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When is it too late to a plant pot or root ball laurel hedge?

Hi all

I'm about to buy 17 potted or root balled young common laurel plants (I have read that bare roots are more at risk of loosing their leaves through shock).

If I cannot get them into the ground this week, they may have to wait for another four weeks or so due to personal circumstances - will it be too late to plant them then or will the fact that their roots will be surrounded by soil make it less critical if they have woken up by then and the sap has started to rise?

Obviously I'll try to plant them this week, but I don't want to waste 17 plants if I can't get it done and then find out that it's too late for another year.  If anyone has any experience of planting a laurel hedge later than March with any success I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Many thanks!


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,795

    If they have soil around their roots they will be fine if kept moist. It's bare-rooted plants then it's urgent.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Hi, Daisy Jane. good to hear from you. You can plant things from pots at almost any time, though the longer they are in the ground during the growing season, the more chance they'll get to develop a good root system before the winter. Hope we hear from you again!

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    Laurel will tolerate almost anything, if they are in pots they will be fine as long as you water them, if they are bare roots, as I bought last winter, just dig a big hole somewher and plant then there , altogether, for now..

    You will be hard pushed to upset common laurel. When you do get round to planting them in their final spot, pinch out all the growing tips, that will make them bush out further down.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Make sure that you keep them well-watered (not drowned!) through the spring and summer.

  • Hello and thanks to you all for responding.  From what I understand from your replies, if I can't get them in this week, they'll be fine to plant at any point over the coming months as long as I look after them in the mean time which I promise to do if they end up having to wait!  It won't be that long, so they'll be growing away by the of April whatever happens.

    We were lucky enough to catch a break in the current weather last Thursday and got a row of 30 hormbeam transplant bare roots in so the thankfully I'll not need to be worrying about them!

  • You must have a big garden!!

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