How to plant an English laurel

The English Laurel, also know as the Cherry Laurel, is widely used as a hedging plant because of its tolerance for a wide variety of sunlight and soil conditions. As a result, gardeners can use it almost anywhere they want a hedge to grow, which makes it easy to decide where to plant it. All that's required, besides a location, is a few simple steps to get the plant started off growing well with deep roots.

Dig a hole about twice as long and twice as deep as the root ball. How far apart you space them will depend on how big you want each plant to grow, since English Laurels can grow as big as trees if left unpruned. 60 to 90 cm (two to three feet) is a good spacing distance that will quickly result in a thick hedge. 120 to 150 cm (four to five feet) apart will work fine, too, although the hedge will take a couple of extra years to fill in, but you'll get better growth of the individual bushes if they have more space in which to grow.

Put the soil you've just dug from the hole into a bucket and mix it with an equal amount of compost, peat moss or other organic matter and a cup or two of slow-releasing granular fertiliser. Mix the soil, organic matter and fertiliser well in the bucket, and then put about 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) in the bottom of the hole to encourage the roots to grow downward. The organic matter should aid both water retention and drainage, and along with the fertiliser, will also add nutrients to enhance the plant's growth.

Place the plant's root ball on the soil/organic matter mix in the bottom of the hole and shovel or pour the rest of the mix around the roots to cover them, with about an inch or two of soil over the top of them. When you finish filling the hole, gently compact the soil.

Mix about 30 gm (2 tbsp) of starter fertiliser (vitamin B enhanced liquid fertiliser that will stimulate the roots' growth) into a watering can with a gallon or two of water. The label will indicate the exact proportion of fertiliser to water needed.

Pour the mix of starter fertiliser and water over the top of the roots.

Continue watering as required to prevent the plant from wilting until it establishes its roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Starter fertiliser
  • Granular general purpose plant fertiliser
  • shovel
  • Peat moss, compost, or other organic fill
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About the Author

Terry Smith is a retired Navy officer who began his third career as a freelance writer in 2008. Smith graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Smith also boasts a graduate degree in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School.