Growing Bay Laurel (2009 Herb of the Year)

| 5/7/2009 12:21:38 PM


Theresa Loe is a freelance garden/culinary writer, book author and blogger who specializes in organic edible gardening and gardening with children. You can find her recipes and garden tips at

National Herb Week was first established in 1991 by the International Herb Association. It is celebrated every year during the week prior to Mother’s Day. The purpose of National Herb Week is to bring attention to herbs, herbal uses and herb businesses. For this reason, many herb farms and businesses celebrate Herb Week with festivals and educational events during this week. Usually the celebrations will include tributes to the “Herb of the Year,” which for 2009 is bay (Laurus nobilis).

(Learn more about the 2009 Herb of the Year.)

Bay laurel is an evergreen, Mediterranean shrub with glossy, dark green leaves. In mild climates, such as Southern California, bay can grow into a substantial tree of 20 feet or more. But in most areas, it is a slow grower and rarely reaches over four to five feet. It is an excellent container plant and is commonly grown as a topiary.