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Laurus nobilis

Structural plant that can be trimmed to shape, leaves are great for cooking.

Always having fresh bay leaves on hand for cooking is one good reason to choose this handsome shrub. Its evergreen leaves have a wonderful sweet aromatic smell when crushed. Bay can be clipped tightly into shape, ball or pyramids are the most popular, or leave to grow and produce greenish yellow flower clusters in summer.


Happy in a sunny spot in well-drained soil, also good for seaside gardens. Excellent in large containers too.


Water well until established. Use a good quality loam based potting compost for container growing. Shelter containers from cold winter winds. Clip in summer to maintain the shape of the plant.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Herb, Ornamental shrub
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Autumn, Spring
Flowering March - May
Evergreen Yes
Plant height 800 cm - 1200 cm
Plant width 800 cm - 850 cm
Fragrant flowers Yes
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 140 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H4

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Light exposure Part shade, Full sun
Soil drainage Well drained, Medium
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Mediterranean garden, Coastal or drought resistant, Garden edging

Typically available

From April to September