- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: fertile, moist but well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: slow-growing
- Flowering period: March to May
- Hardiness: frost hardy (needs winter protection in cold areas)
An evergreen shrub that is grown for its lustrous, aromatic, dark green leaves rather than for the rather insignificant clusters of greenish-yellow flowers it bears in spring. This handsome, slow-growing shrub or small tree is perfect for screening and makes a lovely foil for deciduous flowering shrubs. It will thrive in most conditions, provided it is sheltered from strong winds, and it can also be clipped into a strong shape. The aromatic leaves are valuable, fresh or dried, for flavouring savoury stocks or sauces.
These plants are supplied as untrained bushes, although they can be trained into most shapes, such as balls or pyramids (as in the photo). You will need some patience to train them into topiary shapes though as they are quite slow-growing.
- Garden care: Keep well-watered during the growing season and feed with a slow-release fertiliser such as Scotts Controlled Release Tablets. Clip established plants lightly twice during the summer months to retain a balanced shape, using secateurs not shears.
Plants are supplied in bush form. They can be trained into most shapes, such as ball or pyramid, as in the photo. You will need some patience to train these bays in a topiary shape as they are slow-growing.
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Q:Bay Tree's leaves going yellow?
Hi, Please can you help me. We have a Bay tree growing in a pot that has been very happily doing so for the past few years, however this year we have noticed that we have a lot of yellow leaves. It's definitely not a bug infestation as the leaves are not curled at all Could you please give us some advice on how to deal with this problem. Thank you for any help that you can give us. Kind regards PatAsked on 9/13/2009 by Pat Liggins
A:Hello Pat, The yellowing leaves could be caused by a number of things including too much or too little water or nutrients, or it may simply need to be moved into a larger pot. I'm afraid I have not been able to pinpoint the exact cause of your plants problems, but I'm confident that if you can improve the growing conditions, you should see an improvement when it puts on new growth next spring. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 9/14/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:What is wrong with my bay trees?
I have some standard bay trees and have noticed that from about half way down the trunk to the ground he bark seems to be peeling off. Any ideas? Kind regards AnnieAsked on 7/6/2009 by Jacqui Dennis
A:Hello Annie, This sometimes happens after cold winters, but it is still a bit of a mystery as to what causes it. The general belief is that is is caused by stress - from freezing temperatures or irregular watering. The good news is that it is rarely fatal, especially if the rest of the plant looks happy and healthy. If however the top growth has died back, then this should be removed, cutting back into healthy wood. I'm afraid it will ruin the shape of your standard, but the plant may send up new shoots.Answered on 7/8/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Help potting on bay trees
Hi, want to replant my standard Bay trees into larger pots as I think they might be a little pot bound - are there any do's or don'ts? I have 2, and in addition 1 of them appears to be not quite as green as the other, and both have been nibbled by something! I would be most grateful for your advice. Cheers JaneAsked on 6/18/2009 by Jane Robinson
A:Hello Jane, The best time to pot them up is in spring or autumn, but you can do it carefully at any time using John Innes No 2 or 3 compost. The discolouration of the foliage is probably caused by a watering problem, so make sure that they are watered regularly and that any excess water can drain away freely and feed them with a good general-purpose fertiliser during the growing season. The nibbled bits could be caused by caterpillars or more worryingly Vine Weevil adults, so keep your eyes peeled for these.Answered on 6/19/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Help please! I am now mostly bed bound / house bound and so chasing problems can be a problem in itself. I managed to get a large Bay tree about 2 years ago for my foyer area. It was transplanted into a large pot at the same time as my Blueberry plants and the information said ericaceous soil for both plants. Can you confirm what soil type a bay tree needs please as at the back of my mind I wonder if I have used the right soil? Thank you in advance, Kind regards, PeterAsked on 6/14/2009 by Peter Randle
A:Hello Peter, The Bay tree can be potted up into either John Innes No 2 or ericaceous compost so I would not be too concerned about it. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 6/15/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:What is suitable for a cold, north-facing spot?
We would like 2 evergreen plants to stand either side of our front door. The trouble is it is north facing and gets no sun at all and sometimes is subject to a cold north wind. Do you think a miniature bay tree would be any good? We would greatly appreciate your advice.Asked on 5/29/2006 by Ray
A:I'm afraid I wouldn't recommend bay trees as they don't particularly like cold, windy spots - the leaves get scorched and turn brown. You could however try the following plants as these can cope with shadier spots and are tough enough to stand up to cold winds. Aucuba http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/results/?q=aucuba Skimmia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/results/?q=skimmia Sarcococca http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/results/?q=sarcococca Taxus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/results/?q=taxusAnswered on 5/31/2006 by Crocus
Q:What tree can I plant in a pot?
I have quite a large patio area at the front of the house and want to place a large patio pot between the entrances/exits on my driveway. Ideally I would like something that will look good most of the year. Any suggestions?Asked on 3/31/2005 by email@example.com
A:Growing small trees in containers is usually pretty sucessful as long as you make sure they are potted into really large containers and that they get plenty of water and nutrients. Here are some of the best trees to grow in containers, and most of these will be between 5-6' when delivered. Acer palmatum var. dissectum Crimson Queen http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/trees/other-trees/deciduous/small-garden-trees/ok-for-small-gardens/acer-palmatum-var.-dissectum-crimson-queen/classid.87/ Acer palmatum Osakazuki http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/trees/deciduous/small-garden-trees/acer-palmatum-osakazuki/classid.109/ Salix caprea Kilmarnock http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/trees/deciduous/small-garden-trees/ok-for-small-gardens/salix-caprea-kilmarnock/classid.4700/ Arbutus http://www.crocus.co.uk/findplant/results/?CommonName=arbutus Olive http://www.crocus.co.uk/findplant/results/?CommonName=olea+eur Magnolia stellata http://www.crocus.co.uk/findplant/results/?ContentType=Plant_Card&ClassID=4139&CategoryID= Bay http://www.crocus.co.uk/findplant/results/?CommonName=laurus+nobilisAnswered on 4/1/2005 by Crocus
Late summer is the best time to prune many midsummer-flowering shrubs to keep them vigorous and flowering well. It is also the ideal time to prune several trees that are prone to bleeding if pruned at other times, and it’s...Read full article