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Portuguese Laurels

My border of Portuguese Laurels are yellowing and very little new growth. They are about 5yrs old. Help were we are going wrong would be appreciated 


  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose North YorkshirePosts: 574
    Your plant looks very hungry. What type of soil do you have? Portugese Laurel (P.Lusitanica) require a good, moisture retentive, free draining soil (i.e. not prone to water-logging).
    Being evergreen they need nitrogen which is an element that tends to leach out of the ground during heavy rain, and can result in yellowing of foliage.
    Also, if you are on a 'new build site' check the depth of soil. If the roots are restricted that will also cause the plants to suffer as they need a good root run to support the top growth.

    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • Thanks for the advice. From what you have said I think it’s the root growth. We’re not in new build but we did dig out to plant these and I feel we didn’t go deep enough. 
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    edited March 2020
    I agree your shrub looks stressed. Yellow leaves can be a number of reasons. You will need to investigate them. Poor soil structure, lack of water will be the first obvious signs. Compacted soils and also water-logging are other possible reasons.

    Pull back the slate chipping to check the soil condition and you may find you need to add in more organic matter like compost. The soil may also be too dry, a common problem with evergreen shrubs that cast shade over its own roots. Also planting so close to a brick wall may also create lack of space for the roots to grow and cause extra dryness.

    Portuguese Laurels tend to branch out better if you prune them yearly. If you don't, the lower branches will start to thicken and leaves will not grow much. The more you prune, the more the shrub will create more branches. By not pruning enough, the shrub will be more looser in shape, but this may mean the shrub is more susceptible to wind damage.
  • Thankyou. We have moved the slate. The soil was dry,  gave a good water 🤞 
  • Jason-3Jason-3 Posts: 372

    I had a nice hedge of Portuguese Laurel back at the old house. Yours seem to be doing okay in height but lacking in density. Have they been pruned at all? They are also quite a hungry plant. I'd suggest you feed the with fish blood and bone and one off sequential feed of liquid seeweed. I'd feed fish blood and bone 2-3 times a year and sequential feed if the leaves yellow annually.
    As advised by others posters you need to watch water levels, particularly if you don't know the depth of your soil, or you suspect it to be shallow. Like all laurals they will grow a deep taproot and their root system is quite wide

     Its inferior cousin cherry laural isn't fussy at all. But that isn't a nice plant at imo
  • Thank you for the advise. 
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