Laurel plant

Laurel plant

Laurel: general characteristics.

The laurel plant is typical of the areas bathed by the Mediterranean Sea. It can reach about 10 meters in height, it consists of a very dark and branched stem from which grow countless oval and very fragrant green leaves. It belongs to the type of dioecious plants, that is, there are plants that produce exclusively female flowers and others that produce exclusively male flowers. The first, following the birth of the inflorescences, between the summer and autumn seasons, develop into fruits formed by berries (containing only one seed each) which turn black at the time of ripening. Usually, this shrub is grown in order to use its foliage in the kitchen, within countless recipes.

Laurel plant: cultivation.

Laurel is a rustic species that can be grown easily and does not require precise care. It can be planted both in semi-shady or sunny places and for a few hours a day it is good to expose it to direct sunlight. In fact, it does not require a particular structure of the soil, it adapts to clayey and gravelly soils and does not need to be excessively deep. However, it is good to know that water stagnation must be avoided, watering young specimens only from April to September, in order to facilitate the formation of roots; adult shrubs draw the necessary water from the rains. Finally, it is good to remember that the laurus resists the cold, up to temperatures that are around - 15 ° C.

Laurel plant: propagation.

The multiplication of the laurus is very simple, in fact, it can take place if you have a female shrub, practicing the cutting or using the same suckers produced by the same plant. If you have a laurel that produces female inflorescences, pollination occurs by means of insects, birds and the wind. They pollinate the flowers which later develop into fruits each containing a seed; it should be sown during the autumn season in a moist, cool and sheltered soil, until the spring season arrives. However, it is convenient to use a pot for sowing, in order to facilitate the subsequent planting. The cutting is done in spring by cutting the branch of the mother laurus, removing the basal leaves and planting it.

Laurel plant: Laurel plant: diseases and pests.

The laurel plant, compared to many other species, is very resistant to attacks by parasites or to the occurrence of harmful diseases, except for the "half peppercorn" cochineal (better known as Saissetia oleae). It is a parasite that does not cause the death of the laurus, but, given its infesting nature, it ruins some leaves of the young shrubs, making them unusable for the realization of culinary recipes. The remedy for this type of coccidis is white oil. It must be used during the winter season by mixing it with pyrethrum-based insecticides. The leaves that are treated with this product are not immediately usable therefore, it is necessary to wait at least a few weeks and then wash them with great care. If, on the other hand, small cobwebs or a yellowing of the leaves are observed, it means that the plant is attacked by mites.

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