The Ultimate Guide on How to Successfully Plant and Maintain a Beautiful Laurel Hedge


If you are looking to create an attractive and low-maintenance green boundary for your garden, planting a laurel hedge is an excellent choice. Laurels are known for their dense growth and shiny leaves, which can provide a break from the wind, noise, and also add privacy to your space. In addition, laurels are suitable for growing in a variety of soil types and can easily tolerate poor drainage conditions. Whether you are an expert gardener or just starting, you can complete this task yourself by following these step-by-step tips.

Step 1: Choose the right variety of laurel. There are several varieties of laurel hedges available, but the cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is the most common and likely the one you should go for. It has thick, leathery leaves that grow above ground level, making it an ideal choice for privacy.

Step 2: Prepare the soil. Before planting, dig holes that are about four times the width of the laurel root ball. Make sure to thoroughly break up any compacted soil and remove any weeds or grass from the area. This will help the laurel roots establish themselves more easily.

Step 3: Plant the laurel hedge. Gently remove the laurel from its container and place it in the hole. Make sure that the top of the root ball is level with the ground. Firmly backfill the hole with soil and gently press it down to remove any air pockets. Repeat this process for each laurel plant, spacing them at least 2 feet apart.

Step 4: Stake the laurel plants (optional). If the laurel plants are tall or if you are planting them in a windy area, it may be necessary to stake them for support. Drive stakes at least 6 inches away from the plant and tie them loosely to the main stem. This will help the laurel plants to grow straight and prevent them from losing their shape.

Step 5: Water the laurel hedge thoroughly. After planting, water the laurel hedge thoroughly to ensure that the roots have enough moisture to establish themselves. Take care not to overwater, as laurels do not tolerate soggy conditions. After the initial watering, continue to water regularly, especially during warm and dry periods.

Step 6: Watch out for pests and diseases. Laurels can attract pests such as leaf beetles, so keep an eye out for any signs of damage. If necessary, use appropriate insecticides to control the infestation. Additionally, monitor the leaves for any signs of brown spots or discoloration, as this could indicate a disease. Consult an expert if you are unsure about the issue.

Step 7: Fertilise the laurel hedge. To promote healthy growth, fertilise the laurel hedge in the spring with a slow-release fertiliser. Follow the instructions on the packaging to ensure that you are applying the correct amount. Fertilising the laurel hedge once a year will help maintain its dense foliage and vibrant green color.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can easily plant a laurel hedge and enjoy its many benefits in your garden. With proper care and maintenance, your laurel hedge will provide you with a beautiful and functional green boundary for many years to come.

How to plant a laurel hedge

If you’re passionate about hedging and want to add a touch of beauty to your garden, consider planting a laurel hedge. Laurel hedges are not only attractive, but they also provide privacy and act as a barrier against noise and wind. In addition, laurel hedges are quite hardy and can withstand pruning, making them a suitable option for many gardeners.

Before you start planting, choose a suitable location for your laurel hedge. Laurel plants prefer well-drained soil and thrive in sunny or partially shaded places. They are not picky about soil type and can grow well in a variety of locations, from loam-based soils to sandy ones.

When it’s time to plant, dig a hole for each laurel plant, spacing them about 2 to 4 feet apart, depending on how thick you want your hedge to be. The hole should be deep enough to accommodate the root ball of the plant, with the back and sides slightly sloping. Add some well-rotted manure or compost to the hole for better growth.

Before placing the laurel plant into the hole, soak the root ball in water for a few minutes to help hydrate the plant. Once the root ball is saturated, carefully place the plant into the hole, ensuring that it is upright and at the same depth it was growing previously. Backfill the hole with a mixture of soil and compost, firming the soil around the root ball. To prevent the plant from falling over, you can also add a stake to provide additional support.

After planting, water the laurel hedge thoroughly and apply a layer of mulch, such as bark chips or compost, around the base of the plants. This will help retain moisture and prevent weed growth. Water the hedge regularly, especially during dry periods, to ensure that the plants establish themselves well.

Laurel hedges are generally low maintenance, but they may require some pruning to maintain their shape and density. Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring, before the new growth begins. Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased branches, as well as any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other.

It’s also important to keep an eye out for pests and diseases that may affect laurel hedges. Common pests include aphids, scale insects, and viburnum beetles. Regularly inspect the plants for any signs of infestation, and if necessary, consult an expert for advice on treatment options.

To achieve the best result, it’s recommended to fertilize the laurel hedge at least twice a year, once in spring and once in autumn. Use a slow-release fertilizer specifically formulated for hedges, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

By following these steps, you can start planting your laurel hedge and watch it grow into a beautiful and functional addition to your garden. For a visual guide, check out the video on Plantura’s website, where you can also find a variety of laurel plants suitable for hedging.

When should you plant a laurel hedge

Planting a laurel hedge is a great way to create privacy and add beauty to your outdoor space. However, it is important to choose the right time of year to plant your hedge to ensure its success.

