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Laurel Hedge

I planted a new laurel hedge before Christmas   it looks like it doesn't like to chalk conditions and it might also be needing water?  i have pictures to explain but i am worried i will loose the hedge.  I have given it a spay of Epsom Salts to help the magnesium levels but I don't think this is enough.  It also looks like something is eating it! image Can you advise me on what i should do.

I live on a chalky hill.

thank you, Evieimageimageimageimage


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 36,847

    Well firstly the whole area where you planted the laurels should have been cleared of all that grass as this will be in competition for nutrients and water. Which Laurel type is yours as the one that is best for chalky soils is the Portuguese Laurel? Any newly planted tree/shrub should be watered frequently for the first year after planting to help it establish.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • arneilarneil Posts: 308

    It has been very dry weather so I would water the hedge and hope it recovers , there is still lots of healthy looking growth as far as I can see

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,966

    I'd agree with Ladybird. The site hasn't been well enough prepared for planting. 

    If you're on a hill, wind will be an issue too - to begin with.  You may have been better erecting a bit of a  windbreak as well. Once shrubs are established, they can cope with that.

    An unwell plant will succumb to more diseases and attacks becasue it isn't strong enough to fight anything off. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Dave HedgehogDave Hedgehog Posts: 377

    Laurels are very hardy once established but getting them going can be a challenge. There is a fine line between sufficient watering and over-watering. Both can kill them off so keep the soil moist but not wet. 

    Laurels often develop yellow leaves that fall off for quite a while after planting (sometimes months), until the plants adjust to new soil conditions. 

    Yours look quite healthy in all honesty in comparison to many newly-planted Laurel hedges. If they were going to die, they'd be yellow all over or completely devoid of leaves, so I wouldn't be too concerned yet, although there doesn't appear to be much in the way of buds or shoots though.

    Just keep the watering right and maybe consider adding a feed to help boost the soil nutrient level. 

  • Evie.1Evie.1 Posts: 2

    These are all very helpful comments, thank you so very much.  The challange will be to get water to them as they are far away from any water source but i am encouraged that you feel that there is still some good growth so I will certainly water them once/ twice a week from now on to help them.  We are always dry here and windy but as there were laurels (common) already on the site, I presummed they would like the conditions.    

    If i do loose them totally would yew establish any better?  Evie

  • Knee DeepKnee Deep Posts: 22

    The Laurel should come back. but as mentioned they need to establish first. Lots of watering, some feed, weed clearing and mulch. I planted my Laurel hedge 2 years ago and placed cardboard behind them as we are also on a windy site. A year later cardboard was removed and laurels doubled in size. We now have a beautiful wind break.

    Good luck. 

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