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Help needed please with laurel hedge issues...



  • @csutton193
    Hi Chris, not an expert by any means, but I have got some suggestions gleaned from help on here and my own experiences. 
    Firstly, pruning or cutting back common laurel is always a good idea. All those older, woody branches aren't what make your hedge, the bulk comes from fresh new green growth, and cutting back encourages your plants to sprout more and more. 
    Personally, as very few of your plants are putting out new growth from the bottom I'd cut everything down by half, each branch, then each twig even the ones with leaves on. Get them down to your wall height. 
    Secondly, they are pretty close together, so they are competing with each other for water, nutrients and soil space. Soil space is presumably already limited because of your wall footings, so clear more grass from in-front of them - at least a foot, preferably more, they need room.
    Thirdly, what's your weather been like? Regular decent rain, or dry and warm/hot? Watering is tricky, if your soil holds water like mine (basically clay) then making them too soggy is easily done. But if it drains well you'll be surprised how much water they can drink. Dig a little hole at several places along your boundary, is the soil wet 3-4 inches down. You may find different conditions at different points. Most importantly, if you do water, do it thoroughly. I give mine a full watering-can each with the rose on to give water chance to soak down into the soil, but they've been in just over 12mths and I've only had to do it 3 times so far this year. Unless it's bone dry, a can a week should be more than enough.
    Don't worry about gaps, or one or two dying off. As I said, yours are close together and any gaps will soon be filled in once you get the growth started. 
  • emmajones2212emmajones2212 Posts: 11
    edited 27 June
    These were mine when they arrived,
    April last year when I planted them and cut them down (at the start of a heatwave 🤦),
    Mid-May this year,
    And last week.
    I've trimmed and pinched them out a lot, any that didn't start sprouting from the bottom I cut back more, bald trucks at the bottom are no use to anyone. A few aren't as big as others, but some were better plants to start with and they are all heading in the right direction. I put them at 2foot apart and they should be touching by this winter. Then it's all systems go for height 👍

  • Hi, thank you for this brilliant thread! I'm looking at planting a laurel hedge behind a 5ft brick wall at the front of my house and also along the fence in the back garden. Can I double check what size plants people would buy, how far from the wall/fence they should be planted and how far I should leave between each plant? 
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 18,423
    I would buy bare root plants at 3’ tall then cut them back to 2’ on planting.
    You won’t get these until the winter but if you can wait it’s the cheapest way to do it if you need a lot.
    I bought mine from
    they're grown in Scotland so very hardy from the start.
    If you’ve read the previous post on this thread you’ll know how to prepare your ground and plant them. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DitsyDitsy LondonPosts: 167
    @claire.e.bobLj8nwmfS I planted 2.6' Laurels in March at a distance of about 2' apart. Already some of them are touching each other. I have trimmed them once. As you can see in the pics some are slower to get going.



  • benjamin_06benjamin_06 Posts: 6

    For anybody that is interested or worried about cutting back your newly planted Laurel Hedge (as I was when I did mine!), I planted a rootball hedge last year April 2020, this was them cut back after first planting, and then a month or so ago after pruning pretty much every shoot

    Thank you to all the people who have shared valuable info on here, it is incredible how quickly they grow

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 18,423
    Lovely hedging there Benjamin, so many people can’t bring themselves to cut them back because they want a tall hedge as soon as possible, yours is a lovely example of cutting back every shoot.
    @Ditsy. You may regret planting those there, in  a couple of years they’ll be about 4’ depth, so across the path,  it’s it a public highway you may have to cut them back a lot.
    I would start now by cutting all the roadside bits right back. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DitsyDitsy LondonPosts: 167
    Thanks @Lyn, I do regret it, wish I had planted Griselinia. I even started a thread called hedge regret.  :/
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 18,423
    Ah yes, I remember now,  I think Griselinia would grow ok in London, they need a warmer area. 
    Keep vigilant with the pruning they’ll last you a few years. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • jarrvjarrv Posts: 8
    Hi all,

    ive been offered an established Laurel hedge with the condition that i have to dig them up myself.
    Most of the plants are 4ft high and quite bushy, if i do dig them up and replant in my garden are the likely to survive?


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