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Dull Laurels


I planted around 100 3ft laurels in October last year. 50 of the laurels run down bank along the side of my house, these seem to be flourishing with very deep green glossy leaves


The other 50 laurels are along the front of my house and are more on level ground. These all seem to have got more and more dull and yellow as the summer has gone on. During the spring I thought I had got a problem with bugs as all of the new growths seemed to be struggling to establish whereas the 50 laurels going down the bank seemed fine.


The two pictures were taken at the same time so you can see the difference.

i would really appreciate some advice as it cost me a lot of money to plant all of these laurels and I am desperate to get them established. I am not an experienced garden so I am not sure what to do next.



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    This has now happened to almost all of my leaves. Can somebody please help me to diagnose what is wrong. Will they recover on their own or do I need to treat them in some way? Really hope they can recover.

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    If you have grown the Cherry Laurel into the grass and so close to the edge of the road, I doubt there will be a lot of room for the roots to grow into. Were they bare root plants? How often are they watered? Newly planted shrubs will need watering throughout the growing season.

    There could be a number of reasons for yellowing. Under watering, over watering such as water-logging which can cause the roots to rot and then they fail to take in nutrients. 

    They are tough plants, but if they have not been planted in properly, they may fail or fail to thrive. The soil should have been loosened and compost should have been mixed in. 

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Both rows of laurels seem to be growing among grass. Just as a general guide and nothing to do with your current problem, you should clear a good foot back and front of the rows of all grass and weeds. Your plants will be competing with the grass for water and nutrients and you need to give them as good a start as possible. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Thanks very much for the replies.

    I planted them just over a foot back from the road side and they were ball root. I know I should have removed all the grass before planting but the plants were delivered a week before expected, not leaving me enough time to prepare.

    I watered them in for the first few months taking me up until winter and they seemed to be thriving, they started to struggle mostly in summer and I returned to watering them due to dry weather.

    is there anything I could do to improve the situation? I have 100 laurels so it is a large amount to lose. However out of the 100, 80 of them seem fine.

    Thanks for the help.

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    If you want a short cut solution, then you can spike the areas around the base and then feed the plants with bone meal and keep watering right up to November time. You will need to be patient. The issue looks like poor planting preparation. My opinion is, until the base area is well dressed with no grass as its competition, a portion of the shrubs will continue to look sickly and struggle. The best option is to dig away the grass, spike the areas and then lay mulch on top.

    You could try laying a very thick layer of mulch after spiking the base and skip ridding the grass, but be very generous and you will still need to water in. The idea is the mulch will hold in the moisure and slowly condition and feed the soil. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,015

    I'd garee - it's a preop problem. Laurel is pretty foolproof, but, like any plant, if they don't get a decent start, it makes it very hard for them to thrive.

    A liquid feed (seaweed) might be an easier option in the circumstances. It's definitely worth getting shot of the grass round them and following the guidelines about mulching etc. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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