Cherry Laurel

Cherry Laurel: Top Ten FAQs

Cherry Laurel

Cherry Laurel has been a popular feature of English gardens for 500 years. The most frequently asked questions about it are…

Can I plant this hedge in a wet garden?

No hedging plant will survive in a true bog but Cherry Laurel, like Box, will tolerate temporarily wet conditions better than anything other than Hornbeam. It is also extremely drought tolerant.

I want a tall hedge?

Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia’will grow up to 6m.

I need a great all-round hedge?

Cherry Laurel makes an excellent traditional hedge; effective windbreak; good-looking screen; elegant backdrop for beds and borders and an attractive specimen.

Is it good for wildlife?

It offers shelter and sanctuary, its flowers attract bees and butterflies and its berries will be eaten by grateful birds.

Is it a native species?

No. But having been in England since 1576, it is certainly naturalised.

Is it fussy about soil?

Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia’ will give off its best in any soil other than one that is shallow chalk, waterlogged or truly acidic.

When should I trim?

Trim to shape in June but leave the leading shoots until the required height has been reached. If it becomes unmanageably tall, it can be cut down, to the ground if necessary. It will quickly regrow.
Established hedges are best trimmed in August.

What about light and shade?

Like the Yew, Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia’is happy in full sun and in light and partial shade.

I’m looking for a formal hedge?

This plant can be kept neat and tidy but it will never provide the smooth, geometric precision of Yew, Hornbeam, Privet or Box.

I want a hedge that is easy to maintain?

No hedging plant is truly difficult, though this one is particularly undemanding. As a medium-fast grower, just trim annually to keep in shape.