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The real laurel (Laurus nobilis) is not only a Mediterranean spice and medicinal plant, but also popular as a form of shrub for the terrace. In contrast to the boxwood, you have to bring it into the house in case of heavy frost, but for that it is not that susceptible to diseases and pests. In addition, the laurel is also easier to propagate than the evergreen counterpart, as it quickly forms its own roots as a cutting.
The ideal time for the laurel propagation is late summer or early autumn. The starting material is the about 15 centimeters long, not yet fully lignified shoot tips that need to be trimmed several times a year anyway during regular shape cutting. In gardener jargon, the slightly woody shoots are called "half-ripe".
Head cuttings or partial cuttings?
Since the laurel is preferably propagated from the tails of the shoots, the cut cuttings are also called Kopfstecklinge. You can also use the middle shoot segments, but they should then cut earlier in the year, as they are already heavily wooded in late summer. In addition, head cuttings have several options: it is relatively easy to pull up high stems as the end bud of the shoot is preserved. If, on the other hand, you want a bushy plant, the tip is simply trimmed after the cuttings have sprouted.
The lower end of the at least 10 centimeters long cuttings are freshly cut directly under a leaf with a sharp knife and then removed in the lower part of all leaves. They may later have no ground contact in the seed box, otherwise rot threatens. On the side next to the bud remaining at the lower end, one lifts off a narrow, one-centimeter-long strip of bark. This so-called wound cut exposes the division tissue of the shoot, the so-called cambium. It then forms fresh wound tissue (callus), from which the roots later emerge.
Depending on how much space is available in the seed box, you should cut the remaining leaves by half. So you can put the cuttings with less distance without the leaves touch.
The right seedling for laurel
If possible, use a special, nutrient-poor soil that mixes roughly equally with coarse grained sand. Fill the culture dish with the substrate up to one centimeter below the edge and gently press it with your hands. Then insert the drive pieces about three centimeters deep. Then cover the soil with a soft stream of water and cover the culture container with a transparent plastic hood or foil to keep the humidity high and prevent the cuttings from drying out. The laurel is relatively shadow-tolerant - so you can set up the seed vase in the room to a bright window without direct sunlight. A substrate temperature of at least 20 degrees accelerates the rooting process considerably, but even without ground heat, the laurel makes a very reliable rooting as a cutting and the failure rates are low.
You can also put laurel cuttings directly in pots
Depending on growth conditions, it usually takes around three to four weeks before the cuttings are sprouted again and the first roots are formed. Make sure that the soil remains evenly moist, and take the cover up every two to three days for fresh air to get into the cuttings.
Once the young laurel plants have been well drained and firmly rooted in the substrate, you can move the cuttings into individual pots. In it you will be cultivated in the house during the winter and from the end of March you can spend your first season outdoors.
Laurel to multiply by offshoot
In very mild regions, one can dare to cultivate his laurel in the field, provided it is well protected against frost damage in winter. Free-range plants have the property of forming root shoots from time to time. Of course you can also use these for the multiplication. Just prick off the shoots in the spring after the strongest frosts from the mother plant and put them back in the ground elsewhere. As a rule, the foothills grow easily if they are well supplied with water.