Laurel (Laurus nobilis) is an evergreen tree native to southern Europe, was adapted to the regions around the world. Bay leaves were made into wreaths worn by ancient Roman poet, scholar and athlete as a symbol of wisdom and glory. The Latin meaning for Laurus nobilis praise and the importance for being famous. Bay trees grow up to 18 to 60 meters depending on the variety up to a 12-foot spread. Bay leaves are used to add flavor to soups, stews, stocks and sauces, as well as fish and vegetables.
Bay trees thrive in soils, rich, moist, well-draining are. Add mulch around the base – being careful not to make contact with the tribe – to help retain moisture and protect the roots from cold winter weather. Bay trees prefer full sun and are very hardy in the north. Fertilization during the active growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Reduce feeding and watering during the winter months.
Bay trees have shallow roots, which make them susceptible to frost damage. Bay trees need protection from strong, cold winds, to avoid burnt leaves. This is especially important for laurels 2 years and under. In particularly harsh winters, the leaves turn brown, but in the spring back to green. Although not hardy laurel, Northern gardeners can still enjoy them by planting the tree in a container and moved it to a warmer place during the winter. Use containers with adequate drainage and repotting as the tree grows, the roots to avoid pot-bound.
Bay trees are susceptible to sooty mold, a black, powdery fungus that grows on honeydew on the leaves by sucking plant sap excreted insects. Sooty mold blocks, the leaves from the receiving sunlight blocked photosynthesis. The best way to control the sooty mold is to control the insects, the excretion of honeydew. Wipe the leaves with a solution of soap and water helps to remove the existing form.
Scales are the main perpetrators honeydew excretion, the sooty mold growing laurel. Scales can be divided into three main categories: armored, soft and mealy bugs. They all cause damage by sucking plant juices from the laurel, the leaves causing yellowing, leaf drop, branch aluminum cavity and death. Look for scales on the undersides of leaves and stems. Prune all trees infested parts and reduced the number of plants to promote around the bay tree for better air circulation and humidity. Reduce nitrogen, because scale and race have better survival on crops with high nitrogen. Use beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings and parasitic wasps that prey on scales. Horticultural oils are also efficient at killing scales in all phases of the life cycle.
Bay sucker also ruin the look of bay leaves by sucking the sap, causing the leaves to thicken, curl at the edges and yellow and then brown. Check the leaves' undersides and wavy edges for small, grayish-white insects. Prune off affected leaves and apply a systemic insecticide such as neem oil to control the pests.