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Cherry Laurel help please

Hi, I'm a new member and would really appreciate some advice. Last year I planted a some 2-3 ft laurels. Some are absolutely fine but I have an entire section of dying plants. They did have some spotting on the leaves and I have treated with fungicide which hasn't helped. I've dug down to check the soil hasn't dried out and it's fine. I can't decide whether to just see what happens over the summer, cut them back or take the affected ones out and replace them? I've got some photos. Any advice would be greatly appreciated - every time I look at them it makes me sad!!

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  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    How much watering are you giving these shrubs right now? The temperatures right now are similar to early June weather, which means, you should be watering a minimum of 1 bucket per plant and watering deep into the root area in the early morning or late evening to prevent evaporation at these temperatures.

    Also,  they may have been root bound when planting into the ground so you will need to tease the roots out and make sure the soil has good contact with them once planted in. If not, watering just creates a pocket where water just sits around the base and stays there for a long time creating roots to fail to take up the water and nutrients in the soil. The drooping and pale leaves can be a sign or both of these conditions. However, others you have photographed seem fine to me.

    Think about laying a thick layer of bark chip mulch if you want to keep the soil moist in the hot weather and warm in the cold weather. Helps to settle your shrubs in.
  • Hi thanks for your reply.  I was watering when the really wet weather finally ended. However, I then read that yellowing leaves can indicate overwatering so I eased off a bit.  Our garden does flood a little and I've dug down and it's not dry.  I just can't understands why there are two next to each other and one is fine and one is dead.  The point about the roots might be it - when we planted them we just put in some blood fish and bone and then put them in - we're no experts! I'm thinking I've nothing to lose now so would you recommend I give them all a bucket of water? And is that every day all through summer?

    Kind regards

    Fiona
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    It's only every day if it's very warm. But generally every 2-3 days will be fine. On the stressed looking shrubs, if they fail to recover after a few more days, do not hesitate to prune them down by half to help them settle.

    I can see signs of cracking on your soil and the types of 'weeds' or wild flowers growing means you need to be on top of any competition around the roots. The soil is most likely clay and if you have not properly prepared the bed, then the roots may just be sitting around compacted heavy soil that causes the water to pool around the root area, again not ideal. Having said that, ironically, at the first sign of heat, your soil may dry out easily at the top and create a difficult crust that makes it impossible to dig or work on.

    I would go for the in-between option of gently watering all the bed and start weeding out the stuff growing and try to cut a deeper border so they have less competion. Then lay a very thick layer of mulch like bark chip to keep out the weeds as well as hold moisture in over the summer months.
  • Hi, that sounds like excellent advice - that's tomorrows plan then, thank you so much! 
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