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Cherry laurel is an evergreen plant that does not lose its dark green foliage even in winter. Prunus laurocerasus is considered to be extremely robust and can be used in many ways in the garden. Often the ornamental shrubs have brown leaves in the spring, which many gardeners understandably let despair. But unlike what is often suspected, the withered foliage is not due to a fungus or disease. Much more are frost or dryness the cause of the brown leaves. With simple means you can protect your plants conditionally.
Popular hedge and specimen plant
Cherry laurel is a coveted hedge plant due to its fast and dense growth. Within a short time, the woodland seals the garden from the prying eyes from outside. This protection is not lost even in winter, because the plant belonging to the rose family has evergreen foliage. Due to the laurel-like leaves of the plant the German name "laurel cherry" or "cherry laurel" was missed. From a consumption of drupes or other parts of plants is strongly discouraged. In 2013, Prunus laurocerasus, syn.: Laurocerasus officinalis was named Poisonous Plant of the Year. Except for its leaf shape, cherry laurel itself has nothing to do with the right laurel species.
From laurel cherries there are more than 20 different cultivar forms and varieties available in the specialist trade, which differ particularly in the stature height and speed. But even with the theme "frost hardiness" there are differences. While some of the evergreen species can be easily cultivated only in winter-mildew regions, others can cope even with double-digit and long-lasting cold temperatures. If the needs and requirements of the respective cherry berry species are not met, or only inadequately fulfilled, the health and also the growth of the ornamental shrub undergo it. Mushrooms, pests and other deficiencies are also common. Many hobby gardeners complain that their once-opaque cherry-berry hedge has more brown leaves. With little effort you can help your plants to their old splendor.
Brown leaves on the cherry laurel
Evergreen trees are considered easy to care for and robust. However, the plants must not be completely left to themselves, even in the cold season. Brown leaves on ornamental trees often appear after a long or severe winter and are often due to frost damage. But even a poor supply of water can cause brown leaves and discoloration. The symptoms are particularly pronounced in February, when the power of the sun slowly increases, but the roots of the plant can not absorb water due to the frozen soil. The unsightly spots can be quickly removed in March and April:
- Shorten dead shoots to the living tissue.
- Carefully remove brown leaves.
- In the spring you can make a strong pruning.
- Use only mechanical tools.
Tip: Up-growing cherry laurel species can be shortened up to 2/3. This stimulates the plant to a bushy shoot.
The right care
Brown leaves on the evergreen ornamental shrubs are a nuisance, but rarely a cause for concern. However, to avoid having to grab scissors in the spring, you should take some precautions. Some varieties of cherry laurel can effortlessly experience -20° C without noticeable damage to the plants. However, the interaction of sun, wind and frost holds a high risk for sensitive varieties. Avoid spontaneous purchases, because the cherry berry species should not only meet your own requirements, but also easily adapt to the prevailing climatic conditions.
The following varieties are extremely hardy:
- Prunus laurocerasus Caucasica: Reaches a stature height of up to 2.50 meters. Fast growing variety with an increase of about 50 centimeters per year.
- Prunuslaurocerasus Cherry Brandy: Rather broad-growing cherry berries species, reaches a maximum height of about 1 meter. The growth width varies between 2 and 3.5 meters.
- Prunus laurocerasus Herbergii: Popular hardy variety. The stature height is about 3 meters.
Even hardy varieties of Prunus laurocerasus are not completely protected from brown leaves. Mostly there is damage due to drought. Unlike deciduous plants, plants with an evergreen foliage need a year-round moderate supply of water. Should be cast on frost-free days, which is often a problem especially in the cold season. Make arrangements in the autumn to allow watering in winter:
- Loosen the soil sufficiently, even with hedge plants.
- Apply a 3 to 4 cm thick layer of bark mulch.
- Water the plants vigorously before the first frost.
The best planting time for evergreen plants is in late summer or early autumn. Here too, you can take precautionary measures directly to bring the young shrubs safely through the first winter. Loosen the soil sufficiently and fill in the planting hole a layer of half-ripe compost about 10 centimeters thick. Maintain a sufficient minimum distance between the individual cherry laurel plants. Because then the plants do not compete with each other for water and nutrients. Incidentally, between September and March the evergreen plant must not be fertilized artificially. Although the root ball should not dry out and therefore regular watering is necessary, it looks different with minerals. In winter, the plants are not able to optimally utilize the fertilizer, damage to the above and below ground parts of plants can occur.
Cherry laurel is a decorative plant that is extremely robust and vigorous under the right conditions of site and care. Despite all the care and precautions, however, can be especially during a harsh winter damage caused by drought and cold almost impossible even the frost-resistant species of cherry laurel suffer from it. Take precaution and reduce the damage. Brown leaves on the laurel cherry can also be removed quickly and easily with a pair of scissors. A false pruning is almost impossible, because bald spots on the plant are quickly covered by the rapid growth of ornamental wood.
Video Board: Skip Laurels Some Leaves Turning Yellow.