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Sad Portuguese Laurels - please help!

Hello all! Gardening novices here.

We recently chopped down a load of Leylandii and got bare root portuguese laurel replanted. Some of them are doing okayish but a good few are turning brown and looking decidedly sick. It's a windy south facing site, I've been watering them about every 3 days as it hasn't rained recently at all and the soil quality is a mix of loam and clay. Feeling down a few inches into the soil it feels slightly moist but not waterlogged. When you scratch the branches they're green but they're so sad looking. What have we done wrong?! How can we fix it before they truly kick the bucket? We had planned on trying to put up fencing and wind break but haven't been able to because of the lockdown etc. Many many thanks in advance for any tips.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,982
    Did you refresh all the planting site after removing the lleylandii?
    The ground will have been very poor, which doesn't help anything new. Portuguese laurels are less tough than their relation - the cherry laurel, too.

    It's also a bit late for bare root hedging. What did the plants look like when you got them? They should have been properly wrapped and moist.
    Wind is very drying, and regardless of rainfall, newly planted hedging needs heavy watering for the first year. That ground looks extremely dry and poor, I'm afraid. 
    Even where I am, where we get regular, heavy rainfall, that can't be relied on for hedging. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • sadlaurelssadlaurels Posts: 7
    edited April 2020
    Thanks for the reply Fairygirl. The tree surgeon (who has aborist and aboriculture qualifications) sourced them and said he didn't think the ground needed any prep despite the leylandii as the soil was quite good. They were planted by his team approximately a month ago and they were properly wrapped/moist etc at the time. Usually we'd get loads of rain but it's been dry for the last few weeks so I've been trying to water them a few times a week as I said without totally drowning them. With all that said I do think the soil probably could be the culprit given the leylandii's presence for years. Anything aside from watering we could try do you think or is it a lost cause?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,982
    Sorry - my internet keeps cutting out.
    I think you need to water well - a good canful for each plant every few days. They're only just planted so they're not established yet.
    I do think the ground looks poor. Can you see how dry the soil is lower down? Stick your finger in and see what it's like 
    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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