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Baby Cherry Laurel Problem?

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by JamesH_2020, Sep 7, 2020.

  1. JamesH_2020

    JamesH_2020 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi folks, my name is James and I am new to gardening and this forum.

    1 month ago I ordered from Amazon 40 of 25-40cm cherry laurel (potted) and planted them across the front of my lawn to replace an old fence.
    I have attached some pictures of them.

    My question.... are they okay or are they dead or dying?
    It might seem obvious.. but they are tiny plants and I have not seen online any similar pictures of baby (sapling?) laurels, only big brown ones that are dead/dying.

    My garden is pretty wet, with poor drainage and I think that's changed the colour of the plants leaves to a lighter green/yellow. But I am adding mulch/fertilizer and can try to somewhat compensate for that.

    The first picture, the plant is still about 20cm and doesn't look like it has grown at all.
    The other thing is that these plants seem 'plasticky'. I.e. they seem more rigid than they should be. Their stem is still green. This is my main reason I am worried about them.
    I have other hedges, which seem to have arrived older and blow about in the wind etc.. but these 'baby' ones don't really at all. So that's what's leading me to believe this state isn't ideal!
    On a plus side, some of these rigid plants look to have some new growth (see second picture) and they all are bright green.

    Please help.
     

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  2. CarolineL

    CarolineL Total Gardener

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    Hi @JamesH_2020 and welcome! They look fine to me. Obviously they are not going to race away, but they look pretty perky. No more feeding please - we are getting into autumn when things slow down. Yes, laurel DOES have a plasticky feel - the leaves become leathery as they get older. Be warned, once it gets going you will need to control it via pruning - and because of the big leaves which look ugly and brown when cut by hedgetrimmer, you may have to use secateurs. I had a HUGE hedge of them which I had to remove and the trunks were massive.
     
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    • JamesH_2020

      JamesH_2020 Apprentice Gardener

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      Thanks so much for your reply, it's very helpful and makes me feel much calmer.

      I thought they look okay (as they're not brown/very yellow)- but couldn't find any similar pictures online.. so I was afraid there might be some problem! New paranoid gardener here.
      I will definitely take your advice about not feeding them more, as that is something I have been doing (or thinking about doing) often :smile:
       
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      • JR

        JR Chilled Gardener

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        Welcome James,.. good advise here and your plants look good mate :SUNsmile:
         
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        • JamesH_2020

          JamesH_2020 Apprentice Gardener

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          I am happy I joined, a lot of friendly people here. If I have any more problems about plants I will be sure to ask.
          I do plan on getting a tree which can thrive while water logged, such as a red maple tree, it's 1 of the few beautiful trees that my backyard, which is like a swimming pool sometimes, could support.
          But I'm thinking to get this next Spring - as right now the weather (and water) is pretty bad already. Know that it's built for this kind of weather.. but not wanting to push it to it's limit while it's still 1m tall.

          I'm actually looking forward (at least at this time!) to pruning the hedge! Although at this time that seems about 10 years away :roflol:
           
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          • JamesH_2020

            JamesH_2020 Apprentice Gardener

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            Hi folks,
            I hope you had a great Winter.
            Another growing season another newbie question.

            It's still about my Cherry Laurel hedges.
            They seem to be growing nicely.. so thanks for the advice last time.

            My question this time-
            Do these hedges grow any second stems or anything from the seed?
            This might seem a ludicrous question to ask.. but will the whole hedge just 'come out' from the 1 stem poking out of the ground?
            The reason I am asking this.. I am afraid about de-weeding the area around the hedges in case I pull out a new growing part of the plant from the ground (especially if it is super close to the stem).
            Do I just pull out all the 'weeds' if they are not actually attached to the visible stem?

            Again sorry for a newbie question.
             
          • clanless

            clanless Total Gardener

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            It will have one main stem coming out of the ground - with side branches that fill out to make it a full hedge.

            Don't worry about taking off ground level side sprouts - it won't harm the plant - keep it clear of weeds/grass so that they don't take any water/food away from the plant.

            A tip for when the hedge gets bigger. The plant will want to grow most of it's leaves on the top to get as much sun as possible. If left alone it will get leggy - with gaps at the bottom - so not so good as a hedge.

            There are 2 things you can do to make sure that you end up with a uniformly thick hedge:

            1 - don't wait for the plant to get to height before you prune it. Pruning encourages side shoots and if you do it early enough the plant will grown enough lower side shoots to fill out the bottom.

            2 - if you do leave it to height and find that the lower part of the shrub is bare - it's not too late. The shrub sends down a hormone through the bark to inhibit lower bud growth - it wants all it's energy for the top. If you nick the bark just above a bud - it will cut off the hormone supply and the bud will start to grow,

            Laurels are far more robust than you think - they will take a couple of years to settle down before they take off.
             
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            • JamesH_2020

              JamesH_2020 Apprentice Gardener

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              Thanks for answering clanless! :smile:
              It's just 1 of those things I was kind of thinking (it must have 1 stem), as every other rooted plant does that I can think off, but it's just difficult to imagine 1 hedge, that can be 6+ metres wide, which can all be sprouting from the same stem! So, so glad to have that cleared up now! :blue thumb:

              Thanks also for that great advice about pruning it to get it bushier at the bottom.. think it will be at least another year away.. but I will definitely remember that when they do start to take that look. I have seen MANY problems about these hedges that people have posted (when trying to find solutions myself to these questions) and that seems to be the biggest problem people have when looking after these is keeping it thick at the bottom.. so thanks for the heads up and will DEFINITELY bear that in mind!
              Can't have my 2 metre hedge blocking out everything at head-level only from the nosy neighbours! :heehee:
               
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