The Bay Laurel Tree produces bay leaves, which many chefs use extensively in dishes like soups, stews, and rice. People also add them to spice blends and use them therapeutically in various cultures.
Who doesn’t like food that not only tastes amazing but is also sweet-smelling? Well, everyone does. This is because a person smells a food before he eats it. Bay Laurel Tree
Hence to grab the consumer’s attention, you sure need to have good fragrant food. If you cook, you would know how amazing bay leaves to smell.
Let’s talk about the full of freshness and flavorful leaf, bay laurel tree and how you can use it in your daily lives. Keep reading!
What is the Bay Laurel Tree?
The Bay Laurel tree has fragrant, evergreen, glossy leaves. Chefs use these dark-green, oval-shaped leaves in cooking to infuse dishes with a distinct aroma and flavor. What makes them different from common tree leaves is their fragrance.
The Bay Laurel plant provides delicately scented bay leaves with a hint of bitterness in their taste. So consuming it raw might not please your taste buds.
Bay Laurel trees, also known as sweet laurel, rank among the oldest cultivated trees, particularly in the Mediterranean region. Depending on their maturity, they can grow between 25-55 feet tall, but people often prune them to a height of 2-8 feet.
In the spring season, the Bay Laurel plant forms small yellow flowers around its leaves, followed by purple drupes containing seeds. Good news: you can grow them in your own garden. Want to know how? Keep reading!
How To Grow A Bay Laurel Tree?
The best part apart from the taste and smell of bay laurel trees is their versatility. They can be grown both ways; inside and outside.
They can be a source of attraction and decoration because of their glossy olive-green leaves. One thing to keep in mind is to give the trees full sun as it helps bring out the best flavor.
If you do not want to use pruned leaves, you can start harvesting when your tree is about 3-4 feet tall(the dried leaves also contain fragrance and purpose).
The dried darker green leaves are very fragrant, they are used by crumbling into smaller pieces and adding to the dishes.
However, bay leaves are a little crispy by nature and hence are removed before eating.
Care and Cultivation
If you are planning to grow your own bay laurel plant indoors, consider the following:
➢ Exposure to sunlight: If you are growing your bay laurel tree indoors, keeping it under the sun might be a task.
But to have good flavorful and fragrant bay leaves, keep the plant near a sunny side of the window(tip: do not expose your plant to artificial heat). In outdoor scenarios, you can give full exposure to the sun. The ideal season is hot, dry summers.
➢ Type of soil: Bay laurel is the least complicated plant of all. It only requires well-draining soil. The trick is to plant your tree exactly at the same distance as it was originally planted in the container.
So for bay laurel, any soil that drains well can work well! (tip: use half part of potting soil and half of the cactus mix to get the best growth).
➢ Watering needs: Over-watering is not for bay laurel due to its shallow nature. You need to make sure that your soil drains well.
You can consider watering once top growth is achieved. The trick is to let the soil dry a little in between the waterings. (tip: waterless but water frequently)
➢ Temperature and winter care: To grow a healthy bay plant, you need a proper heat supply. The suggested hardiness zones are 8-10.
During winters, your bay laurel can be a little problematic due to low humidity. You can start watering it regularly. (tip: place the container or pot indoors and keep the tree from drying out by watering).
➢ Fertilizer feeding: Bay laurel is a slow-growing plant. If you plant it in containers, you might need some supplemental fertilizer.
A balanced organic fertilizer during spring and summer can do the work. (tip: do not fertilize when the plant is dry during winters)
➢ Repotting: Bay laurel tree is an evergreen tree that keeps producing bay leaves. To keep them fresh, consider filling in new soil and moving the plant into a larger plant/pot/container every 2-3 years. (tip: keep them in small containers with a broad base to prevent wind damages)
Pruning The Bay Laurel Trees
Bay laurel does not need to be pruned regularly as it grows slowly and steadily. Reason being that the trees will turn out bushier.
The best time to prune bay laurel is early spring or fall season as it is the time of the new growing season. If they are not pruned, they can grow up to 60 feet easily. So if you are growing your plant indoors, you might need to prune it every 2-3 days.
Pruning can also help your bay leaves from turning dry, brown, and damaging the growth. (tip: keep your indoor plants at a manageable height of 5-6 feet).
How Can Bay Laurel Trees Be Helpful?
Now that we have covered the process and care, let’s have a look at why bay laurel can be helpful too!
For the surrounding:
Protect other plants: They act as a protection from pests and insects for other plants.Dye color: Their leaves produce a beautiful light green color that can be used as a dye.
Want a smoky bbq? Well: The wood of bay laurel trees adds a smoky flavor to the grills.
Can serve as a beautiful part of a bouquet. Inside the kitchen: Well, the flavor and aroma that bay leaves add to the dish is no secret. The dried leaves can be used in slow-cook dishes, the soft ones can be used in soups and curries, and it can also be used frozen.
Are Bay Leaves Good For You?
YES YES YES! The health benefits of bay leaves are quite numerous. For example:
Full of minerals: They are a rich source of Vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and iron.
Say bye to headache: Bay laurel leaves are said to cure migraine and headaches.
Can reduce/cure constipation: Helps in food digestion, hence also promoting weight loss.
Keeps blood sugar under control: Their leaves help lower pre-meal sugar levels, hence controlling diabetes.
Bay laurel is a glossy green leafy tree. It is one of the oldest cultivated trees. Growing a bay laurel tree can be a little challenging but once you do it, you gain a lot of benefits.
They can grow up to 30 feet tall, and furthermore, they only need a little care and pruning. They not only help you enhance the taste of your dishes, but can also be a source of beauty to your home space.
If given the right kind of care, they can grow into beautiful tall fragrant trees. Moreover, bay leaves are also known for their therapeutic properties. They have a number of health-related benefits.
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