The Laurel Plant: A Complete Guide and Care Tips
If you’re looking for a versatile and beautiful plant that is easy to care for, the laurel plant might be just what you need. This hardy evergreen plant is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used in gardens for centuries.
What is a Laurel Plant?
The laurel plant, also known as Laurus nobilis or sweet bay, is an evergreen shrub or small tree that can grow up to 30 feet tall. It has glossy green leaves that are oval-shaped with pointed tips. The leaves have a distinct aroma when crushed and are commonly used in cooking.
How to Care for Your Laurel Plant
Caring for your laurel plant is relatively simple as it requires minimal maintenance. Here are some care tips:
- Light: The laurel plant prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
- Watering: Water your laurel plant regularly but avoid overwatering as it can cause root rot.
- Fertilizer: Fertilize your laurel plant once every two months during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer.
- Pests and Diseases: The most common pests found on the laurel plants include scale insects, spider mites, whiteflies, aphids and mealybugs while diseases like mildew or leaf spot appear due to excess humidity or poor air circulation.
Landscape Uses of Laurel Plants
The versatility of the laurier nobilis makes it an excellent addition to any garden design style including formal gardens where they can be shaped into box-type hedges or topiarised into various shapes and sizes.
They are also ideal for use in foundation plantings, as potted plants, accent plants and mass plantings. When planted as a hedge or screen, the laurel plant can provide privacy and noise reduction.
Pruning Your Laurel Plant
The laurel plant responds well to pruning but should be done after its growing season has ended in early spring. This will give the new growth time to develop before winter arrives.
To maintain a formal hedge shape, prune regularly throughout the growing season, making sure to remove any dead or diseased branches with sterilized pruning shears.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for an easy-to-care-for shrub that adds beauty and versatility to your garden design style, then consider adding a laurel plant to your outdoor space. With minimal care requirements and its ability to tolerate different light conditions while adding fragrance with its glossy green leaves it is best suited for Mediterranean climatic regions of USDA zones 8-10 but can also be grown indoors where there is enough sunlight available throughout the day during winters.