Herbs forum: Bay Laurel

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Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Aug 16, 2016 6:17 PM CST
I've grown Bay Laurel for several years--have 2 plants that I overwinter indoors. Earlier this year, one of my Master Gardener colleagues was discussing doing propagation of bay by cuttings. So, we consulted with our propagation expert, and tonight we met to take bay laurel cuttings. I know they can take a while to germinate, so it will be a while til we know if we were successful. It was interesting to learn the difference between soft, semi-soft, and hardwood cuttings and the different techniques.

Has anyone here propagated bay laurel by either cuttings or seed?

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Oct 6, 2016 8:36 AM CST
My tree 20 ft tall is outside. Frost down to 18 F.dosent bother it. Never planted seed. They plant themselfs and come up as they please !
I leaned a small branch over and burried it half way into a small hole and covered it. Just for kicks.to see if it would root. And ! It sure did 😎.
So if you cant do that.i would say. air layer it.if you wanted faster results. Shrug! Planting the seeds.and doing cuttings sounds fun though. Have fun.Enjoy.and Experiment. I like to experiment 😎🙊🙉🙈 Sticking tongue out I tip my hat to you.
Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Oct 28, 2016 7:13 PM CST
I've had luck air layering bay laurel. But it takes a long time for the roots to develop.

My current bay laurel tree (more of a bush really) was air layered from a bushy tree in a friend's yard a few miles away. Mine is in a large planter that is marginally mobile, and I bring it in the basement during the winter. I'm thinking about layering off a few more, maybe next year. To successfully air-layer bay laurel, you do need to cut/scar the bark in a couple of places. Wrap the cut spots on the branch bark with rooting/growing medium and wrap it with cheese cloth or an "ace bandage" to hold the moist rooting medium in place.

When I did mine, I used "rooting powder" on the cuts in the bark, and it still took 4 to 6 months for enough roots to develop that we felt good about cutting it off the mother plant. The roots develop very slowly on bay laurel, and I'm told that 4 months is not at all unusual for rooting time. I'm not sure if cuttings would survive long enough to develop roots.

Bending a low branch down and burying it in the ground, as suggested above, is another propagation method, very similar to air layering. Again, "rooting powder" helps, and patience is needed.

It's not a real fast growing tree, either. Patience is required for any attempts at growing bay laurel and "growing your own bay leaves."
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Nov 7, 2016 8:49 AM CST
@commoncents : Eric 😕 bay grows slow😕? Maybe because im one zone warmer than you or climate hear. Mine grew really fast. I though 😕!
Does it get to cold where your at to put it inside for winter ???
😎😎😎
Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Nov 7, 2016 9:38 AM CST
@Philipwonel,

Mine is definitely a slow grower. Mine is in a large container (24" x 24" square terra cotta planter). My source has his in the ground in his yard. Or I should say, he had his in the ground in his yard.

I have my planter set up on bricks, and I can slide a furniture dolly under it and roll it into the basement. Some winters, I probably will be able to leave it out. Other times, I bring it in.

If (when) the forecast is for an extended time (3 days or more) with daytime high temperatures below freezing, I bring it in, and I keep it in until a couple weeks before "average last frost" date. So far, with this plant, I've brought it in every year because since I've been back in Georgia, we've had at least one extended deep freeze period every winter. Before I moved to Florida for a few years, when I was living in Georgia before, I had one in a similar planter, and a few mild winters, I was able to leave it out all winter.

My source for this tree died off completely last winter. That's whey I definitely need to layer off at least one more plant to return to my source. I also lost my outdoor, in the ground sage, rosemary and even my thyme and some of my oregano last winter.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Nov 7, 2016 12:25 PM CST
@commoncents.
Thanks ! I didt know N. Georgia. One zone lower than me had such wicked winters. Hear the lowest in my lifetime was 18 f. So knowing one zone makes that much difference . will help me out when i give someone in diferent zone advice. So 4 u (bay to bed ! 😄😄😄Lol.)
😎😎😎

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