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Laurus nobilis

Sweet bay

Reader rating

From 8 ratings

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Key information

Plant type

Evergreen shrub

Flower colour



Flowers, Aromatic foliage



Skill level


Laurus nobilis

Plant details

One of the oldest shrubs in cultivation, introduced at least as early as 1650, the Mediterranean sweet bay or bay laurel is an essential foliage plant for herb gardens It is slightly tender while young and benefits from shelter and protection in winter - older plants may even be damaged by frost if grown in unsuitable positions, so in colder gardens, grow bay in containers and move to a sheltered position over winter. Plants are traditionally trained and clipped as topiary, and make fine structural features in formal gardens. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Lauraceae

Genus: Laurus

Species: nobilis

Plant type: Evergreen shrub

Flower colour: Yellow

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Flowers, Aromatic foliage

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 1200cm

Spread: 1000cm

Flowering period: March to May

Reader reviews


My dad has a bay tree and I'd like to propogate my own from it (I can't sfford to buy one) should I take semi-ripe or hardwood cuttings??
Thank you


My bay tree has produced a single black seed pod. Roughly egg shaped and the size of a large pea.

Can any one advise me what to do with it? I would like to try and grow another plant from it.

Thank you


I have a large bay tree at the bottom of my garden and its leaves are turning yellow and dropping off. It had loads of new growth a few months ago so I wonder if it's just an annual drop or is it on its last legs?!


I have inherited a bay tree in my new garden. It is about 8ft tall. Can it be moved too another part of the garden, if so when is best?

Any help would be much appreciated.


Hi i have an infestation of bugs that leave a whie powdery almost diamond shape on the trunk of my bay tree, can anyone advise on how to get rid of them without chemichals please. ( would have uploaded a picture but didnt know how )


I have two large Bay bushes and a small Bay bush and two small trees. They have really suffered over the winter, I think it was the extreme cold. The leaves are very brown and look dead. What do I do with them? If anyone can help I would be grateful. Thanks.


I have a bay tree. The leaves have brown spots and are also dying.
I have new leaves coming at the top of the plant, but some of them are getting the brown spots as well. Can any one please tell me what this is, and what can I do about it.

Thanks Maria


I have the same distressing problem as scullybrooks and naturelady with the browned bay laurel. Mine has been in a tub for many years and was a beautiful topiary specimen I 'brought up' from a cutting. I have left it in its pot to see if any buds would come but now the brown leaves are dropping off to leave bare twigs. Has it had it? If anyone gets an answer to this please pass on!

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