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A culinary classic, bay's glossy green foliage is a flavor favorite in soups, stews, and meat dishes. Bay only survives to 25 degrees, so it's commonly grown in containers, sounding a steady evergreen note on patios during the growing season and gracing sunny interior windows after frost. In the landscape, established trees are fuss-free and drought tolerant. Potted bay is susceptible to scale insects; hand-pick any offenders. Protect potted bay from intense sunlight in hottest zones. If you love to cook, keep dried leaves on hand; they're an essential herb for bouquet garni.
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Part Sun, Sun
Under 6 inches to 20 feet or more
15-20 feet wide as a perennial; 1-2 feet wide as an annual
how to grow Bay
Pick leaves as needed during the growing season. When plants undergo peak growth flushes in spring and summer, gather additional leaves to dry for use later in the year. Dried leaves offer peak flavor for 3 months after harvest.