How to Plant Cherry Laurel – Handyman tips

Cherry laurel hedge plants are one of the most popular hedge varieties, with glossy dark green leaves and amazing screening properties. This dense evergreen hedge is worth growing in your garden – the Royal Horticultural Society has even named it one of their top ‘Plants for Pollinators’. But how exactly do you create a hedge using Prunus laurocerasus rotundifolia? This guide will take you through how to plant a cherry laurel step by step, starting with purchasing the right number of plants.

cherry laurel hedge in front yard

Buy your cherry laurel hedge with Gardeners Dream

Cherry Laurel Hedging – How Much to Buy

Cherry laurel, also known as common laurel, is great for creating a privacy screen – the evergreen foliage is the envy of many other hedging plants! Once planted, new growth ensures that multiple individual plants can create a very solid, dense hedge.

We recommend planting 5 cherry laurel per metre

If you want to create a thicker hedge, opt for a double staggered row. That means planting 10 cherry laurel per metre, split between two rows. For smaller gardens, a single row may be more suitable. At Gardeners Dream, we don’t have a minimum order threshold on free delivery, so if you’re planning on a short hedge make sure you order from us.

The Right Season for Planting Cherry Laurel

The best time to plant Prunus laurocerasus hedges in your garden is in the autumn, starting from late September. You certainly don’t want to plant cherry laurel in late winter, as the roots need time to grow and develop before spring arrives. After you select root type (see below), you should follow our steps below to plant the hedge. By early summer, it should start to grow and by late summer you may be surprised by just how large your hedge has become!

Tools You’ll Need

To plant a new hedge with Prunus laurocerasus rotundifolia, you will need digging tools and watering tools – just like when planting any of our trees or hedges. A spade, watering can/hose, and twine to mark a straight line to plant along. It’s also wise to order pruning tools too. Our hedge shears are an ideal choice for that first hard prune.

Choosing a Root Type

Typically, cherry laurel hedges are available in a few different root formats. Before you plant your laurel hedge, you need to decide on the root type of your hedging plants.

Root Ball/Bare Roots

We supply our laurel plants in bare root ball format, from November through to Spring. This means that the plant roots are shaken free of soil and can actually remain dormant and in storage for quite some time, while you get the site ready for planting. Bare root plants tend to establish themselves quicker and grow more rapidly.

Instant Hedging

Instant hedging is where you order more mature plants that already have significant growth and glossy leaves. Plant them to create an instant cherry laurel hedge. Although it may be more convenient, it’s way more expensive and an arduous task to plant them.

cherry laurel hedge

How to Plant Our Cherry Laurel Hedge Plants

Once you’ve got your Prunus laurocerasus, shipped with free delivery to the UK mainland by Gardeners Dream, it’s time to plant your cherry laurel hedging.

Step 1 – Prepare the Site

Clear the area from any surface debris (fallen leaves, for example) and use stakes with twine to mark a straight line.

Dig enough holes to plant 5 cherry laurel per metre. Take a look at the root ball of the plants to work out how much to dig for each hole.

Step 2 – Add the Cherry Laurel

Establishing 5 per metre, begin to firmly yet gently plant the cherry laurels in each hole. Ensure that the soil is firmly patted down but not compact.

You do not need to fertilise the cherry laurel – the roots will establish healthily without it and be ready for spring growth the following season.

Step 3 – Water and Watch

Give the cherry laurel plants a good watering and watch them grow. This is a fast-growing variety, so once winter is over you should see a lot of growth. Prunus laurocerasus enjoys moist soil, but don’t let it become waterlogged over winter.

Quickfire FAQs

How far apart do you plant cherry laurel?

We recommend planting 5 cherry laurel per metre, or approximately 2 per foot, in a full sun or partial shade location for the best results.

What is the best time to plant laurel?

It’s best to establish laurel plants in autumn or winter, to allow the roots to develop before early spring. Once your laurel is growing, this evergreen variety provides year round interest for your garden.

Is cherry laurel easy to grow?

Yes! One of the many benefits of having this plant in your garden is that the foliage sprouts quickly and besides yearly pruning, there’s not much maintenance to do.

How quickly do cherry laurels grow?

Prunus laurocerasus and other laurel hedging varieties tend to grow 1 to 2 feet per year once you’ve established and nurtured the bare root ball.

How poisonous is cherry laurel?

Every part of the cherry laurel, from the fragrant white flowers that appear in spring to the seeds, berries, stems and foliage, is toxic to both humans and pets. This plant is highly toxic so if you have pets, it’s best to avoid it. Choose a non-toxic edible hedge instead.

Is cherry laurel fast growing?

Cherry laurels are notoriously fast growing and will require pruning every year, regardless of whether you plant instant hedging or opt for bare root ball plants.

What is the difference between laurel and cherry laurel?

The Prunus genus contains a vast number of plants, trees and shrubs. Prunus laurocerasus is the family of laurel plants, including common laurel and cherry laurel – they’re actually two names for the same hedge! If in doubt, look for the Latin name to identify the hedge.

What is cherry laurel good for?

Prunus laurocerasus is best planted as a garden hedge in a full sun or partial shaded area. It provides excellent screening and privacy, with very dense foliage.

How long does it take to grow a cherry laurel hedge?

Cherry laurel are fast growing plants. Once you’ve planted your bare root ball, it will grow 1 to 2 feet per year. We recommend planting 5 plants per metre for a healthy hedge.

Does cherry laurel spread?

Yes, cherry laurel will spread once established as a hedge in your garden. Plant 5 per metre for a dense hedge without gaps and prune yearly to keep it in shape.

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