Bay laurel


Old 06-10-05, 04:41 AM
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Bay laurel

I would like to get a bay laurel tree and keep it in a pot instead of in the ground. What would be an appropriate size pot for it to do well? I'd like to keep the tree to about 5 feet tall.
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Old 06-10-05, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
Laurel bay thrives in well-drained deep soils. I would use the largest pot available, at least as large as a whiskey barrel half for a tree 5 feet.
Old 06-12-05, 07:15 AM
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Thanks! A whiskey barrel half is just what I was thinking of.
Old 06-18-05, 05:07 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
I love bay laurel. I don't know how long it will thrive enclosed in a whiskey barrel. They tend to be shallow rooted and shallow rooted plants tend to have extensive root systems to search for water. You need to do some research on bay laurels and pretend if you were a bay laurel what would you need to survive.

Bay trees can thrive in containers, making them ideal for the patio. They will will require pruning and liquid feed. You can get a 5' plant in a 12" pot if you babysit it. The tree will have to be moved inside if there's a hard frost or cold weather. Bay trees can adjust to interior temperature and environment. But they will need cooler temps and indirect sunlight. A spare bedroom where heat is kept lower and sunlight indirect would be best. Expect leaf loss during adjustment period.

Bay laurel's root system can not stand to be bound. Keep repotting up in size of pots about 2" and make sure there is a good drainage hole and good composted soil.

Barrel growers of bays prefer straight-stemmed plants and remove lower side shoots. When desired height is reached bay growers cut out the topmost tip and clip back side shoots to three leaves to encourage the head of the bay laurel plant to grow and it will soon begin to form the traditional 'ball' shape. As more side shoots appear, they trim them back to about 3 leaves. When the bay is fully-shaped, they prune in late spring and late summer to maintain shape.

If your growing zone is favorable to bay laurels in your landscape, I personally recommend planting in the landscape if they tend to occur in your countryside drives.

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