How Do I Grow Bay Leaf Indoors?

“What’s the best way to grow bay leaves indoors?” Question from Debbie of Fort Calhoun, Nebraska

Answer: Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is a broadleaf evergreen tree from the Mediterranean region  that is hardy between USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10. Thankfully, it is very easy to grow indoors, if you have a sunny spot that remains relatively cool through the winter.

Most quality nurseries carry bay laurel. Choose a leafy, robust looking tree, and plant it a ceramic pot that’s twice the size of the root ball, being sure to leave at least 2 inches of space at the top for watering. We recommend planting bay in a rich, well-drained mix for edible growing, like Black Gold Natural & Organic Potting Mix, which is approved for organic gardening.

Bay laurels require less water in fall and winter but don’t let the pot become completely dry between watering. During the summer months, bay pots grow better outdoors and require more water. Upgrade your bay when it outgrows its pot, and prune its branches back, if they become too large and top-heavy.

Fresh bay leaves can be harvested all season long, just be sure to leave enough leaves on the plant for good growth and plant health.

Happy bay laurel growing!

Jessie Keith




Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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