Laurel Hedging

Prunus laurocerasus

Laurel is an excellent plant for hedging and screening.  It is evergreen and quick-growing, infact, it is the fastest growing evergreen hedging plant that isn’t a conifer (i.e. Leylandii or Thuja), so if you don’t want a conifer hedge, then Laurel hedging may be the best option for you.

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Our Size Range

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IMPERIAL
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  • Laurel hedging plant 30cm tall
    11cm
  • laurel_hedge_06_4_3
    3 litre
  • laurel_hedge_06_1_1_1_1
    Rootball
  • laurel_hedge_06_1
    Rootball
  • laurel_hedge_06_3
    Rootball
  • laurel_hedge_06_2
    Rootball
  • laurel_hedge_06_2
    Rootball
  • laurel_hedge_06_2
    Rootball
  • laurel_hedge_06_12
    25 litres
  • laurel_hedge_06_4_4
    25 litre
  • Laurel is an excellent plant for hedging and screening.  It is evergreen and quick-growing, infact, it is the fastest growing evergreen hedging plant that isn’t a conifer (i.e. Leylandii or Thuja), so if you don’t want a conifer hedge, then Laurel hedging may be the best option for you.

    Its leaves are large, shiny and bright green and it produces masses of white flowers on racemes (a central stem with many flowers on it) in the spring – although the flower buds are often cut off when the hedge is trimmed. The flowers are followed by non-edible, red berries that eventually turn black.

    Planting Advice

    Laurel Hedging

    When can I plant Laurel Hedging Plants?

    All our pot or container-grown Laurel can be planted at any time of year. If you plant between March and October, you will need to water the plants until the autumn. If you plant from November to February, the plants will have time to get a root system established while the soil is wet over the winter and so will probably not need watering between March and October – although it would still be worth checking them regularly and watering them for the first season will usually result in more growth.

    We also sell rootballed laurel hedging plants in the winter months. Rootballed plants are dug directly from the field with a ball of soil around the roots. This rootball is wrapped in hessian to keep it together. Laurel can successfully be planted as rootballed plants from November to March.

    Where will it grow?

    Laurel hedging will grow in any free-draining soil except shallow chalk. It will grow in full sun or in deep shade. You often see it planted under tree canopies in the grounds of National Trust properties. Laurel is one of the best evergreen hedging plants if you want to grow a hedge the shade. It is hardy and an established hedge will survive temperatures of around −25 °C. However, it will not tolerate coastal exposure so should not be planted next to the sea.

    Why plant a Laurel hedge?

    • Quickest-growing, evergreen hedging plant (that isn’t a conifer)
    • Evergreen
    • Hardy
    • Wind tolerant
    • Grows in most soils
    • Cheaper than most other alternatives (except for Leylandii)
    • Can be kept to any height
    • Can be cut back hard if it gets overgrown

    How tall will it grow?

    You can keep a laurel hedge at any height by trimming it once a year.  If it does get too big, it can be pruned hard back and will re-shoot from ‘old wood’ (i.e. wood with no leaves), infact, you can prune it right back to the stump and it will re-shoot.  The eventual height if not trimmed is approximately 5m (15ft).

    How far apart should I plant Laurel?

    Plant 2-3ft (60-90cm) apart depending on how quick you want the hedge to “fill in”. Use our Hedge Spacing Calculator to help you work out how many plants you need.  If you want a quick hedge, then plant at 60cm (2ft) apart but if you are willing to wait a bit longer, you will get just as good a hedge at 3ft (90cm) apart. Our larger sizes will form a good instant hedge if planted close enough together.

    How fast will it grow?

    The rate of growth is up to 60cm (2ft) per year if it is planted properly. Only Leylandii is quicker.

    Use Our
    Hedge Spacing Calculator

    Additional Information

    Laurel Hedging

    The many names of Laurel

    Laurel has many names, it is often called Cherry Laurel or Common Laurel although its botanical name is Prunus laurocerasus.  There are many varieties – the one we mainly grow is called Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia’ as it is proven to be a hardy and reliable hedging plant. However, sometimes we grow Prunus lauroceraus ‘Caucausica’ which has a much narrower leaf than ‘Rotundifolia’ but is still hardy and reliable.

    Botany and Origins

    Laurel is native in the south east of Europe and north west of Asia and has since become naturalised in the UK and northern Europe. The first plant was originally brought to Britain from Constantinople in 1576.

    It is a member of the Rose (Rosaceae) family and a member of the genus, Prunus, along with edible Cherries, Almonds, Plums, Peaches, Nectarines, Blackthorn and Ornamental Flowering Cherries. However, the black berries of Cherry Laurel should not be eaten as they will cause stomach upset.  Having said this, if you trim your hedge, you will often find that you cut off the flowers so no berries will form. Additionally, it has been grown for hundreds of years and no cases of serious harm have been reported. The taste of the berries is bitter and so it is unlikely that anyone would eat them.

    Laurel leaves and berries are poisonous to sheep and cattle and should not be planted where livestock can gain access to the hedge.

    Other benefits of Laurel

    • Hedges are also great nesting sites for birds.
    • Looks good and gives privacy all year round.
    • Reduces noise.
    • Blocks out unsightly buildings.

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