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Making portuguese laurel bushy

I recently bought 3 portuguese laurel online to create a small hedge. When they arrived they were disappointingly narrow being only 30cm wide but 120cm tall. As they seemed healthy I planted them up vowing to just pay the extra at my local garden centre next time so I can see what I'm getting. My question is: are there any pruning techniques that will help create bushier plants faster than just letting nature take it's course? I already have a single specimen in a different location that is 3 times wider for the same height that I planted last year. However it appears to have been pruned for bushiness when very young and I'm wondering if my new plants may take several years to get where I want them. Thanks in advance.


  • LynLyn Posts: 23,083

    The only way is to cut them shorter, all stems, side shoots as well. They will then grow out shoots from the bottom. When I planted mine, i chopped them down on planting, but never to late with laurel, they will grow loads more this year and soon catch up.


    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,361

    I'd go with that

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Adrian BAdrian B Posts: 6
    I had suspected I might need to lop the tops off but didn't know about the side shoots too.

    Many thanks for the response. Really appreciate it.
  • how have your laurels got on through this year? Im planning on doing the same.

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,083


     This was mine last summer, planted around January 2012 they need a good chop back again this year.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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