Laurel plants

Could anyone help.i would like to make a hedge out of laurel in the spring out of far apart do they need to be planted and do they grow quickly or do they take there time .if they is a faster growing plant that I could use instead to grow as a hedge could you let me know thank you.image


  • Hi Tracy

    We have a gi-normorous laurel hedge at the bottom of the lawn but it has been there for yonks so I cannot advise on anything! However googling 'planting a laurel hedge' gives loads of hits, some of which might help. I'm sure some of the more experienced posters will help. You say a faster growing plant could be used so what exactly do you want to achieve? image

  • I would like to make a hedge that won't take years and years to grow. It's to hide the passing traffic on the main road and to hide the awful wire fencing at the front of my house
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,357

    Laurel is the fastest growing evergreen shrub suitable for hedging that I can think of.  Do keep on top of the pruning when it matures though, otherwise it can get out of hand (you will end up with a row of laurel trees!)  The good news is that overgrown laurel can be cut back hard (to the ground if needed) and it will quickly grow back.  As you are making a hedge, I'd suggest planting them about 40 to 50cm apart.  Also best prune using secateurs as a normal hedge trimmer will damage the leaves which will then look a bit unsightly and may allow diseases to enter, such as leaf spot and shothole. 

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you chilli lover and bob the gardener you have given me loads of help I best look out for some to buy nowimage
  • lynne24lynne24 Posts: 121

    hi, do laurel need a lot of sun? you have given me an idea tracyshed   image

  • Hi lynne24 I have no idea but the front of my house has sun all morning in good weather so I hope they like sun.image
  • lynne24lynne24 Posts: 121

    hi tracyshed, i had a look on another site, they ok in sun or semi shade, so good luck to both of us


  • Ours is in a dip in the land, bordering a stream, running north/south and gets next to no sunshine except the rising and setting sun and it has no problems flourishing! image

  • Oh we'll done Lynne 24 for looking well yes best get buying then yes good luck to you too. We will have to let each other know how we get on later in the year with our laurels. image
  • lynne24lynne24 Posts: 121

    ha ha good idea image

  • Tim BurrTim Burr Posts: 344
    Be aware that laurel leaves contain cyanolipids that can release cyanide and benzaldehyde in some quantity when shredding leaves - the smell of cyanide can also be detected if simply hedge trimming - cyanide smells of sweet almonds! Probably little harm in the open air, but the risk is increased if you shred the plant, and then load the shredded leaves in to the car and drive off to the garden recycling tip with the windows shut. The Roman Emporer Nero used water steeped with Laurel leaves to poison the wells of enemies!
  • LynLyn Posts: 8,094

    I planted a laurel hedge along our front last December, put plenty of home made compost (from heap) and some bonemeal down the hole, picked out the tops and they have grown loads in spite of the weather, but I think they enjoyed the rain. They need regular picking out when they are young to make a nice bushy plant at the bottom. 

    I have them down the back edge of the garden, they have been there for 20 years, and have been kept at 4 - 5' tall, lovely evergreen, and easy to manage. the birds love to nest in there. 

    I would recommend them.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • ElkElk Posts: 2

    Hello...sorry to be a numpty but what do you mean by 'picking out'? I'm trying to grow a laurel hedge with young plants about 40-50cm apart...they are a bit on the skiny side but putting out a faur bit of new growth...thanks in advance for any tips! 

  • steephillsteephill Posts: 505

    Picking out is also known as pinching out i.e. nipping off the shoot tips to encourage branching.

  • ElkElk Posts: 2

    Thanks! Does that affect how quickly the plants gain height though? I'm being greedy hehe, want some privacy & fast! image

  • Kate CKate C Posts: 17

    Hello. I am a new member and this is my first time on the forum. I'd like to say that we have some laurel bushes in our front garden which have been there for about 6 years. They are basically fine but do suffer from being buffeted by the wind which can be pretty strong here. This turns the leaves brown which looks rather unattractive and for the sake of appearance I have to remove them individually by hand which can be quite time consuming. I would suggest to Tracysshed that if your garden is in a windy site that maybe something other than laurel might be better because of this reason.

  • gardeningfanticgardeningfantic Posts: 1,019

    I also have them in semi shade and they do fine. But they do go brown wifh the wind as said above. But as they getter larger they look better

  • Chris72Chris72 Posts: 1

    I had some planted 6 months ago to divide a space but they are near a Eucalyptus tree. I believed they were hardy enough but this weather looks like it is scorching them along with the weak soil. How can I rescue 2 of the 6 that look very yellow and crispy.

  • Kazz3Kazz3 Posts: 3

    I have a laurel hedge growing close to the house and it is doing really well.  A neighbour has told me that its too close to the house. Does any one know how far from the house it needs to be

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    Hello Kazz, please see your other thread.

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