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BAY LEAF

Alternate names: Bay Laurel, Bay, Laurel, Sweet Bay, True Bay

Family: Lauraceae

Height 20’ Width 15’

Harvest Time: Leaf – year round

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Well drained

Planting and care instructions

Native to: Mediterranean

Temperature before freezing: Mature 10-15˚ Young 20˚

Rate of Growth: Slow

Salt Tolerance: Fair

Spice Description: The leaf is used in cooking.

Tree Description: The Bay Leaf is medium green, open growing bush unless trimmed to thicken and contain its shape.

Uses: Bay Leaf is usually heard of in Italian recipes but many other dishes from around the world also use this invaluable spice. The leaves can be used fresh, but dried leaves are much stronger. The leaves should be dried in the dark to retain their natural greenish color. The leaves can be used in broiled fish, in soups, marinades and for an aid in preserving foods. It may be used to repel insects from inside homes and other buildings.

Maintaining tree size: The Bay Leaf can be left to grow as a specimen bush or trimmed to a hedge of only about 3’ tall. If only one tree is desired then it can be trimmed to whatever size will be suitable for the location or for the amount of leaves to be consumed.

Container plant: Bay Leaf makes a good container plant with proper fertilizer and water and repotting when needed.

Problems: Because of Florida’s humidity, small brown spots will form on the leaves. This fungus may be a little unsightly but will not affect the tree nor will it harm humans to use the leaf for seasoning.

Bay Leaf