How to Germinate Bay Leaves

The bay leaf grows on the bay laurel tree. The leaf adds flavour to dishes such as soups, teas and sauces. The plant grows slowly and adapts well to pruning and shaping. If you want to grow the plant at home, you can germinate the seeds. The seeds can take up to six months to germinate, and not all of the seeds will sprout. When you plan to grow the tree from seeds, you will need to germinate a large batch so that you will have a higher success rate to grow the bay laurel.

Add moist seed-starting soil to fill a seed tray.

Place the bay laurel seeds on the surface of the moist soil. Space them 2 inches apart from each other.

Press the seeds gently into the soil so that the soil contacts the seeds. Cover the seeds with 1/8 of an inch of horticultural sand.

Fill a spray bottle with distilled water. Spray the soil to moisten the sand.

Place the seed tray in a warm location that receives indirect sunlight. The ideal location will have a temperature range between 18.3 and 21.1 degrees Celsius.

Water the seed tray with the spray bottle so that the soil remains moist. Avoid over-watering the soil, which can promote root rot. Continue to care for the seedlings, which may take up to six months to germinate.

Allow the strongest seeds to grow two sets of leaves, and remove the weaker seedlings. Fill a 12-inch growing pot with 1/3 perlite and 2/3 potting soil for each seedling that you plan to transplant. Leave 1 inch of head space at the top of the growing pot.

Remove the seedling from the container gently so that you do not disturb the roots. Plant the seedling into its own individual pot and cover the roots. Plant it at the same depth that it was growing in the seedling tray.

Water the new soil to moisten it. Allow the water to drain from the bottom of the growing pot. Place the seedling in direct sunlight for 6 to 8 hours a day.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed starting soil
  • Seed tray
  • Horticultural sand
  • Spray bottle
  • 12-inch growing pot
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About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.