Sweet Bay Leaf Tree

Sweet Bay Leaf Tree

Laurus nobilis

aka Greek Bay, Laurel Bay

Quick Facts:
  • slow growing, evergreen perennial;
  • grows 10-15' tall in the US;
  • hardy to 10F (when mature): zones 8-10
  • native to Mediterranean

Sweet Bay is an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean, where it grows to a height of 40'.

Pot grown specimens generally achieve a height of 6', and can be cultivated into a dense, multi-trunked patio plant.   Florida grown Sweet Bay typically reaches 12-15' height.

Bay can be temperamental to grow as a young plant. It prefers rich, well-drained soil, and lots of sun. But in FL, it seems to prefer at least some partial shade and definitely does not like to dry out. 

Old growth tolerates temperatures down to about 10-15 degrees. New growth is frost tender.

Growth is slow on a young bay tree until it develops a good root system. Fertilize monthly during the growing season with organic soil amendments, supplemented by weekly or bi-weekly doses of fish fertilizer.

sweet bay leaf tree -- used as a culinary seasoning

Dark green, highly aromatic foliage
can be used as a flavorful culinary seasoning.