Dormant Bay Trees
Answered by: Richters Staff
Question from: Darlene Powell
Posted: Before April 1998

I finally found bay tree plants through your seed catalogue last year, and purchased two, which I planted in large clay pots. I moved them inside for the winter as recommended. While they appear to be alive, they have produced virtually no new growth since receiving them last spring. They are in a sunny window, are kept adequately watered and fed once a week with liquid plant food in their water. What am I doing wrong? Thank you.

Bay trees need good light for growth. If they do not get good light during their relatively short growth phase in spring and early summer they will not grow at all. Fertilizer is not recommended other times of the year when the plants are inactive. In fact, a weekly fertilizer regime can be harmful if nutrient concentrations build up too high in the soil.

Stop the fertilizer and provide more light. If necessary set up a grow light over the plants. There are new incandescent grow lights that are rated 100-150 watts and provide full spectrum lighting. One or two lights positioned 30 cm above the plants will provide enough light to induce new growth.

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