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Gardening advice on growing bay laurel

Author: Cathy Cromell
Issue: January, 2014, Page 127



Q - I love bay laurel. Does this herb grow in the desert?

A - Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) will grow in the desert if you can provide the right conditions, says Kirti Mathura, Master Horticulturist with C├ęsar Mazier Landscaping & Consulting in Phoenix. It needs a well-drained soil amended with a generous amount of compost. If growing in a container, fill a large pot with potting soil to give the roots a good growing space, which will keep the plant strong through the summer heat. Young plants will benefit from light afternoon shade during the summer months, but mature plants will thrive in full sun exposure. Protect plants from frost, especially when young. Bay laurel needs frequent deep watering during summer months, and mulching around the root zone will help keep moisture in the soil.

Mathura also suggests that the Phoenix-area Arizona Herb Association is an excellent resource to learn about growing herbs in the desert. Guests are welcome at their meetings. For details, log on to azherb.org.
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