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Bay tree

lizzykincaidelizzykincaide Croydon Posts: 88
I don't know what's happened to my standard bay tree. I thought they like the heat but this has been dying back for the past couple of months despite watering it. Will it recover? What do I need to do? Thanks
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,567
    edited 4 August
    There's heat and then there's HEAT, especially when the cuticle of the leaves isn't used to the amount of heat weve had recently.

    Is it in a pot?  How big and what sort of compost?  How much water and how often? 

    This may be of some help 
    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/comment/2527148#Comment_2527148

    and some more general stuff on bay tree care here 
    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/comment/2528430#Comment_2528430
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • lizzykincaidelizzykincaide Croydon Posts: 88
    There's heat and then there's HEAT, especially when the cuticle of the leaves isn't used to the amount of heat weve had recently.

    Is it in a pot?  How big and what sort of compost?  How much water and how often? 

    This may be of some help 
    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/comment/2527148#Comment_2527148

    and some more general stuff on bay tree care here 
    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/comment/2528430#Comment_2528430
    Hi Dove from Above
    Thanks for the information.
    It is in a large deep pot (just under a metre) in normal loose compost with good drainage. I water once a week normally on Summer. It has the sun on it all day and has been in this position for over five years. I replaced some of the topsoil last year.
  • lizzykincaidelizzykincaide Croydon Posts: 88
    This is what it looked like earlier this year.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,567
    When you say ‘normal loose compost’ is that ‘multi-purpose’ or a loam/soil-based mix?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • lizzykincaidelizzykincaide Croydon Posts: 88
    Think it was multi-purpose with sand added.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,567
    Multipurpose compost really is only suitable for short term container planting such as vegetables and bedding plants. 

    I would gently scratch the bark on the stem with my thumbnail. If there’s a layer of green just below the surface then it’s still alive. 
    Give it a really good soaking and then repot it, replacing as much of the compost as possible with the mixture in my second link above. 

    Water as described in the same link and we’ll all cross our fingers 😊 🤞 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Joyce GoldenlilyJoyce Goldenlily Posts: 1,473
    I tried growing bay for several years with dismal results until I looked at where they grew wild. They seem to prefer heavy clay soils with plenty of moisture.
    Light,quick drainage is not what they need. Nor do they like being overfed. I think I killed mine with overcosseting. I now have several rooted suckers doing well with very little attention. They seem to grow prolifically along the coast so sun does not seem to trouble them, water at the roots does.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,410
    I think you're right @Joyce Goldenlily - if they are in the ground. We have one in heavy clay, South facing garden, baked regularly, never fed or watered. It's perfectly healthy.
    However, I nearly lost a potted one by giving it the same treatment. In a pot, they need good drainage,watering and the odd feed.  A moderately sheltered position with good sunlight but not subjected to blasting hot midsummer midday sun is ideal.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • lizzykincaidelizzykincaide Croydon Posts: 88
    edited 8 August
    Multipurpose compost really is only suitable for short term container planting such as vegetables and bedding plants. 

    I would gently scratch the bark on the stem with my thumbnail. If there’s a layer of green just below the surface then it’s still alive. 
    Give it a really good soaking and then repot it, replacing as much of the compost as possible with the mixture in my second link above. 

    Water as described in the same link and we’ll all cross our fingers 😊 🤞 
    Hi Dovefromabove.

    I can't say it was easy scratching the surface off, in the end I used a knife. Is it dead?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,567
    I’m afraid that doesn’t look too hopeful. 😢
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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