She’ll do very well in a sunny position but she’ll also tolerate some shade for part of the day.
She likes her soil gently moist. She’ll cope with a bit of forgetful watering but doesn’t like to dry out entirely.
Help her grow strong and healthy by giving her a feed with some liquid fertiliser once per month in spring and summer.
Give her a trim each year in late summer to maintain her shape. It’s really easy to do. Just think of it as giving her a haircut.
Plant height (including pot)
Bay pyramids: 70-80cm; 120-130cm
Mildly toxic to dogs and cats
Nursery pot size
Bay pyramids: 25cm; 25cm
About Bay trees
The bay tree, or bay laurel, has been a beloved plant for centuries. The ancient Greeks and the ancient Romans considered it quite the status symbol. Wreaths of bay laurel were worn on the heads of the most important members of society and given as prizes in sporting competitions. Bay was a plant for champions.
You don’t see a lot of people wearing it on their heads these days, but the bay tree is as popular as ever. It’s an evergreen, which means it will look good on your patio or balcony all year round, and it’s very easy to look after. It will love a sunny spot, though will be happy with a mix of sun and shade.
It likes gentle watering, so just give it a drink when the top two inches of soil feel dry. Don’t be tempted to water it too heavily as it won’t like soggy soil. Equally, don’t let it dry out completely. Your plant will arrive in a nursery pot (the plastic pot it’s been growing in). There’s no need to remove it from this. Just place the whole thing inside a decorative pot.
One of the best things about bay is that you can pick off its leaves and use them in cooking. A bay leaf added to pasta sauce or stew will add subtle warm flavour. A leaf picked fresh off your plant will have much more flavour than any from the supermarket.
Did you know?
It’s not just the leaves that are used in cooking. Dried bay berries and bay oil are also used in cuisines around the world