How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Grecian laurel, Sweetbay—Laurus nobilis
Family Lauraceae (Laurel family)

Plant Identification

Grecian laurel is a slow-growing evergreen shrub or tree that grows up to 40 feet tall.  Plants have a broad base with many stems.  Leaves are oval, leathery, dark green, and aromatic.  In the spring, plants produce clusters of small yellow flowers and black or purple fruit.  Plants tend to form suckers.

Optimum conditions for growth

Grecian laurel is generally grown as a screen, small tree, or background shrub.  In very cold weather, container plants can be moved indoors in well-lit rooms.  They do well in areas with full sun or partial shade.  They require moderate amounts of water and need good drainage.  They will tolerate most soil types.  Grecian laurel tolerates heavy pruning and shaping into hedges or topiary shapes such as globes and cones.   

Foliage of grecian bay laurel
Close-up of foliage of Grecian bay laurel

Pests and disorders of Laurus nobilis


Environmental disorders



Foliage of Grecian bay laurel
Foliage of Grecian bay laural tree

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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