Prunus Laurocerasus Cherry Laurel
Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry Laurel) It’s not exactly a shrub that may grab your attention. However, it can be very useful.
Our main reason for planting Laurel was all to do with hiding as much of the fence as possible.
It’s not too expensive for reasonably mature shrubs, its evergreen and it gives an instant effect which becomes very desirable for older gardeners like us.
The shrub is hermaphrodite and will, therefore, produce flowers in early Summer and fruits in Autumn.
Our Laurel was initially planted in tubs about 18 months ago then we decided to create a border in the courtyard area and that’s where they were replanted seven months ago.
I couldn’t help but wonder why it is that I seldom see common Laurel in flower and I can’t recall ever seeing them with berries.
Fair enough, some may think the flowers aren’t very exciting but they are fragrant and attract pollinators, as for the berries, certainly not as insignificant as suggested in some articles which I have read.
The reason we seldom see flowers or berries on Prunus Laurocerasus is simply because the shrub is more often than not used as a hedge and pruning is generally carried out in Spring before the flowers have developed, or late Summer which prevents the formation of flowers for the next year.
The leaves and berry pips of this Laurel are poisonous and contain cyanolipids capable of releasing cyanide and benzaldehyde. The berries or small cherries are actually said to be edible, well you can try them if you like, remember to spit out the seeds. Getting really cheery, an interesting article of death by Laurel (right here)
Well, in spite of all that stuff it makes a fine hedging or specimen shrub with glossy dark green leaves.
• Quick read details
• Height – Can reach in excess of 10m/32ft
• Position – any position – grows well in shade
• Hardiness – fully hardy to minus 15c
• Soil – any reasonable free draining soil
• Plant type – hardy evergreen shrub with glossy dark green leaves
? Pruning – Spring till mid Summer. If you want flowers the following year then prune immediately after flowers have gone over in early Summer. This means you will have missed out on the berries/cherries. Most people grow the cherry laurel as a hedge in which case Spring and Summer pruning is fine copes well with hard pruning May/June/July
A glance at early September
Always wanted to take a picture of a spiders web, pity there was no action going on.
Red admiral enjoying the Dahlias in early September
The drive on the other side of the courtyard
Well, I wasn’t going to leave this area completely naked