How to Care for a Bay Leaf Tree

(Image: bay leaves image by Alison Bowden from

Bay trees are a very resilient species, equally suited to growing in pots as they are to growing outdoors in a sunny, frost-free environment. Known for being low-maintenance, bay trees will nonetheless benefit from light pruning, fertilization and watering. With the proper care, your bay tree will thrive for years to come.

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Choose a location for planting with full sun and ample space for roots to spread. If you're growing the tree in a pot, provide partial shade.

Fertilize the sapling periodically during the first two years of growth. Use a water-soluble organic fertilizer if the leaves will be used for cooking.

Prune the tree to control its height and width. Trim suckers and trunk growth to maintain its shape. Trim only at the end of summer and the beginning of spring.

Maintain an even amount of moisture until the tree is established. Continue this if growing the bay tree in a pot.

Regulate watering according to the season. Increase water in the summer and decrease it in the winter.

Bring a potted bay tree indoors during the winter months. Store it in a cool, bright room.


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