Portugal Laurel

Prunus lusitanica ‘Angustifolia’

Portugal Laurel is a beautiful evergreen shrub that forms a dense hedge.  It is easy to maintain and always looks neat and tidy.

The leaves of Portuguese Laurel are dark glossy green and are smaller in size to the large leaves of Cherry Laurel. It has red young shoots that contrast well against the dark green leaves.

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    3 litre
  • portugese-laurel-hedge-02_11
    5 litre
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    10 litre
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    10 Litre
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    15 litre
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    25 litres
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    25 litre
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    25 litre
  • Portugal Laurel Instant Hedging Trough
    Trough
  • Portugal Laurel (Portuguese Laurel, Prunus lusitanica) is a beautiful evergreen shrub that forms a dense hedge.  It is easy to maintain and always looks neat and tidy.

    The leaves of Portuguese Laurel are dark glossy green and are smaller in size to the large leaves of Cherry Laurel. It has red young shoots that contrast well against the dark green leaves.

    Portugal Laurel has small white, fragrant flowers on longer slender racemes (stems with masses of flowers along their length) in June although the flower buds are sometimes cut off when the hedge is trimmed.

    Planting Advice

    Portugal Laurel

    Where will it grow?

    Portuguese Laurel is hardy and an established hedge will survive temperatures of -23oC. It will grow in windy sites in full sun or fairly heavy shade.

    What type of soil does a Portuguese Laurel hedge need?

    It will grow in any soil as long as it is free-draining, i.e. doesn’t get water-logged for long periods. It will even grow on shallow chalky soils where Cherry Laurel will struggle to grow.

    When can I plant?

    You can plant our pot-grown Portugal Laurel at any time of year.  If you plant between March and October, you must be prepared to keep them watered until the end of October. If you plant during the winter months, November to February, you may not need to water your plants as they will have a chance to get some roots established before the soil dries out in the spring. However, it may still be worth keeping an eye on them to make sure they are getting enough water in the first year. Also, if you water your plants during the growing season, you are more likely to get the most growth from them.

    Why Grow Portugal Laurel?

    • It is evergreen
    • Neat and tidy habit of growth
    • Easy to maintain
    • Can be kept at any size including small 1m (3ft) and large 5m (15ft)
    • Hardy (survives down to −23°C)
    • Will grow in most soils
    • Has attractive red stems and dark green leaves
    • Has fragrant white flowers
    • Can be used as topiary or shaped to any height
    • Can be grown in containers or pots

    How often would I need to trim a Portuguese Laurel hedge?

    A Portugal Laurel hedge, just like most hedges, will need to be trimmed once a year.  Late spring/early summer is a good time to trim your hedge although it can be done at most times of year.

    How tall will a Portugal Laurel grow?

    A Portugal Laurel hedge can be kept to any size, even as a small hedge of 1m (3ft) tall.  If left untrimmed, it will grow between 5 and 7 metres  (15-20ft) tall.

    How fast will a Portugal Laurel hedge grow?

    The growth rate of Portugal Laurel is up to 45cm (18 inches) per year, so not quite as quick as Cherry Laurel or Leylandii but it will still form a hedge reasonably quickly. We also usually stock large sizes of Portugal Laurel that can form an “instant hedge”.

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    Additional Information

    Portugal Laurel

    The many names of Portugal Laurel

    Portugal Laurel is the name used by the Royal Horticultural Society and the Hillier Manual of Trees & Shrubs but many people call it Portuguese Laurel.

    The botanical name of Portugal Laurel is Prunus lusitanica.

    We mainly grow the smaller leaved variety of Portuguese Laurel called Prunus lusitanica ‘Angustifolia’ as we have found this more popular with customers who come to the nursery to see our plants and demonstration hedges. As well as being smaller, the leaves are darker and it has redder stems. Rather confusingly, it is also sometimes called Prunus lusitanica ‘Myrtifolia’ or even Prunus lusitanica ‘Pyramidalis’.  It is a fabulous hedging plant that is also used for topiary balls, cones and lollipops as it has a similar leaf to Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) but is much more hardy.

    Botany and Origins of Portugal Laurel

    Portugal Laurel is a member of the Rose (Rosaceae) family and is in the Genus, Prunus – the same as Cherry Laurel, Plums, Cherries, Apricots, Peaches, Nectarines, Blackthorn and Ornamental Flowering Cherry trees.

    It is native to Portugal, as its name suggests, and to Spain. It was first brought to the UK from Madeira in 1648 and it is now common in the UK and northern Europe.

    Alternatives to Portugal Laurel

    If you want a quick hedge, Leylandii and Laurel are quicker growing and, as a result, are often cheaper as well.

    If you want to plant a hedge next to the coast, then consider Griselinia Littoralis.

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