Cherry laurel shrubs, Prunus laurocerasus, are an outstanding addition to your home garden, though they are highly susceptible to a common, destructive disease, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. If you notice that your cherry laurel does not look as lustrous and healthy as usual, examine your plant immediately; the earlier you begin to treat the disease, the greater the chance you can restore your laurel's health.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Pruning shears
- Gardening gloves
- Protective eyewear
- Protective clothing
- Drip irrigation
Provide consistent care for your cherry laurels, also referred to as English laurels, as healthy plants are more able to fight off and recover from disease problems than weakened plants.
Grow your cherry laurels in full sun to partial shade for best growth.
Cultivate cherry laurel plants in moist, well-drained soil high in organic content. Maintain extremely good soil drainage, avoiding waterlogged conditions common to compacted soils.
Avoid overhead irrigation and opt, instead, for a method like drip irrigation, which waters soil directly. Keep your plant as dry as possible, because wet conditions, particularly during the summer, promote the germination of fungi or bacteria responsible for disease development.
Examine your plant for the common shothole disease. Look for brown spots on leaves with yellow borders. Re-examine these leaves to determine if the tissue within the spots falls from the plant, leaving behind the appearance of a "shothole" as the name implies.
Prune away and destroy any infected plant parts while gathering and destroying plant debris, as this decreases disease on your cherry laurel as well as any other nearby Prunus species that are also highly susceptible.
Contact your local county extension agent or a licensed professional for an expert diagnosis as to what problem is afflicting your tree. Shothole is caused not only by bacteria and fungi but by cultural problems as well; the selection of appropriate chemicals depends upon an accurate diagnosis.
Apply a fungicide or bactericide for chemical control of a fungal or bacterial problem. Practice caution with copper-based chemicals that can damage leaves.
Accept that your cherry laurel will be visually unappealing as it heals. Maintain optimal care and look forward to new growth.
Tips and warnings
- Always wear gardening gloves, protective eyewear and protective clothing to prevent injury when handling sharp tools or chemicals.
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