Complete guide to bay tree care
Bay trees are a timeless classic that look beautiful, smell incredible and can even be used in your cooking.
Bay trees are an attractive and versatile evergreen that can be used to add a touch of greenery to any garden. Laura, our bay tree, is easy to care for and can provide a range of benefits, including providing a fragrant, edible herb. Here’s what you need to know:
- Happy in most light conditions, but they'll love a sunny spot
- Keep the soil gently moist and water more frequently when it's warm
- Feed your bay tree once a month in spring and summer with liquid fertiliser
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. 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.
Choose the right location for your bay tree
Bay trees prefer a sunny spot, but can tolerate partial shade. Make sure the area is sheltered from strong winds.
Plant your bay tree
If you're planting your bay tree in the ground, there's a few things to think about. Ensure the soil is well-draining and add compost to provide extra nutrition. Dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball and carefully place your tree in the hole. Fill in the soil around it and firm down lightly.
How often should I water my bay tree?
Bay trees need regular watering, especially during the summer months. Aim to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Should I fertilise my bay tree?
Feed your bay tree once a month in spring with a balanced fertiliser. This will give it a nutrient boost over the growing season.
Do I need to prune my bay tree?
Prune your bay tree in late winter or early spring to keep it looking neat and tidy. Remove any dead, diseased or damaged branches and trim back any shoots that are growing too long.
How to protect your bay tree
Bay trees are susceptible to pests and diseases, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of trouble. If you notice any pests or disease, take action immediately to prevent it from spreading. Remove any badly infected branches and treat the plant with a diluted insecticidal soap.
How to harvest your bay leaves
Bay leaves can be harvested as needed throughout the growing season. Cut off the leaves with a pair of scissors or pruners, and store them in a dry place. They'll add a lovely flavour to your cooking.
Following these steps will make sure that your bay tree is healthy and thriving. With the right care, you can enjoy the benefits of a beautiful bay tree for many years to come.
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