The best time to plant a laurel hedge is in the beginning of the growing season, typically in the early spring or early fall. It is important to avoid planting during extreme weather conditions, such as when the ground is frozen or in the heat of the summer. Planting during these times can put stress on the laurel plants and reduce their chances of survival.

When choosing a location for your laurel hedge, it is important to consider the area’s suitability for the Prunus laurocerasus, or cherry laurel. Laurel hedges thrive in well-drained soil, so it is important to select a spot with good drainage. Avoid areas that are prone to waterlogging, as this can lead to root rot and the death of your hedge.

Before planting, prepare the soil by digging a hole that is twice the size of the laurel’s rootball. Backfill the hole with a mixture of soil and compost, following the specific instructions provided by your nursery or garden center. This will help provide a better growing environment for your laurel hedge.

Once the hole is filled, place the laurel plants in the ground, ensuring that the rootball is level with the surrounding soil. Backfill the hole, firming the soil around the base of the plants to provide stability. Water thoroughly after planting to help settle the soil and remove any air pockets.

After planting, mulch around the base of the laurel hedge to help retain moisture and suppress weed growth. This will also protect the plants during cold and warm weather, insulating the roots and providing additional support.

Throughout the first few years of growth, it is important to regularly water and care for your laurel hedge. Watering should be done deeply and less frequently, rather than frequent shallow watering. This will encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil and make the hedge more resilient to dry periods.

Regular fertilization can also help promote healthy growth, but be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive leafy growth and make the plants more susceptible to pests and diseases.

By following these step-by-step instructions and taking proper care of your laurel hedge, you can enjoy a beautiful and thriving hedging solution for years to come.

How far apart do you plant laurel hedging

When planting laurel hedging, it is important to consider the spacing between each plant. The recommended distance for planting laurel hedging is 2-3 feet apart. This spacing ensures that there is enough room for the laurel plants to grow and develop their root system without competing for resources.

Overcrowding the plants can lead to poor air circulation and increased risk of pests and diseases. It is also important to make sure that the plants have enough space for water to reach the roots during watering.

Before planting, it is crucial to prepare the soil and ensure it is of good quality. Fill the hole with a balanced soil mixture that provides good drainage and nutrient conditions.

When planting the laurel plants, make sure to water thoroughly after each step. This will help the roots establish themselves properly and promote healthy growth. However, be cautious not to over water as this can lead to root rot and other issues.

After planting, it is essential to watch for pests and diseases. Laurel hedges can be prone to pests such as cherry beetles. Regularly inspect the plants for any signs of infestation and take appropriate measures to prevent damage.

The spacing between laurel plants may vary depending on the desired outcome and the variety of laurel being planted. If you are looking for a dense hedge, closer spacing may be preferred. However, for a more open and natural-looking hedge, wider spacing is recommended.

Overall, spacing the laurel plants 2-3 feet apart provides a suitable distance for optimal growth and development. Following the proper planting and care instructions will ensure that your laurel hedge thrives and adds beauty to your garden or balcony for many years to come.

Check out our video on how to plant a laurel hedge for more tips and instructions.

How to plant laurel hedging

Planting a laurel hedge is a great way to create privacy and define boundaries in your garden. Laurel (Rosaceae) is a popular choice for hedging because of its fast growth and dense foliage. It is also quite versatile and can be used to create formal, manicured hedges or more informal, natural-looking hedges.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you plant your laurel hedge:

  1. Choose a suitable location for your laurel hedge. Laurels prefer full sun to partial shade, so look for an area that receives at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. They can tolerate a range of soil types, but clay soil is ideal.
  2. Prepare the soil. Dig the area where you want to plant the hedge, removing any grass, weeds, or other plants. Break up the soil with a garden fork or tiller to ensure good drainage.
  3. If the soil is poor or compacted, consider improving it by adding organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure. This will help to enrich the soil and provide essential nutrients for the laurel plants.
  4. Dig a series of holes along the planting area. The holes should be spaced about 2-3 feet apart, depending on the variety of laurel you are planting.
  5. Place the laurel plants in the holes, ensuring that they are at the same level as they were in their pots. Backfill the holes with soil, firming it gently around the plants.
  6. Water the laurel hedge thoroughly after planting to help the plants establish themselves. This will also help to settle the soil and remove any air pockets.
  7. If you want to reduce weed growth and retain moisture, you can add a layer of mulch around the base of the laurel hedge. This will also help to protect the roots from extreme weather conditions.
  8. During the first few weeks after planting, make sure to water the laurel hedge regularly, especially during dry periods. This will help the plants establish themselves and encourage healthy growth.
  9. Prune the laurel hedge regularly to maintain its shape and encourage bushier growth. Remove any dead or diseased leaves or branches and shape the hedge as desired. Be careful not to prune too much at once, as this can stress the plants.
  10. Watch out for common pests and diseases that can affect laurel hedges, such as aphids, beetles, and brown rot. Use appropriate treatments, such as insecticides or fungicides, as necessary to protect your hedge.

By following these steps and taking proper care of your laurel hedge, you can create a beautiful, healthy, and long-lasting hedge that will enhance the beauty and privacy of your garden for years to come.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.