Caring for Laurel: Properly Cutting, Overwintering & Repotting

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The leaves of the laurel are popular in hearty cuisine. What care is required to be able to harvest them in your own garden?

Caring for laurel: Properly cutting, overwintering and repotting

Laurel in the pot is relatively easy to care for [Photo: Mikulas P /]

Repot the bay leaves

In most cases, due to the frosty temperatures, there is no other option than to cultivate real laurel (Laurus nobilis ) in pots. Care should then be taken to ensure that the plant is regularly given fresh substrate and a new, larger container. The optimal time for repotting is early spring before the new shoots. However, the plant should still be protected from frost. If a good, nutrient-rich substrate such as our peat-free Plantura organic universal soil is used, re-fertilization is usually no longer necessary. When repotting, you should scrape up the fine root network of the ball a little with a handhake. This promotes the formation of new roots and makes it easier to conquer the new substrate and the nutrients it contains. After repotting, watering must be done vigorously so that the substrate settles and the old root ball does not dry out.

Hibernate laurel

The spice laurel has a big problem: freezing temperatures. Some varieties die in just sub-zero temperatures, others are conditionally frost-proof to -10 ° C. However, in order not to take any risk in areas threatened by frost, the real laurel should be cultivated in a pot from the outset. Then wintering is not difficult either. All that is needed is a frost-free and as light as possible spot for the cold winter months. In no case should you forget to water the laurel. Because even in winter it can dry up and thus irretrievably lose its dark green foliage. In warmer areas, for example on the Lower Rhine or Lake Constance, wrapping in protective fleece can be enough to bring the cold-sensitive shrub through the winter.

Cut the laurel correctly

A topiary should be made regularly. This keeps the laurel in a beautiful growth shape. But spare no effort and use hand shears instead of motorized hedge trimmers for convenience. With their rough knives, they also shred leaves that are still on the bush. The wounds represent entry points for dangerous pathogens. The month of March is the perfect time to cut back. The shaping measure can thus be easily combined with repotting. The wood can be brought into almost any shape and thus inspire, depending on your taste, as an ornamental topiary in the garden or on the terrace. If the shrub from the Middle East was neglected during the winter in terms of watering and has left too many leaves, it can be radically cut back to the main shoots at the same time. This may still save the bare laurel and encourage fresh new growth.

Watering and fertilizing are other important care measures for plants. This article provides information about watering and fertilizing bay leaves.

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