Laurel hedge - all about proper care, planting and fertilizing


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Laurel hedge

A laurel hedge with plants of the real laurel is only partially hardy. This should be considered, before you can deliver many laurel plants from the nursery for a hedge. The real laurel (Laurus nobilis) comes from the Middle East and the Mediterranean, he is not used to harsh winters. Colloquially, how visually he is sometimes like with the cherry laurel, actually the laurel cherry, confused. However, a botanical relationship does not exist. A hedge from the real laurel looks classy and is quite easy to maintain, if the climate is right.

Location

Before the purchase of the laurel plants, the suitability of the geographical location should first be clarified. The real laurel only tolerates a few degrees in winter. A garden in the Rhineland, somewhere on the North Sea or Lake Constance is therefore well suited for planting a laurel hedge.
In the garden, the Laurus nobilis would like to have a warm location with lots of sun. But also partially shaded areas, with sufficient sun in the morning or afternoon, are tolerated. The best is a sheltered location, so he is not so exposed to the cold winds in winter.

ground

The better the soil conditions are adapted to the demands of the laurel, the healthier it survives the winter and sometimes forgives neglect when pouring and fertilizing. The ideal soil for a Laurus nobilis hedge is:
  • sandy, humic
  • permeable and structurally stable
  • slightly acidic
A compacted soil, which tends to waterlogging, is not suitable and would have to be thoroughly prepared before planting.

to water

Depending on how well site and soil conditions are met, you do not have to worry too much about water and nutrients.
The roots should never dry out completely. Accordingly, the hedge must be sufficiently poured in dry and sunny periods. Since the laurel is reasonably lime-tolerant, the hedge can be watered gently with the hose. Even in dry, frost-free winter periods: do not forget to pour.

Fertilize

The laurel hedge needs little additional fertilizer. The roots of the spicy laurel are very sensitive to salt. Mineral salts based fertilizer types are therefore not so well suited. It is best to use only natural long-term fertilizers, such as compost, manure or fertilizer based on molasses. Fertilization is therefore more economical and if, then in the growth phase between April and August.

planting

For a laurel hedge you expect two plants, about 40 - 60 cm high, for a hedge meter. In the future, gaps can be filled by cuttings. In addition, the laurel multiplies over Wurzelausläufer.

Laurel hedge


Important is a good soil preparation. The soil must be lightened liberally. If necessary, you can exchange particularly loamy and stony places with loose, sandy soil. The roots are relatively filigree and should give them the opportunity to root easily in the soil and to be able to branch well.
  • best planting time: spring or autumn
  • Water rootballs first (until no more air bubbles escape)
  • mark the course of the planned hedge with a string
  • Dig out planting holes (distance approx. 50 cm)
  • at least twice as deep as the root ball
  • Fill in a mixture of compost, manure and garden soil
  • Use plants up to the visible edge of the earth
  • fill with sand-soil mixture
  • Press earth
  • water well, but do not cause waterlogging
  • Mulch layer (from straw) over it, against dehydration, weeds
Tip: If the plants are already one meter or more, it is advisable to support them in the first year with a support for the straight growth.

proliferation

If you want to make a little more effort and also want to save money for a long hedge, can also increase the spice laurel itself. The fastest and most successful is propagation through cuttings. But it is also possible to grow from seeds or from the root foothills. The real laurel can indeed be increased by lowering, but this should be quite difficult with an existing hedge planting with the reduction. There are easier ways.

cuttings

For this one cuts off Laurus nobilis half mature branches. These are then capped from the top, to a length of 10 to 20 centimeters. Young, fresh shoots are not suitable for this. Remove the lower leaves, it is sufficient if four or five leaves remain.
Then you put them for rooting in a seed substrate. The roots form faster when a humid climate prevails. This can be achieved, for example, with a transparent film. Do not forget to use daily ventilation to prevent mold growth.
It takes about six months for enough strong roots to form, then they can be set outdoors, preferably from spring.
Even in a jar of water, possibly with a few drops of rooting aid, the cuttings will sooner or later become rooted.

root suckers

Sometimes roots develop on the ground, not always at the desired location. These extensions can then be cut off with a piece of the root. Now you let them outside, in a sunny place, in a pot form more roots. Ensure that there is enough moisture in the soil throughout.

seed

As always with the cultivation of seeds, this type of propagation also takes a long time with the real laurel, but if you have enough patience, it is quite uncomplicated.

