The rise and rise of Portuguese Laurel

Portuguese Laurel or Prunus Lusitanica Angustifolia is a wonderful plant for so many uses, it has dark green, long and slightly pointed leaves on a rich red stems, very like the colours of the Portuguese flag, it is native to Southern France, Northern Spain and Portugal.

The most common use is as hedging where it creates a strong, evergreen hedge that will happily grow up to 8ft tall and is dense enough to not see through it but not as dense as its common alternative Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry Laurel) which takes up space and needs far more frequent cutting.  If you do not prune it until after mid July, it develops flowers that have a strangely accidental quality somewhere between bunting and fluff.  The flowers,  in turn make berries that start out bright cherry red and wind up a glossy black which are a delicacy to any local birds.

Portuguese laurel needs to and can be clipped hard as it is super tough and extremely unfussy, it doesn’t mind where it grows although it won’t do well in waterlogged soil.

We always have a good selection of Portuguese laurel available although we have found in more recent years as the popularity of this plant grows the availability is decreasing and we have in the last two years at least that we have sold out of the hedging plants especially in some of the more mature sizes. As a guide we currently have available in Rootballed form and potted in containers and although we have a good range some of the sizes are getting low on stock.

Rootballed sizes & Prices 

 60-80cm €15.00
80-100cm €25.00
125 – 150cm tall Extra Bushy €85.00
150-175cm €95.00
175-200cm €150.00
250-275cm €225.00
275-300cm €280.00

Smaller containerised sizes & prices

2L 30-50cm  €6.60

3L 40-60cm  €7.50

5L  60-80cm  €12.50

 

It is also an ideal species for growing as larger pieces of topiary or as a standard tree, a really useful tree to create privacy above a wall or hedge that grows naturally into a spherical shape and grows well with little problems.

The Lollipop shaped trees and can be grown in pots or planters as well as in the open ground and can create beautiful large specimens with the right amount of pruning, we love them clipped into dome shapes over time which creates a wonderful formal look, reminiscent of Victorian estate gardens.

Standard Trees Currently Available 

70L Standard 1.8m stem  70-80cm head  €295.00

50L , 3/4 Standard   1.6m stem  80-90cm head   €270.00

18L 1/2  standard  1.2m stem  40-50cm head  €125.00

 

Like the Lollipop shapes there are several other shapes that Portuguese laurel works especially well for and those include our columns and our Parachute forms both are really popular and great additions to any garden.

Prunus Lusitanica Parachute Form   110L 175-200cm    €360.00

Prunus Lusitanica Columns 300L 4metres      €600.00

All woody plants that are going to be shaped, need to be cut at a time in the growing season when there will still be enough time for new growth to come (often mid to late summer) so that by the time winter comes along, they don’t look like they’ve just had a haircut. There is a particular problem associated with all Cherries (Prunus); pruning the leaves in mid summer makes them susceptible to attack by an endemic fungus that causes ‘shot hole’. This effects the new leaves that grow after pruning – they emerge discoloured and full of little holes. It doesn’t have a lasting effect but does look unsightly and is best avoided. How?  Try pruning, up to the middle of May or after mid July to be on the safe side.

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