Laurel belongs to the family Rosaceae, growing to a height of 6 metres and spread of 4.5 metres. Nero used the distillate to poison his enemies as they contain hydrogen cyanide. Consequently, insects can be killed with crushed laurel leaves. Primarily used for hedging.
Culture for Cherry Laurel
Thrives in full sun or partial shade. Will tolerate any aspect (N,S,E,W) as this plant is very exposure tolerant. Will grow on any moist, well drained moderately fertile soil except shallow chalky soils. A very drought resistant plant that will grow on soils with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5. A low maintenance plant. Pruning should be done in mid summer. Laurel responds well to fertilisation.
Concerns about Cherry Laurel
Relatively pest and disease resilient. Leaf damage occurs primarily from vine weevil and leaf mining moth. Fungal diseases include powdery mildew and leaf spot fungi. Bacterial shot hole and cankers can be problematic on occasion.
Management Practices for Cherry Laurel
Sample soils for nutrient and pH levels especially if deficiency symptoms were evident during the growing season. Fertilise or amend soil as specified in any soil tests taken in autumn or spring. Apply fungicide/insecticide/phosphite spray treatments commencing in early spring. Check soil drainage potential and compaction levels. Prune out and destroy (burn) shoots with cankers. Root collar excavate where deep planting is suspected.