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Bay Tree overwontering #817031

Asked November 29, 2022, 1:49 PM EST

What is the best way to over winter a bay tree in Cass County MI? We have killed to bay trees in in the last few years by bringing them into the house for the winter. My Master Gardener (degree from MSU) claims that since the mediterraneum sea has dry hot soil conditions she does not water during the winter. Is she correct?

Cass County Michigan

Expert Response

Hello,

Bay laurel should be watered regularly, but the soil and roots should be allowed to dry out completely between each watering. this will help to prevent root rot. Water should be applied sparingly during each watering and only when the soil is dry. The plant has evolved in dry climates and will not tolerate wet roots. In the winter, much less water can be applied, but the plant shouldn’t be allowed to dry out for too long.

Potted plants have restricted water access, so check the top 8 cm of soil in the pot every couple of days. If this is dry, give your plant a deep watering, ensuring the soil can drain away. A newly-planted potted shrub will need extra water for its first few weeks. However, in the long term, bay laurel prefers under-watering rather than overwatering, provided it gets enough water over the year.

I hope this helps!!
Melville Kennedy Replied November 29, 2022, 6:22 PM EST

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