Laurel hedge


In the trade there are spice laurel seeds to buy. If you want to taste it with your own laurel seeds, you need older female plants that develop flowers. In addition, they must be pollinated. For this they need a male plant in their vicinity. Fertilized flowers produce small, black-blue berries in late summer. Then it can go:
  • remove the seeds from the mature berries
  • soak the fresh seeds in water for up to two days
  • Not soaked, it takes a little longer to germinate
  • Squeeze seeds in potting soil or sand
  • 0.5 to 1 cm deep
  • Ambient temperature 20° C
  • Keep substrate moist
  • Germination after about 20 days
  • when the first correct leaves have formed, place them individually in pots
  • raise it until stable plants emerge from it
  • set in the field in spring

overwinter

The spicy laurel is quite sensitive to frost, in the temperate regions of Germany it survives short-term but quite temperatures down to -10° C. For longer hard periods of frost, however, it will be tight. If you have planted a laurel hedge, you will hopefully not have planted it in the Harz or in the Alpine regions.
Tip: Brown, dead leaves after winter time, that must not be frostbite. Most of the time this is a dry damage caused by too little water in the winter period. A pruning promotes the re-emergence.

To cut

No question, even a hedge with the real laurel must be kept in shape. Rightly, a laurel hedge trimming, with the motorized hedge trimmer, causes stomach pain as you watch it. Many pretty spice leaves are simply severed, so to speak, injured. The result is brown unsightly leaf fragments and increased susceptibility to disease. So: If you love your Laurus nobilis hedge, cut it manually with a hedge or secateurs.
  • The hedgecut for the real laurel takes place twice a year
  • Winter cut (November to March)
  • Summer cut (first half of June, before shoot)
  • In doing so, prune damaged, annoying, excessive shoots individually
  • Cutting errors are quickly compensated by rapid expulsion
  • use the opportunity for cuttings at the section
  • and do not forget the spice stock

species

From the genus of laurels (Laurus) are here in Germany in addition to the Laurus nobilis even the Azores Laurel (Laurus Azorica) and the Laurus Novocanariensis known: However, they are not as present in the nurseries as the Laurus nobilis.

Laurel hedge


Both species reach a stately height and have evergreen, aromatic leaves. The leaves of the Azores laurel are a bit fuzzy on the underside and do not have such a strong aroma as the leaves of the spice laurel.
The Laurus Novocanariensis produces fragrant creamy-white flowers. Its shiny, dark green leaves are even more delicate than those of Laurus nobilis.

Diseases, pests

Unsightly brown leaves are strikingly eye-catching in this leaf-butterfly. Fortunately, the real laurel is quite robust and prone to pests and diseases. The essential oils that make it so valuable as a kitchen spice, offer quite a good protection against predators.
If so, then it is predominantly bucket crops that are attacked in the winter quarters by scale insects and spider mites.
Brown or yellow leaves on the hedge are usually caused by care mistakes or a persistent unfavorable weather. Long periods of drought or waterlogging weaken the leaves of the laurel, they are discolored and then fall off.

toxicity

If the real laurel were poisonous, humanity would probably already have exterminated itself. Its leaves have been refining soups and meat dishes for centuries with their slightly bitter, spicy aroma.
In autumn and spring, the leaves have the most essential oils. A perfect time to cut and dry some kitchen leaves.
With almost every spice, too much can lead to unwanted side effects. As with the nutmeg, it comes also by bay leaves, with excessive consumption, to disturbance of consciousness.
Tip: Not only by name is the spicy laurel occasionally confused with the cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus).However, this is poisonous in all plant parts.
Conclusion
If you are fortunate enough to live in one of Germany's temperate climates, you can afford the luxury of a winter-green Laurus Nobilis hedge. It is robust, easy to grow and easy to clean. Only the cut should be done manually, the beauty and health of the laurel hedge to love. An extra will then provide the leaves, which are always available for the kitchen.

Video Board: How to Fertilize Laurel.

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