The Portuguese Laurel, an attractive evergreen plant

The young shoots of the Portuguese Laurel contrast perfectly against the dark leaves. The shrub produces small, fragrant flowers on longer slim racemes in June. These flowers usually change into berries which attracts birds, bees en butterflies. However these berries and leaves are poisonous to animals and humans.

Things you should know about the Portuguese Laurel:

You can keep the Portuguese Laurel hedge at any size. If it is left untrimmed, the plant can grow between 457 and 609 cm tall.

The Portuguese laurel has a growth rate of 45.7cm per year. Therefore it is not a fast growing plant but it will still be a reasonable hedge.

The Portuguese Laurel should be planted 61 to 91cm apart. Depending on how quick you want the edge. Generally you should plant 2 to 3 Portuguese Laurel plants per meter.

You need to prune away deseased or dead branches. Shrubs that are widely grown or neglected can be pruned back to almost ground level, so they can rejuvenate.

Apply a handful of granular general purpose fertilizer under each shrub in the fall. They only need feeding once a year.

Young Portuguese Laurel plants need watering during planting and in late fall just before the winter freezes the soil.

A pot grown Laurel can be planted at any time of the year. When plantend in March to October, thus the summer months, you must be prepared to provide them with enough water until the end of October. When planted between November and February, you probably do not have to water them as this will be done by the weather. Nonetheless it is advised to keep monitoring them.

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