Using bay leaves in cooking brings out a unique flavor to the recipe because of the leaves’ distinctive flavor and fragrance. If you use bay leaves, surely, you will have a great-tasting dish. In fact, it is used in many Mediterranean and North American cuisines. Commonly, you will find bay leaves in recipes involving soups, stews, and many meat, seafood and vegetable dishes. Aside from being used in cooking, bay leaves also have medicinal values, having been used as an ingredient in liniments for bruising and sprains.
Those who have headaches and stomach ulcers also use bay leaves as remedy. Moreover, you can use the leaves to create a soothing bath especially if you are subject to muscular and body pains.
The many uses of bay leaves make it practical that you grow some in your backyard. Bay Leaf Tree grows into large trees but when kept, can also thrive as a small bush. Bay Leaf Trees can both grow as a large tree or a small bush.
You can grow the tree through layering, sowing seeds, or taking a cutting. The best time to sow the seeds is during spring. Meanwhile, cuttings should be done in late summer to early autumn. Layering should be done in spring.
Growing a bay leaf from seeds, although can be quite a task, is the most preferred methods for many. To control the height of the tree and to reduce the pruning required, seeds are placed in pots. Seeds placed in pots that measure 12 inches in diameter can grow up to five feet. This way, you can keep the plant in your patio. You are also assured that you will not need to re-pot the tree for five years.
As to caring for your bay leaf tree, you should move the pot inside your home during frost season to protect your plant. Make sure though that you place the pot were it can receive plenty of light. You may notice that the bay leaves on the tree turn to brown and wither away during winter. Remove these leaves so that when spring comes, you will have plenty of greens. Avoid watering the plant in winter. Do not forget to feed the bay leaf tree with fertilizer when summer comes. In addition, so that it will not be very bushy, prune or cut the leaves of the tree according to your desired shape when it is in bloom.