Bay is a fairly tender perennial and so often grown in pots and then moved undercover throughout the worst of the winter. Not only does this offer additional protection, but pruned and trained correctly the bay tree looks fantastic in a pot.
If you plant it outside or are unable to bring the pot over winter then don’t let this put you off from growing bay, as it should survive most British winters, but the cold will damage some of the leaves – always protect with horticultural fleece if you know it’s going to get cold.
When growing in a pot use a loam based compost and give it an occasional liquid feed during the summer growing season. Re-pot in spring every few years as necessary.
Bay can be raised from seed, but is usually propagated from cuttings.
Leaves can be added to soups and stews, and are a key ingredient of bouquet garni. Leaves can also be dried easily for use in the kitchen – just leave a branch in a warm dry place and use as necessary.