Bay laurel, sweet bay, bay tree (Laurus nobilis)
Laurel comes from the Middle East and spread throughout the Mediterranean a long time ago. It can reach a height of approx. 12 meters and is not resistant to frost. In areas of heavy frost (less than -8) it is best planted in pots. Bay leaves can be harvested throughout the year and due to its versatility this shrub can also be converted into a bonsai with the shape of a sphere, pyramid, etc. Bay leaf were once of great importance in Greek and Roman mythology. A laurel wreath was the prize for merit in sport as well as a symbol for knowledge and fame.
It is much stronger planted out, potted it needs to stay wetter. For the best growth the soil should be a mixture of sand (20-30%) and a good garden soil and always well drained. Prune it regularly and if possible fertilize it.
Laurel prefers rainwater to irrigation. Mealybugs are their insect enemies by nature.
Light: Full sun
Multiplication: by cuttings (10-15 cm) is successful (2/3 of the cutting free of leaves and put them deep in culture substrate (substrate Perlite and garden), root formation occurs at 20 ° C and takes about 1 month. Multiplication by seeds is also very simple, leave the seeds in water at room temperature for 2 days and then plant put in approx. 1 cm deep and the seeds should germinate in about 14-21 days.
In winter : Withstands temperature of up to 8 below zero. Potted plant to the 5ªC fresh and bright place and the leaves do not fall either have to water it regularly.
In the kitchen: Fresh or dried whole Laurel leaves can be used in meat, fish and game, and marinades. The leaves are removed before serving. They also add to the flavor in the sauce for spaghetti bolognese. Vegetables and potatoes cooked with laurel have an interesting flavour.
In the Home: Dried bay leaves in the kitchen or in the pot of rice and flour keeps the bugs away.
Medicinal: menstruation regulator, appetite stimulant, anti-inflammatory, improves blood circulation, diuretic, bactericidal. Moreover, the oil has a healing power in skin rashes and blisters. Laurel should not be used during pregnancy, although no known contact allergies. Taken in excess can result in trance and unconscious.