Potted cherry laurel on wooden table

Common Laurel is one of the best evergreen and the most popular hedging species. Besides Common Laurel, people can call it with other names such as Cherry Laurel, English Laurel. In this blog, we will provide you cherry laurel planting guide so that you can plant cherry laurel in pots successfully. Basically, this is a process of eight steps as below:

Step 1

You have to dig your planting hole whose requirements are two to three times as wide and no deeper than the root-ball. Notice that the wider this hole the better. Then you should put native soil from digging planting hole around the perimeter of the hole on a tarp.

Step 2

The soil  is one of the most crucial factors affecting the growth of Common Laurel plants. Thus, the second step of this cherry laurel plating guide is that  you have to consider the type and quality (fertility and porosity) of the soil to amend the native soil because cheery laurel develops in moist but well-drained, fertile soil.

  • For example, if the soil is dense clay or poor quality, it is beneficial to thoroughly mix in some good organic matter such as composted cow manure, mushroom compost, and/or a good planting mix at a 50/50 ratio with the soil removed from the planting hole.
  • On the other hand, the soil is very sandy or quick-draining soil mix at the top, peat moss and/or compost to help retain moisture.

Step 3

You remove your cherry laurel in pots gently by grasping the base of the plant with your fingertips and take the root ball out. Using a knife or a snip to cut the pot if the root ball is stuck inside.

Step 4

Place the common laurel in the planting hole so that the top edge of the root ball is at or slightly above ground level (1-inch or so) to allow for settling. If your soil is moderately drained, meaning it drains somewhat slowly after rain, the top of the root ball should be 2 to 3 inches above ground level. If necessary, add some backfill soil mixture to the bottom of the hole to achieve proper planting height. 

Note:  If the soil is poorly drained (constantly soggy or wet) improve drainage or select a different plant species tolerant of wet soils.

Step 5

Keeping the plant straight by using one hand and beginning back-filling your soil mixture around the root ball, tamping as you go to remove air pockets by another hand. When you have filled the hole to the halfway point you can soak the soil. Then continue back-filling to the top edge of the root ball. If you are planting the root ball higher than ground level, taper your soil mixture gradually from the top edge of the root ball to the ground level, as shown in the planting illustration above. To avoid suffocating your plant, avoid placing any soil on top of the root ball.

Step 6 (Optional)

When planting cherry laurel in a site far away from a water source you can use remaining soil mixture to build a 3-inch high water retaining berm (catch basin / doughnut) around the outside perimeter of the planting hole. This basin will help to collect water from rainfall and irrigation often reducing the need for hand-watering. The berm can be removed after a growing season.

Step 7

Next, deeply water the planting area, including the root ball, to a depth equal to the height of the root ball.

Step 8

To conserve moisture and suppress weed growth, apply a 1 to 2″ layer of shredded or chipped wood mulch or pine straw around the planting area. Avoid the use of freshly chipped or shredded wood for mulch until it has cured in a pile for at least 6 months, a year is better. Avoid placing or piling mulch directly against the base of your plant as this could cause the bark to rot.

Let’s plant your potted common laurel hedge carefully with this cherry laurel planting guide. Moreover, during the process of caring it, you can also face some diseases or popular problems on Laurel hedging such as yellow leaves. Thus, you should often keep your eye on these laurel hedging and update new knowledge on RHS.

About the author
Adrian Byrne
I am Adrian Byrne, the owner of Hedging.ie and Laurehedging.ie. I have 20-year experience in the Horticulture industry and working with customers.

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