If you love cooking, then you might be interested to learn the steps of growing Bay Laurel indoors. These aromatic leaves are often used as a seasoning for various food recipes. If you have your own Bay laurel plant at home, you no longer need to buy this herb from the supermarket. Thus, you’d be able to save both time and money.
Growing Bay Laurel Indoors : Step by Step
Growing bay laurel indoors is easy. For as long as you provide it with the proper care and environment that it deserves, you should be able to grow it successfully with ease. Here is the step by step process of how to grow bay laurel indoors.
1. Purchase a Grown Plant
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Your best bet when growing bay laurel indoors is to buy a small plant that has already established. This plant is being sold in various nursery stores online. You can also buy it from the garden centers near you. While it’s possible to grow bay laurel from seeds in a pot, it can take a long time to cultivate. And if you grow it from stem cuttings, you cannot always guarantee success especially if you are doing it for the first time. Thus, buying a bay laurel plant in a container is the best option, especially for first-time growers.
2. Prepare the Pot with Soil
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Once you have the plant to grow, the next thing to do is to look for a suitable pot to grow the plant. Choose a pot with drainage holes and use well-draining soil. Bay leaf is a versatile plant that can tolerate any type of soil, although the ideal PH range should be 6 to 7.
3. Transfer the Plant into the Container
Next, fill the pot halfway with soil. Then gently remove the plant from the original container and transfer it to the pot with soil. Place the root ball into the soil and cover it with more soil, while making sure that there are no gaps. Water the soil once the plant has settled in.
4. Place in a Sunny Location
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When it comes to learning how to grow bay leaf plant at home, proper placement is the key. Otherwise, the plant may not be able to grow successfully. Laurels are the type of plants that will do well in sunny areas. So after planting, look for a spot in your home where the plant can get plenty of sunlight and place it there. Since this plant is accustomed to growing in bright light, expose the plant to as much sunlight as possible.
Bay Tree Care Tips
When growing bay leaf indoors, it’s important that you know how to care for the plant. Bay leaf plants are easy to grow. But if you don’t provide it with care, you can’t expect your plant to grow. So here are some bay tree care tips that you need to know.
1. Water Frequently
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Bay laurel plants would love their soil to be moist but well-drained. Water the plant regularly but avoid overwatering. Otherwise, the roots will rot. Its roots are highly susceptible to damage due to overwatering, so water only the topmost layer of the soil, which has dried out.
Make sure you water at the soil level only to prevent the leaves from developing fungal problems. Don’t allow the plant to dry out during summer since this plant is not drought tolerant. But minimize watering during the cold winter months once it becomes dormant.
2. Expose to Sunlight
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Bay laurels can grow well when there’s enough light. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region, which is why it’s so used to growing under sunlight. When growing bay laurel indoors, try to replicate this environment as much as you can.
Place your potted plant in an area in your home where it gets to receive plenty of sunlight. But make sure that the plant is protected from harsh winds, so place it beside a window, wall, or fence.
3. Feed with Fertilizer
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Generally, the bay leaf plant is a slow-growing plant, so it doesn’t require plenty of food to grow. However, since you’re growing bay leaf plants in a container, it’s highly recommended that you feed it with supplemental fertilizers.
Feeding the bay leaf plant with a balanced organic fertilizer can help the plant to grow faster. It will also help if you replace the topmost soil each spring, but be careful not to hit the shallow roots when digging.
Bay Leaf Plant Problems
Although growing bay leaf plants indoors is easy, this plant is susceptible to a few diseases. Therefore, it’s important that you carefully observe the plant as it grows. If you notice that something is wrong with the plant, you should immediately address it. Here are some of the most common problems you could encounter when growing bay laurel indoors:
1. Yellow Leaves
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The yellowing of leaves is a common problem among container-grown bay leaf plants. This problem is usually a sign of cold weather damage or waterlogging damage. Sometimes, this can indicate that the plant is deficient in nutrients.
2. Cracks on Lower Stems
Some bay leaf plants will also develop cracks on its lower stems that seem like the bark is peeling off. This is common on bay leaf plants grown outdoors and is usually due to the harsh weather condition. But this is nothing to be concerned about for as long as the plant is growing normally. It’s not fatal and it will go back to normal once the weather gets better.
3. Leaf Spots
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Those spots in your bay leaf plant can also indicate waterlogging problems. Bay leaf plants that are grown in pots are more susceptible to this disease. This is usually a sign that the compost needs to be replaced, and the plant has to be repotted.
4. Curled Leaves
If the leaves of your bay leaf plant are curling over and are looking unsightly, check the edges and see if you can find tiny white insects hiding in it. These insects are usually the reason behind the curled leaves in a bay leaf plant. Thankfully, this problem will not affect the growth of the plant. Simply remove the affected leaves, and your plant should grow fine.
Q1: Are Bay Tree Berries Poisonous to Dogs?
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A1: The bay leaf may be a tasty addition to various recipes, but this leaf, along with its berries, is toxic to dogs. When the dog ends up ingesting it, the pet will show symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, and if it has eaten a large amount of the berries, can lead to lung obstruction.
Q2: Can you use Bay Leaves Straight from the Tree?
A2: Bay leaves are generally safe to cook coming from trees. However, the fresh leaves can overpower the taste of the dish, which is why it is often removed early on when cooking. Drying the leaves is a better option since a dried bay leaf provides a more subtle flavor.
Q3: Can you plant Laurel Cuttings Straight into the Ground?
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A3: Yes, it’s possible to grow the bay leaf plant from cutting. However, it is best to do it in midsummer when it is half-ripe. To grow from cutting, simply stick the cutting in a pot with soil. It is best to dip the tip to a rooting hormone before planting.
Q4: Are Laurel Leaves Poisonous for Humans?
A4: Certain varieties of laurel leaves may be poisonous to humans, most especially the hedging varieties. These varieties produce hydrocyanic acid that can cause serious complications once ingested.
Q5: What is Laurel Leaves Good For?
A5: Both fresh and dried laurel leaves are used for cooking a variety of dishes, thanks to their distinct fragrance and flavor. The leaves will only serve as a flavoring and must be removed before eating. It is often used on stews, soups, and braised dishes.
Q6: How to Dry Bay Leaves?
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A6: To dry bay leaves, scatter the leaves in a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Place the leaves in a warm and dry area for a couple of weeks. Flip them once within that period. It’s also possible to dry them in a dehydrator.
Q7: How to Identify a Bay Leaf Tree?
A7: The most distinguishing characteristic of a bay leaf tree is its shiny gray bark that dulls with age. It also has shiny leaves that produce an aromatic smell. The leaves are leathery and thick.
Q8: How to Preserve fresh Bay Leaves?
A8: To preserve fresh bay leaves, simply store the leaves in a freezer bag and seal firmly. You can also place them in a plastic container. Put them at the deepest part of the freezer in order to preserve its flavor.
Growing bay laurel indoors is a great idea especially if you love to add these aromatic leaves in the dishes that you cook. The most important thing to remember when growing these plants indoors is to give it plenty of light. Therefore, place it in an area that receives sunlight. Feed the plant with water but avoid overwatering to prevent the roots from rotting.