you like. Cut away damaged branches or
ones that are growing such that they are inconvenient or
You can harvest Bay leaves at any time of year, however their
flavor is strongest in mid- to late summer. Just remove a
couple of leaves and add to your dish. The leaves should be
dried before use, as fresh bay is bitter. Bay leaves add a
lovely flavour to soups and stews.
Re-pot your plant every two years in spring, when the roots
of the plant have become crowded, transplant it into a larger
- It can be easily propagated from seed collected in the
autumn. Remove the fleshy outer casing and sow as soon as possible. If seed has dried or is bought, soak in warm water for 1 day before sowing. Seed may take six months to germinate.
- Also can be propagated bu taking semi-ripe cuttings in late
summer or alternatively take softwood cuttings in early
summer. Cut 4 to 5 inches of mature side shoot with heel.
Pinch off the leaves from the bottom of the cutting. Dip the
cut end of the cutting into water and then into the rooting
hormone until the bottom 1 inch of the cutting is coated in
the powder. Pot the cutting into a 3 inch pot size filled
with moistened a balance of blend of peat moss and sand or
perlite. Make a hole in the middle of the pot and insert the
cutting 1 inch below the leaves, then press the potting
mixture around the cutting. Seal the pot into a plastic bag
or propagating case and place it in indirect sunlight. New
growth indicate that the rooting has occurred. At this moment
remove the bag and water the cuttings enough to keep the
potting mixture just moist.
Pests and Diseases:
There is no serious pest or disease problems. Highly
susceptible to scale, some susceptibility to mealy bug. No
problems with root or foliar infection. Spray the entire plant with insecticidal soap, BioNeem, or a superior oil labeled for indoor use.
Benefits and Medicinal use of Laurus nobilis:
- The Laurus nobilis plant is used for ornamental purpose. Its
generally keep indoor in living room and in terrac area.
- Bay leaves is best known as fragrant culinary herb often used to flavor soups and stews .
- Consuming bay leaves in a tea can help ease the symptoms of coughs and colds as they help to clear congestion.
- Bay leaves has a ability to reduce inflammation throughout
the body. These leaves contain a unique phytonutrient, called
parthenolide, which can quickly reduce inflammation and
irritation when topically applied to affected areas, such as
sore joints or areas affected by arthritis. This effect can
likewise be achieved through normal consumption of bay leaf
- The oil of bay leaves, the fixed oil expressed from the berries, is used to treat arthritic aches and pains, lower back pain, earaches, and sore muscles and sprains.
- Bay leaves offer us a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, magnesium, calcium, manganese, potassium, and iron.
- Bay leaves soothe body aches. Make a decoction of 4 to 6 bay leaves in 1 litre of water and add to bathwater to relieve sore muscles and rejuvenate the body.