Prunus laurocerasus

Scientific name: Prunus laurocerasus


Common names: “cherry laurel” “English laurel” “Versailles laurel”
“common laurel”

Plant Type: Evergreen shrub


Zone: 6-8

Light: Full sun – light shade

Exposure: Exposed

Soil: Moderately fertile – poor soil, becomes chlorotic in poorer soils

Moisture: Even moisture, but can handle less, drought resistant


Plant Size: 25′-30′ H & W vigorous

Leaf and Stem shape: Handsome, glossy dark green leaves

Flower: Small white flowers in erect racemes, followed by cherry-like glossy red fruits soon turning black

Pruning: Requires constant heading back cuts to densify the shrub after a major renovation, will not look pretty for a while, handles aggressive pruning

Maintenance: High, large hedges require chainsaw with some branches too big for a hedgetrimmer, will require regular pruning if growing next to a road or pathway

Landscape use: Can be used nicely as hedges with doorways in them, windbreak, screening hedge, low maintenance hedge in the right place

Propagate: By cuttings

Pests & Disease: Susceptible to shot hole, a disease complex that produces buckshot holes in the leaves, scale insects

Comments: “Nobody in their right mind plants these” , beginning to show up on invasive lists

Cultivars: 2 ~AGM winning varieties: P. l. ‘Rotundifolia’ & P. l. ‘Otto Luyken’ – compact at H3’W4′ with darker green more narrow leaves

P. l. ‘Zabeliana’ – low and wide spreading at H3’W8′

P. l. ‘Mt Vernon’ – H 12″-15″ x W 5′-10′ – dwarf form, slow growing


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