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Bay leaves have an aromatic flavour and are often added to soups, casseroles, stock, and sauces. It is usually purchased as an ornamental tree that is available to buy in many decorative shapes. Bay is often grown in pots, but also makes a good addition to a border (and this helps protect the roots from the cold and reduces the watering effort).

Pruning bay trees is a joy, as the leaves release their scent, and any cut branches can be hung up in a shed, garage, or even a kitchen to freshen the air. If growing in pots, the trees will need regular watering, and moving to sheltered spots out of the way of cold winds in bad weather. In sub zero temperatures, cover pots with fleece or bubble wrap to protect the roots.


Class: Perennial
Size: Regular
Hybrid: No
Planting: Best time is spring (bought as pot)
Harvesting: All year round

Planning what to grow? See the allotment planner and record keeper.