Useful information

Laurel noble: cultivation, reproduction

Laurel noble (Laurus nobilis) - this is the full name of a popular indoor and tub plant.

In ancient Greece, laurel was considered the sacred tree of the god Apollo. This veneration is based on the myth of the nymph Daphne (daphne - "laurel" in ancient Greek), which was turned into this tree in an attempt to avoid the amorous pursuit of Apollo. To prove his love, God weaved a laurel wreath and never parted with it. So the laurel wreath became a symbol of triumph. A wreath of laurel branches was presented to the winner of the sports games held in honor of Apollo. This symbolism was carried over to Roman culture, where the laurel branch was also identified with victory. Titles such as "bachelor" and "laureate" are also derived from the word laurel. In the Bible, laurel is mentioned as a symbol of prosperity and glory.

Laurel noble

Laurel noble - one of the species of the genus Laurus (Laurus) belonging to the Lavrov family (Lauraceae). The number of species in the genus has not been precisely established, according to some sources there are 3 of them, but the morphological characteristics of the species largely coincide.

Laurel is a noble native to the Mediterranean, where it grows in a subtropical climate. At a time when the climate was more humid, laurel forests covered most of the Mediterranean basin. But as the climate changed, these areas were inhabited by more drought-resistant vegetation, the last laurel forest disappeared about 10 thousand years ago, only its remnants in the form of small groves in Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Syria, the Canary Islands and Madeira survived. Laurel grows in Russia, in the southwestern regions of the Krasnodar Territory, and is also widely cultivated in many countries with a subtropical climate.

Laurel noble in Italy. Photo: Natalia Eremenko

Laurel grows as a pyramidal evergreen tree or large shrub, reaching 10-18 m in height. The leaves are located on the shoots alternately on short petioles, elliptical, whole-edged, leathery, dark green and shiny above and whitish below, up to 10-20 cm long, have a well-known aroma.

The plant is dioecious, male and female flowers are formed on different plants, occasionally monoecious specimens are found. Numerous umbellate inflorescences are collected mainly at the ends of the shoots. Before flowering, they are enclosed in spherical wrappers of 4 elliptical scales. Flowering occurs in the spring. Flowers are yellowish and small, males are collected in 6-12, females - in 2-3. After pollination on female plants, dark blue ovoid drupes are tied, about 1 cm long, which ripen in October-November.

Laurel is grown on an industrial scale, the leaf is widely used as a spice in cooking, and laurel oil is extracted from the fruits, which is used for medicinal purposes.

Bay leaf - a famous spice

All parts of the plant contain laurel essential oil, which gives them the famous aroma. This oil contains eucalyptol, lineene, myrcene, camphor, limonene, linalool, organic acids and other valuable components. Thanks to this set of useful substances, laurel has been used in medicine since ancient times. Laurel essential oil is a good disinfectant and insecticidal agent, it was used when there was a threat of epidemics of cholera, dysentery, malaria, and the smoke from burning wood served to scare away mosquitoes and mosquitoes.

Laurel has been used to treat coughs, digestive problems, urolithiasis, and to relieve arthritis. Currently, preparations based on laurel essential oil are used only externally. In massage therapy they help relieve pain in arthritis and rheumatism, in aromatherapy they are used to lower blood pressure. Ointments are effective in treating scabies and rheumatism and as a remedy for wrinkles. There is evidence that a compound derived from laurel leaves inhibits human skin cancer, melanoma.Laurel leaves are placed in bags with cereals to repel harmful insects. However, laurel, when in contact with it, can cause allergies in sensitive people.

Laurel is widely cultivated for purely decorative purposes. It was cultivated in Britain at least in the early 1650s, and in 1993 won a Royal Horticultural Society award. This small, bushy tree with a slow growth rate is ideal for patio decoration and can be grown as a container plant in harsher climates. Due to its dense dense crown, which lends itself well to shearing, laurel can be used as a hedge, for making topiary figures, it is perfectly formed as a standard tree. As a small potted plant, laurel is often present in kitchens in many countries, being both a decorative living element of the interior, and a ready-made fresh spice, and at the same time saturating the air with useful essential oils.

