The Q&A Archives: Sweet Bay Tree

Question: We purchased the tree this year and was told it would not withstand our winters, so we bought it indoors. Could it be left indoors all the time? Also, I know you can use the leaves for cooking. Can you dry some of the leaves? What is the best way of handling the exessive leaves?

Answer: You can grow this plant as a houseplant year round, yes. Some people set it outside for the summer but you do not have to do that. You can pluck a fresh leaf to use in cooking -- be prepared for a much stronger flavor than that of the dried leaves so use less than you would normally. If you have the plant on hand there should be no need to dry the leaves. However, they can be dried by placing them in a single layer on a screen and keeping it in an airy, dry, dark place. Once fully dried, pack in air tight jars and keep in a dry dark place. Enjoy your bay tree!

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