Call 01257 263 873

Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5.30pm

Saturday 9am to 4pm

Laurel Hedging Guide

Laurel Hedging Guide

Our Ultimate Laurel Hedging Guide

Laurels are an extremely popular species made up of numerous trees, shrubs and hedging plants. Their practicality and aesthetic appearance come second to none as they are seen in thousands of gardens throughout the UK. Hedges Direct supply the best selection of Laurel hedging plants, from compact low hedging to ready-grown screening, we have the perfect Laurel variety to suit your every gardening need.

Some, but not all of our Laurels are available as Bare Root, Root Ball, Pot & Cell Grown, Topiary and Instant Hedging. All are available as Pot Grown, for year round planting.

The types of Laurel plants we provide are evergreen, providing year round cover and interest. Each has a unique set of characteristics that can be utilised to help you achieve a range of gardening goals. Cherry Laurel hedging plants are our most popular option, hence its alternate name, the Common Laurel. This large Laurel plant is primarily utilised for its thick, large, glossy green leaves, which make an effective privacy screen that reduces wind and noise passing through its dense structure. You can purchase this species from 30cm to 3.5m in height allowing you a great choice of sizes and prices and the ability to achieve instant impact from planting day should you so wish.

Truly Instant Laurel Hedging (Ready Grown Metre Long Troughs)

For truly instant hedging consider these species which come in ready-grown units for a seamless hedge in an instant.

Our ever popular Laurel species - Cherry Laurel, features in this instant hedging range and exhibits a beautifully thick and mature habit with large glossy leaves that really does provide an established looking hedge in an instant. For a darker colour interest, consider Portuguese Laurel. Also known as Prunus lusitanica, the elongated, dark green leaves of this Laurel plant sit on the end of sleek maroon stems. The contrasting colour scheme creates an attractive and exciting Laurel hedge screen.
As well as their practicality, Laurel shrubs are used in some wonderful garden designs for their aesthetic appearance. They are used as low hedges to create emphasis and structure by bordering larger plants, pathways and other garden features and for their remarkable colours. For low growing Laurel hedging, consider Compact Laurel or Spotted Laurel.

Compact Laurel also known as Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’, is a small, sturdy plant with dark green leaves that have a lightly shaded underneath. It boasts white flowers in spring before displaying shiny, black and red berries in autumn. Spotted Laurel, also known as Aucuba japonica ‘Crotonifolia’ or Japanese Laurel, is famous for its variegated foliage, polished green leaves with gold and yellow splashes. Its distinctive foliage is also complimented by small red berries in Summer.

Portuguese Laurel is noted for it's dark glossy green leaves and dark red stems whilst Laurel Etna has bright green rounded glossy leaves that on initial growth have a beautiful warm bronzed appearance before turning green as they age. It also features soft white flowers in Spring and glossy black berries in Autumn. An array of British birds and other small animals adore the luscious berries that laurel hedging plants produce, bringing added wildlife value to a garden.

Difficult growing sites determine whether certain types of plants will be able to establish. We all want to look outside our windows and see our plants thriving in strong, healthy conditions and not succumb to environmental damage. There are little restrictions as to growing conditions for Laurel hedging plants as their hardiness is a main factor in their popularity. All of the laurel species we supply will develop in poor soil conditions as Compact Laurel, Laurel Etna and Cherry Laurel thrive in well-drained, dry sites, whereas Spotted Laurel & Laurel ‘Caucasica’ grow well in moist and wet soils. For those planting in covered areas, all of the Laurel species we offer flourish in full shade, with the exception of Bay Laurel which can withstand partial shade.

Laurel Hedging Chart

Choosing a Laurel hedge can be baffling so we’ve collated this useful chart to try and make life a little easier. Remember all of these Laurels are evergreen.

VarietyIdeal hedge heightGrowth rateDry sitesDamp sitesExposed ShadeCoastalPoisonous
Cherry Laurel1.5 - 5mFastYesYesYes FullNoYes
Portuguese Laurel1.5 - 5mMediumYesYesYesFullNoYes
Bay Laurel1 - 2mSlowYesYesYesPartialYesNo
Laurel Etna1.5 - 5mFastYesYesYes FullNoYes
Compact Laurel0.8 - 1.2mSlowYesYesNoFullYesYes
Laurel Caucasica1.5 - 5mFastYesYesYesFullNoYes
Spotted Laurel1.5 - 4mSlowYesYesNoFullYesYes

Laurel Hedge Problems and Is Laurel Poisonous?

There are no Laurel hedging problems associated with any of the species we supply. However, we are no strangers to being asked if certain Laurel bushes are poisonous to household pets or humans (particularly small children).

All parts (leaves, berries etc.) of all Laurels, apart from Bay, are poisonous to livestock and animals.

We have had no reports of children or pets being affected by the foliage of these hedging plants, in our experience they hold no real attraction, however it is best to avoid planting next to livestock and if you are concerned about your pets and children we’d recommend choosing Bay Laurel or looking at alternatives.

Evergreen Alternatives To Laurel (Suitable for Livestock Areas)

Griselinia and Oleaster offer the same evergreen cover and glossy foliage but are non-toxic, so ideal if you’re planting next to livestock.
The three species above offer similar features however they are toxic to livestock and shouldn’t be planted in close proximity

With an abundance of practical advantages, added interest and ability to grow in challenging environments, Laurel hedging should certainly be a major contender when considering garden hedge ideas.
Show more >>>
Show less <<<

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest news and offers