Laurel noble

Several decorative varieties of laurel were obtained through selection, including:

  • Aurea - with yellowish young foliage;
  • Angustifolia - with narrow, spear-shaped leaves;
  • Undulata - with a wavy edge of the leaf blade.

Home care

Laurel noble

The subtropical nature of this plant imposes certain requirements for care. First of all, this concerns the organization of a cool wintering. Laurel grows well in tub culture, spending summer outdoors and winter in a cool, light greenhouse. At home, it is important to provide the laurel with a constant supply of fresh air.

Lighting. Laurel prefers bright light, tolerates direct sunlight well. In the warm season, he prefers to spend in the garden in the open sun or in the light shade of trees. This is a good tub plant that will decorate a gazebo, veranda or patio, giving them a Mediterranean flavor. If it is not possible to take the plant out to the summer cottage, it is advisable to put it on an open sunny balcony. When moving the plant from indoors to the street or immediately after purchase, accustom it to the sun gradually, otherwise the leaves will get burned. In the wintertime, find a very bright spot for him.

Temperature conditions. In summer, the optimal temperature for laurel is within + 18 + 26 ° C, in winter a plant from the subtropics needs coolness, it rests. At a temperature of + 5 + 12 ° C, wintering is the least painful. Laurel is quite frost-resistant, growing in the ground, it can withstand a short-term temperature drop down to -10 ° C. When growing in a pot, the temperature should not drop below 0 ° C, so that the roots are not damaged.

Watering depends on the season. In summer, laurel is watered abundantly after the top layer of the soil has dried, without bringing it to waterlogging. In autumn, watering is reduced, and in winter, when the plant is resting in the cool, it is minimized, but not brought to dryness so that the roots do not suffer.

Details about watering indoor plants - in the article Watering rules for indoor plants.

Air humidity higher is preferable. It is advisable in warmth, especially in the heat, to spray the plant several times a day with boiled water.

Soil and transplants. Young plants are transplanted every 1-2 years, as the roots fill the volume of the soil. Adult specimens require transplantation no more than once every 3-5 years. For young plants, a ready-made universal peat soil is quite suitable; for older plants, it is advisable to gradually increase the proportion of sod land during subsequent transplants. For adult tub plants that spend the summer outdoors, sod land must be present in the composition of the land mixture, this will prevent the coma from drying out too quickly.

Details about the transplantation of indoor plants - in the article Transplanting indoor plants.

Top dressing are introduced from February, when the plant starts to grow, and until the end of October, when the rest period begins.For top dressing, you can use universal complex fertilizers with microelements, at the beginning and end of the vegetative period, the dose is reduced by 2 times. During the winter rest, feeding is canceled.

Haircut and shaping. Laurel tolerates pruning well, thanks to its dense crown, it can be given any shape. Pruning is best done in the fall. But the growth rate of the plant is slow, so it will take many years to grow a large specimen. For keeping as a tub plant, it is better to immediately acquire a large size.

Laurel noble on the trunkLaurel in the form of a pyramid

Reproduction possibly by sowing seeds, root layers and rooting cuttings. Seeds for sowing must be fresh, they germinate slowly, sometimes up to 6-12 months. They germinate best at a temperature of + 20 ° C in the light.

Semi-lignified apical shoots with 4-5 leaves are taken on cuttings. They take root reluctantly and take a long time, up to 3-6 months or more. It is advisable to use rooting stimulants (Kornevin, Heteroauxin or Zircon) and bottom heating.

More details about plant cuttings - in the article Cutting indoor plants at home.

Sometimes laurel produces root suckers, which can be carefully separated during transplantation.

Diseases and pests. Laurel is very susceptible to attack by the scale insect. Mealybugs can often be found on it.

About pest control measures - in the article Houseplant pests and control measures.

If the conditions of detention are not observed (too dark place, lack of coolness and waterlogging in winter, dry coma in summer, low air humidity), laurel leaves begin to turn yellow, and brown dry spots form on them. In this case, you should try to optimize the conditions of detention and care.

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