Why do the bay laurels that I buy at the nursery always end up dying? At first they do well, but eventually the leaves start to droop and then die. I've probably killed about a half dozen or more over my lifetime. Am I watering too much or not enough? I grow them inside beside a window in the winter and put them outside in the summer. Regular potting soil, plastic or clay pot, lots of room, not much room - doesn't seem to matter. I kill them all.
Growing Bay Laurel
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Watering problems are a common cause of death in container plants. Indoors, overwatering is more often a problem, while underwatering is often a problem outdoors.
Feel the soil before you water to make sure it is somewhat dry, but not bone-dry. You can tell if you are underwatering because the leaves will appear wilted, but will perk up after you water them. Overwatered plants may appear wilted too, but water won't make them perk up.
Make sure the soil is well-drained, there are enough drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, and the pot does not sit in water in a basin. If you keep the pot in a basin, any drained water should be emptied out promptly.
Make sure you are providing the tree with the general conditions it needs:
Also make sure the pot is not too large (creates a risk of overwatering) or too small (risk of underwatering) for the plant's size.