Sweet Bay in Vancouver BC

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by karthik, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. karthik

    karthik Member

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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    1. Can Sweet Bay (Laurus nobilis) survive BC winters outside, or does it need to be brought indoors? (I've seen one at UBC Botanical Gardens but am not sure if it is relocated/covered up in winter).
    2. What is a good source near Vancouver/Burnaby for buying a plant or seeds?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Grows over 40' tall in Seattle. There is some injury during hardest winters. However, like coast silktassel this is one of those broad-leaved evergreens that is sometimes burnt by cold weather even in the wild!

    University of Washington landscaped the south-facing, partially enclosed hillside plaza of a new building with a whole grove of Laurus nobilis (and other Mediterranean plants). If you have a similar sheltered location with some room for a large shrub or tree, you should be able to grow it for some time. What you want to avoid is full unmitigated exposure to north winds or a low-lying site that receives and collects cold air from surrounding higher ground.
     
  3. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    Sweet bay or culinary laurel can be overwintered outdoors in Vancouver in a protected location. I've had mine for about 10 years in a pot. The potting mix has good drainage and is about 1/3-1/2 the diameter of the plant height. I keep my bay tree on the southside in a protected courtyard and use it all winter long for soups and stews.
     
  4. karthik

    karthik Member

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    Thanks for the info - I will probably have to keep it in a pot too. Though I would love to, unfortunately I don't have a big enough place for a tree.

    Did you start the plant from seed, or is it easy to get small plants in garden stores? (I couldn't find it at the Gardenworks on Lougheed - haven't checked any other stores yet).
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Here these are sold as windowsill herb plants along with other kinds. Plants in pots are more vulnerable to cold than those in the ground, plant in a suitable spot in the ground and prune to control size.
     
  6. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I have a client that has two of them growing in their back yard, They have been in the ground for years without significant cold injury. The client is reasonably near the PNE grounds in Vancouver. They are about 6 feet tall and put on a couple feet of new growth each year (the plants not the clients). I have to reserve the cuttings as the client supplies much of her neighboring community with Bay leaves each year :)
     
  7. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    I bought my bay tree in a pot (a #1, about 150mm diameter at the top). Try to get a larger and more established plant. The smaller and less expensive bay trees may have fewer roots and I think they're more vulnerable to frost and drought. Fall probably isn't a great time to find them, but there must be some available!
     
  8. karthik

    karthik Member

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    I bought one in a pot (just earlier today, before seeing your post), though much smaller than what you suggested. The plant itself is about 3/4 of a foot tall. Maybe I'll keep it inside the house this winter, or at least in a protected area.
     
  9. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I have a 4' specimen growing in a rather dry area. It suffers more from prolonged summer drought than anything else.

    Cheers, LPN.
     

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