Laurus nobilis

Laurus nobilis

Laurus nobilis

Laurus nobilis

Bay tree or bay laurel

  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: fertile,well-drained soil
  • Flowering period: March to May
  • Foliage: evergreen
  • Hardiness: needs protection from severe frost

Laurus nobilis, also known as a bay tree, is a popular, versatile evergreen shrub or tree with leathery, dark green, aromatic leaves and small greenish-yellow flowers in late spring.

A bay tree can also be used for topiary.

Bay laurel standard

Evergreen bay laurel standards are excellent topiary plants, providing structure throughout the whole year. They can be grown in patio pots or in the ground. Ideal for a small, contemporary garden.

Bay laurel standards are best planted in a position where they are sheltered from cold winds and frost.


When do you prune bay laurel standard. In early summer trim lightly to maintain the ball shape. Best to use secateurs, not shears.

Bay leaves damaged by frost, will often turn yellow-brown. In late spring, remove dead or damaged leaves, pruning to a strong healthy bud.

Bay leaves damaged by forst
Bay leaves damaged by frost                   Healthy bay leaves

Winter protection

A bay laurel standard is not fully hardy. Needs protection from severe frost. Container-grown bay laurel standard. Cover the outside of the pot with bubble wrap to protect the roots. Cover the plant with a winter fleece plant cover.

Alternatively: Store the plant in a frost-free place.

Bay laurel standard planted in the ground. Protect the shrub against frost and cold winds with a few layers of garden fleece. Cover the base of the plant with a thick layer of dry mulch to reduce frost penetration.

Plant combination

Laurus Nobilis goes well with Pittosporum tobira ‘Nanum‘, Ilex aquifolium, Skimmia.

Skimmia White Globe
Skimmia japonica ‘White Globe’