Plant Type
Sunlight Amount

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.

genus name
  • Laurus nobilis
  • Sun
  • Part Sun
plant type
  • Under 6 inches
  • 1 to 3 feet
  • 3 to 8 feet
  • 8 to 20 feet
  • 20 feet or more
  • 15-20 feet wide as a perennial; 1-2 feet wide as an annual
flower color
season features
problem solvers
special features
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
harvest tips
  • 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.

More varieties for Bay

'Undulata' bay laurel

'Undulata' bay laurel

Laurus nobilis 'Undulata' has wavy leaf margins, providing extra ornamental value. It is at least as hardy as the species and can be used as a culinary herb in the same manner. Zones 8-11

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