Laurel tree, Laurus nobilis - Care, propagation & hibernation info

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laurel tree

For old trees, which are already grown in the largest possible vessel, the earth should be replaced every two years. To do this, cut out about one to two centimeters of the roots on the side and bottom of the bale. After repotting the laurel tree should be set up a bit more shady for the next two weeks.

To cut

What needs to be cut and how often depends on whether the laurel tree has been trained as a shaped wood or just grows as a shrub in the soil. The plant should not be trimmed with a hedge trimmer, otherwise soon show brown, dry interfaces. It is better to cut each shoot individually with a garden or rose scissors. If the real laurel has got an exposed place in the garden, it does not have to be cut in principle (except a care / maintenance cut). Uncut, the shrub or smaller tree grows cone-shaped to over seven meters in height.

General cutting measures / conservation cut

Remove all leaf tips and shoots that have been damaged or dead, for example due to weather conditions or illnesses.
  • Time: spring
  • cut all dead and sick branches down to healthy wood
  • completely cut off all internally growing shoots
  • of two intersecting shoots remove the weaker one


In addition to the boxwood, the real laurel is probably the most popular wood for shaping cuts. Except for a conservation cut, in which only damaged shoots are removed, such a woodland must be regularly brought into shape. This requires a little more tact. If you let a wood form itself, it will begin to proliferate in a short time and be flattened from the inside or from the bottom. Only with a targeted cut the bush remains bushy.
  • Time: May and July / August
  • if necessary, more often
  • Shorten all protruding over the desired shape shoot tips
  • It works best with a garden or rose scissors
  • Cut long, unbranched branches after the first or second leaf shoot
  • always cut over one eye in the desired direction of the new shoot
  • Shorten new shoots on a bud in the desired direction of growth


Shrubs can be kept in shape by simply cutting back a longish twig on a lower leaf or bud in spring or summer. Out of shape or completely neglected woody plants are very cut compatible and can be shortened except for a few eyes above ground level.


The harvest of the aromatic leaves of the spicy laurel is possible in every season. However, the taste is most intense in the summer until late summer. Older leaves usually contain more essential oils than young leaves. Since the aromas evaporate quickly, the bay leaves should be consumed within a short time or alternatively placed in a closed jar for storage.


A laurel tree tolerates frosts to about minus five degrees. Therefore, it should be planted in our latitudes only in very warm and sheltered locations in the field. Outdoor plants are protected in the fall with leaves, mulch, straw or brushwood in the ground area and possibly a windbreak set up to the weather side. In addition, its leaves should be protected from dehydration and burns from the sun in cool temperatures and strong sunlight with an air-permeable fleece.

laurel tree

In the first year of the cutting is very vigorous. Therefore, it should not only be poured regularly and repotted, but also stimulated with a gentle cut to more branching.


As a rule, the cuttings have already got roots over the summer. This can be seen in the fact that slowly new leaves are forming. Make sure the substrate remains slightly moist after the first rooting. And shade the young grove so that it is not exposed to the blazing sun.
Tip: Alternatively, you can pick hardwood cuttings from early to mid-October. These cuttings are then placed in a shallow earth wall outdoors and covered with a foil tunnel. These cuttings are not cut from the top of the shoot, but from the middle.

Attractive varieties

If you use the laurel tree as a spice plant, it is very important to buy only varieties of Laurus nobilis. There are some other plants that are also known as laurel, but are not suitable for consumption, such as the Indian laurel (Cinnamomum tamala), the Mexican laurel (Litsea glaucenscens), the West Indian laurel (Pementa recemosa) or the California laurel ( Umbellularia calivornica). The real laurel is only available in very few cultivars. These include:
  • Laurus nobilis 'Angustifolia': has slightly narrower leaves
  • Laurus nobilis 'Aurea': the fresh foliage is initially yellowish in color
  • Laurus nobilis 'Undulata': slightly more wavy foliage

Diseases and pests

Root rot and various fungi can cause great damage to the plant. Although there are no suitable fungicides for the home garden, however, it helps to quickly remove diseased material and to ensure good ventilation of the crown. Otherwise, the Laurus nobilis is not prone, because the essential oils in its leaves protect it quite effectively against most pests. Only scale insects can be impressed - especially in warm winter quarters - of it only a little.
  • Waterlogging leads to root rot
  • Combat spider mites with organic neem oil, make the plant cooler
The real laurel, which is a bit sensitive to frost, is particularly suitable for cultivating as a container plant. Except for the setting in a cool winter quarters and an occasional cut the robust plant is not very caring. The woody plant is particularly popular not only as a spice, but also as a form of wood, which can be raised as Hochst├Ąmmchen or in another figure.

Video Board: How to Root Fresh Cut Bay Leaf (Laurus nobilis) From Grocery/Supermarket.

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