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The real laurel is one of the essential spice plants of the Mediterranean garden and is a popular guest in your own garden due to its pruning resistance. The spice laurel is also used as a spice in the kitchen because of its essential oils. Due to its origin in the warm Middle East and its distribution as far as the Mediterranean region, many laurel owners ask themselves whether the plant is hardy and, if not, how the wintering works.


Is the real laurel hardy?

The winter hardiness of the real laurel, also called Mediterranean laurel, cannot be defined directly, as there are regional differences in Germany with regard to the possible location. spice laurel withstands temperatures down to -5°C on average and can withstand -10°C for short periods, but this greatly affects the vitality of the plant. That can be done on the Mediterranean and in the original homeland laurel family (bot. Lauraceae) remain outside all year round and does not need winter protection, nor does a separate winter quarters have to be set up for the plant. Especially in Germany, the spice laurel can overwinter in the following regions outdoors with winter protection.

  • Helgoland
  • Lake Constance
  • Rhineland
  • Palatinate
  • western Baden-Württemberg without the Black Forest
  • numerous wine-growing regions in western Germany
  • north sea coast
  • Baltic coast near Denmark
Laurel, Laurus nobilis

climate regions

In the east, south-east and in the middle of Germany, keeping them in the garden is not possible because the temperatures are simply too low. The climatic conditions on Helgoland are impressive, because there are even specimens that have been without them since the 1980s winter protection get by This point has to be considered when it comes to the winter hardiness of the laurel bushes and hedges: that age of the plant. The younger the plant, the more winter protection is needed in the garden. The same applies to freshly planted specimens, as they need a certain amount of time until they are firmly rooted in the ground.

Tip: Do not confuse spice laurel (bot. Laurus nobilis) with cherry laurel (bot. Prunus laurocerasus) in terms of hardiness. With the exception of a few varieties, Prunus laurocerasus has a high level of frost resistance and in most cases does not need winter protection, but the two plants can look quite similar at first glance.



Hibernation outdoors: instructions

If you live in one of the regions mentioned above or anywhere where the winters are pleasantly mild and as snow-free as possible, then nothing stands in the way of spending the winter. However, he has to winter protection in the garden protect the laurel from the cold as effectively as possible, since it is only conditionally hardy despite its robust nature. The correct location of the plant is particularly important when hibernating outdoors, because spice laurel can quickly die over the winter due to incorrect site conditions. Therefore, you should pay attention to the following points when choosing the location.

1. the location for the laurel should be protected from the morning sun. The side of the plant that faces east and south-east should be covered with a sunscreen when overwintering. House walls are particularly suitable for this. You can also set up sun protection yourself, for example with garden fleece or a tarpaulin, even a parasol can help. South-facing balconies are also a good choice if you keep the laurel in a bucket and have not planted it outdoors. An advantage of this location is the high solar radiation, which can thaw the soil a little and thus provides moisture for the roots.

2. Since the spice laurel is not hardy per se, it will suffice place needed around the plant for winter protection. Therefore, Laurus nobilis should not be placed in close proximity to other objects, otherwise there could be a lack of space. The plant must be able to relax over the winter period and even slightly broken branches can affect the vitality of the laurel.

Laurel, Laurus nobilis

After you have decided on the location, you should consider whether you will plant the plant outdoors or indoors pot want to hold. The plant out of laurel is only recommended for really mild winters that are not subject to annual temperature fluctuations. This allows the plant to get used to the location over the years and survive the winter.

The bucket position is much better suited and offers several advantages:

  • Plant can be brought indoors during sudden cold snaps below -5°C
  • Plant can be moved if necessary, for example if the location is not ideal
  • the laurel does not dry out so quickly in the pot or tub
  • the water supply is easier to manage over the winter months

The plant out doesn't lend itself well to overwintering, especially if you don't live in one of the above regions where bay laurel can be somewhat hardy. Therefore, if possible, you should always use the variant with bucket as the plant can always be brought into the warmer interior rooms in an emergency. If you still dare to plant outdoors, you must proceed as follows for the winter.

1. In addition to the location, you do not need much equipment for winter protection. The root ball must not be covered, as the ground always has to thaw a little to provide the laurel with sufficient moisture. All you need is one of the following covers, which keeps the plant warm on particularly cold nights.

  • jute fabric
  • Fleece winter hoods

2. Pack them Crown of the real laurel well into the winter protection. This protects the plant from the cold.

3. If it's permanent temperatures of over -5°C with you, you can omit the winter protection and only rear it on cool nights.

If you have decided to keep them outdoors in tubs, you have to implement winter protection a little differently.

Follow the points below:

1. The location is chosen as described above, but this must be done in any case when kept in buckets sheltered from the wind being. The reason for this is the rapid cooling of the planter. If the bucket freezes through in winter, the soil will dry out faster, which is not ideal for the laurel. In addition, the container must be stable so that it does not fall over.

Laurus nobilis in the garden

2. Choose a pot or tub terracotta, as it effectively stores moisture over the winter. This overcomes bottlenecks during the cold season.

3. A winter protection, for example a fleece, you also only need from -5°C. Use this mainly at night.

4. Water regularly, but make sure that the substrate not stay too wet. It is therefore better to water a little less than too much. In general, the substrate should be kept a little drier so that there is no waterlogging, which then freezes.

With either method, don't forget to do the topiary in late winter around March if you're aiming for a pyramid shape, for example.

Please note: Overwintering a planted laurel outdoors is very daring, as the weather in Germany can get quite cool. Even a few degrees Celsius more in the minus range can severely affect the Mediterranean plant, as it is neither hardy nor resistant to frost.

In rooms

Overwintering laurels indoors: instructions

A laurel does not have to be hardy if you protect the plant and the bucket from the cold premises hibernate. Since the plant is never hardy in colder regions, this method is recommended.

Proceed as follows:

  • choose cool, bright winter quarters
  • conservatories, greenhouses, unheated rooms or garden sheds with windows are ideal for this
  • Cellars and garages can also be used in combination with a bright plant light
  • Temperature: 0°C to 10°C
  • protected from drafts
  • water regularly in small amounts
  • regularly check for pests
Laurus nobilis is also called Mediterranean laurel

The winter quarters are occupied from the end of November to mid-April. For the laurel that is not hardy, this variant is recommended.

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