Prunus Lusitanica Angustifolia – also known as Portuguese Laurel is often overlooked when choosing a shrub for evergreen hedging. Prunus Laurocerasus the Cherry Laurel or Photinia Red Robin are usually more popular choices but we think this attractive and incredibly forgiving shrub deserves a much closer look.
When planting a hedge there are many obvious things to consider – how fast it will grow, what kind of plants will grow well in your soil or aspect, how easy it will be to maintain, how does it blend in with your garden and not least – will it be wildlife friendly?
Portuguese Laurel answers all these questions with a firm tick!
Densely growing, this shrub offers excellent screening for privacy and the new growth is quite beautiful – producing long, slim, elegant leaves in two distinct colours of green that unfurl to reveal a glossy evergreen. Fairly fast growing, it is not as vigorous as its cousin the Cherry Laurel and is therefore more manageable for certain situations. Especially suiting a hedge for the smaller garden or where under planting of trees or ground cover is required. We stock Portuguese Laurel in a wide range of shapes and sizes – we recommend getting the tallest (as budget allows) when instant evergreen screening is required.
Prunus Lusitanica is very versatile and will grow in almost any soil or aspect. It is also extremely forgiving when it comes to pruning – many shrubs protest loudly if left to bolt and are then cut back sharply but this gem of a shrub can be cut back hard and will recover from the assault very quickly indeed.
Wild Life Friendly Shrub
If you do allow it to grow uncut throughout the spring and early summer – Portuguese Laurel will reward you with a shower of blossom around June – producing clouds of pale yellow, fluffy blooms that are most attractive and lightly fragrant with a hint of the smell of hawthorn (a distant relative). The flowers are loved by bees, butterflies and hover flies – so a great pollinator attractor. The flowers are followed by cherry shaped fruits that are adored by birds and the density of the foliage provides ample nesting possibilities.
Portuguese Laurel Topiary
Prunus Lusitanica trees trim beautifully into topiary – usually the half standard (lollipop shape) and full standard trees, which are perfect for above wall or fence screening. They need a quick trim a couple of times a year to keep them in perfect shape.