Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:27 pm
The cherry laurel is a particularly popular hedge plant here in Europe. This is not surprising, because the cherry laurel, sometimes called laurel cherry, as a hedge plant has many good qualities. This is because it is a handsome plant with large, evergreen leaves. The cherry laurel grows quite tall and quite wide, which allows it to form good, opaque hedges. But does a cherry laurel fit in a small garden? We believe that it is quite possible.
Small remaining cherry laurel varieties.
With a cherry laurel, it is always important which cherry laurel variety you select. Especially if you have a small garden, you should be careful when picking out a new cherry laurel hedge. Therefore, a large, wide cherry laurel variety, such as the ‘Rotundifolia’ cherry laurel or the ‘Novita’ cherry laurel, is not a good option. Although the cherry laurel is known as a large plant, fortunately there are varieties that are slightly smaller or narrower. Some cherry laurel varieties do not naturally grow very tall, while other varieties have an upright habit and therefore grow less in width. These are the very varieties that are therefore particularly well suited to a smaller garden.
An example of a cherry laurel variety that grows mainly in height is the cherry laurel ‘Genolia’®. This cherry laurel variety can be used well to form tall, opaque and evergreen hedges in small gardens. Of course, a cherry laurel hedge is always wider than, for example, an ivy hedge, but even a cherry laurel hedge ‘Genolia’® will not grow wider than 90 cm. The cherry laurel ‘Genolia’® does not grow as wide, but this variety of cherry laurel can grow quite high and fast. This cherry laurel can grow between 20-60 cm per year and reach a maximum height of 3.50 meters. This makes this cherry laurel variety quite wonderful as a compact, opaque hedge.
There are also cherry laurel varieties that have a low growth habit. These varieties also have a wide growth habit, just like other cherry laurel varieties. However, because they are low growing, they are often better suited to smaller gardens. The best examples in this regard are the ‘Herbergii’ cherry laurel and the ‘Zabeliana’ cherry laurel. If you’re looking for a low, low-maintenance hedge plant that can add green texture to your garden at any time, the ‘Zabeliana’ cherry laurel is an excellent option. This cherry laurel variety has an annual growth rate between 10-20 inches, so it doesn’t need to be pruned often. The cherry laurel ‘Herbergii’ grows a little faster.
Can pruning help?
You may be wondering if you can keep your cherry laurel hedge narrow by pruning it back regularly. You definitely can, because the cherry laurel is a particularly hardy hedge plant that can always sprout again without problems, even after severe pruning. Even if you cut the cherry laurel back to the old wood: it will always sprout again. Of course, after heavy pruning you must take into account that the cherry laurel cannot be used as a privacy hedge for quite some time. After such radical pruning, your cherry laurel hedge needs enough time to grow over and become opaque again.
In order for a cherry laurel hedge to remain narrow and opaque, it should be regularly maintained. Especially fast-growing cherry laurel varieties, such as the cherry laurel ‘Rotundifolia’, should be cut back regularly if you want your cherry laurel hedge to remain narrow. Due to the large leaves of the cherry laurel, it is better if you use pruning shears to cut the leaves or branches off piece by piece. Therefore, it is better not to use large hedge shears when trimming a cherry laurel. Then, cut mainly the branches that are out of line, so that the hedge remains as narrow as possible. The rule is that pruning is best done on cloudy days. The latter also applies to other hedge plants.
It is possible to keep a cherry laurel hedge narrow, because the cherry laurel is cut-resistant. Nevertheless, it is not worth the effort. After all, it is not particularly time-saving to cut the cherry laurel ‘Rotundifolia’ every month to keep it narrow. It is then much more practical that the cherry laurel ‘Genolia’® can achieve the same effect without extra pruning. If you are still interested in a particular cherry laurel variety, think here of the lush flowering cherry laurel ‘Caucasica’ or the reddish budding of the cherry laurel ‘Etna’, then of course it is always worth it. However, the buds and the new shoots should not then be cut out of the hedge.
Not enough space for a large hedge?
Of course, it may be that you like the cherry laurel, but your garden does not have enough space for a large hedge. After all, even relatively narrow cherry laurel hedges can still have a fairly wide growth habit that requires a lot of garden space. Also, some cherry laurel varieties have particularly dark leaves, which makes the garden look smaller because it will be surrounded by dark hedges. Are there other options? Of course there are! The cherry laurel is a wonderful hedge plant that can be used well as a hedge, but a cherry laurel also looks good as a pretty single plant.
As a single plant, the cherry laurel can become a pretty evergreen element in your garden without immediately growing as a large, wide hedge in the garden. All cherry laurel varieties in our assortment are basically well suited as single plants. Therefore, first and foremost, select a cherry laurel variety that you like. As already mentioned, the cherry laurel ‘Caucasica’ and the cherry laurel ‘Etna’ are so popular because they look pretty. However, if you prefer a different cherry laurel variety, then this variety can also work well as a single plant. The cherry laurel is adaptable and therefore can grow well almost anywhere.
Of course, the cherry laurel as a single plant should also be well cared for. Shortly after planting, the young cherry laurel should therefore be watered often so that the root system can develop well. After that, it is important to prune your cherry laurel at least once a year, so that the plant keeps its shape and remains healthy.