How to Grow Bay Leaf


A sweet bay is a medium-sized tree that produces the culinary seasoning bay leaf. The aromatic bay leaf is used to season soups, roasts and other dishes. The slow-growing plant can be grown as a tree or shrub and is adaptable to pruning and shaping. They can be grown as a container plant, which will allow you to harvest their leaves.

Step 1

Fill the pot with a mixture of 2/3 potting soil and 1/3 perlite.

Step 2

Remove the seedling from its container. Do it gently so as not to disrupt the roots.

Step 3

Plant the seedling in the pot, covering its roots in the soil. The bay seedling should be planted at the same depth as it was in the original container.

Step 4

Water thoroughly and allow it to drain. Place in a sunny window.

Step 5

Fertilize once in the spring and once in the summer. Choose a fertilizer that can be used for indoor or outdoor container plants. Follow the instructions on the packaging.

Step 6

Move the plant outside when the danger of frost is over for the season.

Things You'll Need

  • 12-inch pot (with good drainage)
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Sweet bay seedling


  • Wisconsin Master Gardener; Herb of the Year 2009: Sweet Bay; Susan Mahr; 2009
  • Floridata; Laurus Nobilis; Steve Christman; 2005
  • WVU-Harrison County Extension; Container Gardening; Larry Campbell
Keywords: bay leaf, growing bay leaves, sweet bay

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.