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Prunus laurocerasus
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

cherry laurel

P. laurocerasus is a vigorous, large, spreading evergreen shrub with handsome, glossy dark green leaves to 15cm in length. Small white flowers in erect racemes to 12cm in length are followed by cherry-like glossy red fruits soon turning black

Other common names
common laurel
laurel cherry
see moreVersailles laurel
Synonyms
Cerasus laurocerasus

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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
Wider than 8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring White Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green Black Red
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Rosaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Leaves and fruit can be harmful if ingested. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling
Genus

Prunus can be deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs with showy flowers in spring, and often good autumn foliage colour. Some have edible fruit in autumn, and a few species have ornamental bark

Name status

Correct

Plant range
E Europe, SW Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Easy to grow in any moist but well-drained moderately fertile soil in sun or partial shade. Superb hedging shrub but may become chlorotic on poorer, shallow chalky soils. Fast-growing, forming dense walls of foliage if not pruned and has the potential to become a nuisance

Propagation

Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings from late summer to autumn or hardwood cuttings from late autumn to late winter; propagate by seed in autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 8 including hedges in late spring or early summer

Pests

Leaves may be damaged by vine weevil and leaf-mining moths

Diseases

May be affected by powdery mildews and other laurel leaf diseases

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