Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Suppport the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 04, 2010

From: Elyria, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Growing non-native bay leaf plant from Elyria OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was wondering if the bay leaf plant is native and how hard it is to grow? I am so tired of buying expensive bay leaf in the store and want to do it myself.

ANSWER:

The culinary bay leaf is Laurus nobilis, which is native to the Mediterranean area, as are many of the culinary herbs you purchase at the grocery store. From Old Fashioned Living Growing and Using Bay Leaf we learned that it can be grown as an evergreen shrub in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 11. Since Lorain County is in Zones 5b to 6, you will have to treat it as an indoor pot plant. Please be sure to read the cautions about toxicity in certain situations and making absolutely sure you are growing the right plant, as other members of the same family can be poisonous. Some plants are even called "bay" but are not. 

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Purchase of frostweed in Staten Island NY
January 05, 2010 - My grandson would like to buy a frostweed plant. Can I buy this from you?
view the full question and answer

Source for purchase of non-native Tradescantia zebrina
October 04, 2008 - Is there a nursery near me that carries Wandering Jew plants?
view the full question and answer

Purchase source for non-native Aerva Lanata plant
September 18, 2008 - I am looking for a place where I could buy the Aerva Lanata Plant, would you happen to know?
view the full question and answer

Source for non-native yellow bauhinia in Tomball, TX
August 29, 2009 - I am trying to find a yellow bauhinia plant/tree/shrub here in Tomball, TX. I went to the Arbor Gate in Tomball and they only have the white and orange, but they do have a yellow bauhinia on display ...
view the full question and answer

Difference in natural soil and potting soil.
February 19, 2008 - If you buy store bought soil is it different than soil from the ground?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.