Plant identification

These were planted along the edge of my new-build property when we bought the house 2 years ago. They are however looking pretty sorry for themselves, and I'd like to see if I can revive them a bit.


I really have no idea about gardening, so would appreciate some help in identifying them, so that I can then start to care for them. I assume the soil is awful, so I imagine and I'd need to refresh their bed a bit?

Thanks for all the help in advance

James

Posts

  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 1,391
    Some very unhappy Cherry Laurel 
  • jameshopkins0709jameshopkins0709 Posts: 26
    Do you think that they're beyond saving, Perki?
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 4,800
    Looks like a sickly 'cherry laurel' to me.
    As it's a new build I'm guessing the soil it was planted in was pretty rubbish, a common problem judging by most of the new build querys on the forum.
    Some TLC, food/water/mulch and a prune would probably improve it.

    There's a very good laurel discussion here...
    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/656523/help-needed-please-with-laurel-hedge-issues/p1

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 7,359
    I would get the soil tested as those look like they are suffering from chlorosis, which can happen in very alkaline soils which prevent plants from taking up enough nitrogen - is there chalk in your soil?  Drought is another thing which will make laurel go yellow and newly planted laurels need regular watering for the first year.  My guess would be yours are suffering from a combination of the two.  If your soil does turn out to be high pH, it would be better to choose something else which prefers those conditions rather than trying to lower it with acidic compost as the effect of that is only temporary.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • jameshopkins0709jameshopkins0709 Posts: 26
    I would get the soil tested as those look like they are suffering from chlorosis, which can happen in very alkaline soils which prevent plants from taking up enough nitrogen - is there chalk in your soil?  Drought is another thing which will make laurel go yellow and newly planted laurels need regular watering for the first year.  My guess would be yours are suffering from a combination of the two.  If your soil does turn out to be high pH, it would be better to choose something else which prefers those conditions rather than trying to lower it with acidic compost as the effect of that is only temporary.
    I wouldn't like to guess whether my soil has chalk in it. I'll get a pH testing kit tomorrow and give it a go.

    I must admit I've been a bit bad at watering them. I've seen on one of the forum threads on here, that they recommend pruning the plants, as well as laying down mulch and fertiliser to promote growth. How am I best to mix these into the soil without interrupting the roots that have already established themselves.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 7,359
    edited 23 March
    You could sprinkle fish, blood and bone fertilizer over the soil according to the instructions on the packet (don't be tempted to overdo it.)  FBB will supply extra nitrogen on a slow-release basis.   Gently mix it in to the top 2-3 inches of soil, water really, really well and then lay down a mulch of something like well-rotted manure (best IMO), garden compost or similar.  In this case I think I'd get some bags of ericaceous compost and put down a 3 inch layer of that all the way along.  To try and give them a quick boost, you could also spray the leaves regularly with a foliar feed which has a high magnesium content, or something like a liquid seaweed fertiliser.  If they start to show signs of greening-up then I would also trim them back by a third which will promote growth.  If they don't start recovering after a few weeks then putting in more effort would likely be wasted.
    PS, you can check the type of soil in your area by zooming in on this map and clicking your location:

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • jameshopkins0709jameshopkins0709 Posts: 26
    Great advice, BobTheGardener. Looks like I'll be going to the garden centre tomorrow!
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