linda.hurley27_72gt8qD Posts: 5
Hi, I have a laurel hedge planted for over 5 years, every year one part of the hedge gets yellow, brown crispy leaves and they fall off. New leaves grows then but the hedge never gets any bigger, any advice on how I can encourage it to grow? I use chicken pellets for feed and there is bark around the base of them. Thanks
If the soil is compacted and not well prepared when originally planted, it can lead to drainage issues which will impact the growth and then show up on the leaves, usually the leaves turn pale green to yellow. I suspect that could be an issue as you say one part of the hedge keeps drying up so there may be an issue in the soil in that section.
If the soil is currently very dry due to the unseasonal lack of rain, I suggest you give all your plants a good watering at root level as soon as possible. Assuming your hedge is showing no sign of pests or diseases, the best way to rejuvenate your hedge after a thorough watering is to improve the soil with the addition of plenty of organic matter by adding garden compost, leaf mould, farmyard manure or soil conditioner. You can do this in the form of a mulch of at least two inches in depth, added ideally when the soil below is moist so that it retains that moisture. This should provide all the nutrients your hedge will require in a more natural way than using concentrated organic or synthetic fertilisers.
Make sure you prune your hedge at the right time of year, avoiding times when it is hot or dry which will lead to dehydration and leaf yellowing/browning and possible health problems. The best time is either in late Spring (before growth and the bird nesting season has begun) or in mid-late Autumn (when growth has finished).
If there are any trees, large shrubs or other plants nearby it may be better to relocate them or prune them to reduce competition with your hedge. Laurels are pretty robust plants and will respond well to any of the adjustments mentioned above. I hope this helps.
If it's cherry laurel, it should grow quite rapidly after a couple of years, if it's been properly established. They need decent soil initially, and will then cope with virtually anything, but they need lots of water to thrive for that first year or two.
They're virtually impossible to over water. If one section is failing, it's probably due to other factors, as others say.
If they were larger specimens on planting, ie - more than about three feet, it's always harder to get them established too.
I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
If the plants don't respond to watering and mulching you may need to remove them, check for any compaction or rubble in the soil in that area, dig the area out and replace the soil with a good depth of fresh topsoil, replant, water and mulch. Unfortunately some plants can be more vulnerable to the stress caused by lack of water and other factors mentioned before than others.
It could still be compacted soil which causes problems with the roots being unable to grow outwards and suffocates the roots and in wet weather, they are sitting in permanent wet causing roots to rot. You may need to dig the area up and incorporate compost and break down the soil.