The cherry laurel is one of the most popular hedge plants. But so that it grows so stately, you should pay attention to a few things when fertilizing.
The cherry laurel ( Prunus laurocerasus ) is known for its rapid height growth and its evergreen leaves. In this way, you can prevent nosy neighbors from peeking into your garden within a very short time. But of course, the evergreen vigor of the cherry laurel needs support. The right location and adequate fertilization are essential for it to grow stately and healthily. Regular fertilization also ensures that the trees are more resistant to disease, drought, and frost. In this article, we will tell you what you need to consider when fertilizing cherry laurel.
Even if fertilization is not essential for a cherry laurel, with the right supply of nutrients you can get the most out of your evergreen garden dweller. Regular fertilization can make the difference between undergrowth and vigorously growing wood, especially on rather poor soils or with hedge plants. Therefore we clarify all questions about the fertilization of the cherry laurel: When do you have to fertilize? How often do you have to fertilize? And which fertilizer is best for fertilizing a cherry laurel?
When to fertilize cherry laurel?
In the case of poor soils or bare roots, you can mix little horn shaving into the potting soil when you are planting your cherry laurel. Otherwise, plant fertilization is omitted and maintenance fertilization is only started in the spring of the following year. Then you should provide the cherry laurel with nutrients at least once, preferably twice a year. In this way, rapid new growth is promoted and the evergreen shrub is adequately supplied even in winter.
You should fertilize before the start of the growing season so that your cherry laurel can put enough energy into the new shoots after the grueling winter. Afterward, the second fertilization in May or June is also recommended when using a slow-release fertilizer. Especially with fast-growing varieties such as Caucasia or Genoliaˈ, you should use fertilizer twice a year.
If you choose mineral fertilizers such as blue grain, you should fertilize several times a year between February and the end of July about every four weeks in smaller doses. Mineral fertilizers work quickly but are usually only available to plants for a very short time. It is therefore of no use to your cherry laurel if you fertilize with large quantities in advance.
On the contrary, the high concentration of nutrients very quickly leads to over-fertilization and harms your plant. In addition, excess nutrients are simply flushed out of the earth during watering and thus unnecessarily end up in the groundwater. For this reason, you should provide your cherry laurel with an organic fertilizer.
Nitrogen fertilization in late summer is no longer recommended, as in this case you encourage late budding. In itself, such support is exactly what fertilization is supposed to achieve, but the young shoots no longer have enough time to harden sufficiently before the first frost. The consequence would be considerable frost damage. Instead of the nutrient bomb, it is better to use a potassium fertilizer for autumn fertilization in late summer. This increases the resistance of the leaves to frost damage.
Summary: When to fertilize cherry laurel
- In the case of poor soils or bare-root planting material, plant fertilization with horn shavings is recommended
- In the spring after planting, you should start with the first maintenance fertilization
- Slow-release fertilizers are applied once or twice a year; the first time before the start of the growing season and the second time in May or June
- Mineral fertilizers are used in small doses every four weeks between February and the end of July to prevent over-fertilization
- For autumn fertilization in late summer, a potassium fertilizer is used, which increases the resistance of the plant
Expert tip: If you have to cut back your cherry laurel radically, you should first provide it with a good load of organic slow-release fertilizer, because the shoot after the cut requires an enormous amount of energy.
Fertilizer for cherry laurel: fertilizer instructions
Special cherry laurel ready-to-use fertilizers provide your plants with optimal nutrients. In this way, they guarantee good growth and long-term maintenance of the leaves. However, you do not necessarily have to resort to a special fertilizer, a universal fertilizer also provides your cherry laurel with the most important nutrients.
The selected fertilizer should have a balanced ratio of potassium and nitrogen and a slightly lower proportion of phosphate. As with special fertilizers, make sure that you use a fertilizer with organic components – for example, our Gardender organic universal fertilizer. Not only are you doing nature a favor, but your cherry laurel is also cared for more gently and for a longer period of time, and it stays with you for longer.
Because the nutrients in organic fertilizers are in a complex form. So the nutrients are only slowly released into the surrounding soil, which also promotes soil life. This is especially important for plants that stay in one place for a long time because friendly helpers like earthworms counteract soil compaction. But organic fertilizers are not only noticeable in your own garden. Compared to mineral fertilizers, these already have a significantly better environmental balance during production. This is because the production is much less expensive and uses a lot fewer resources.
Organically fertilize cherry laurel
The best fertilizer for cherry laurel is organic (slow-acting), calibrated (promotes drought resistance and winter hardiness), and is applied at least once a year. Horn shavings, mixed with ripe compost or manure as a nutrient and mineral source, will provide your plant with optimal care throughout the year. Simply mix a handful of horn shavings with two to three liters of mature compost or manure.
This nutrient mix is worked superficially into the soil in the root area. Then cover the whole thing with a fresh layer of soil to encourage the decomposition process. Horn meal or horn shavings provide your cherry laurel with sufficient nitrogen and are particularly suitable for long-term supply. You can recognize a nitrogen deficiency by the uniform yellow color of the leaves.
Organic complete fertilizers from specialist retailers are, however, also a good alternative to natural fertilizers, which are rather difficult to get, especially in urban areas. In this way, you can supply your cherry laurel in an environmentally friendly way that saves time and odor. Our Gardender organic universal fertilizer provides your cherry laurel all around – and that with almost exclusively organic components.
In this way, you offer your plants an environmentally friendly supply that stimulates plant growth and soil life. Following the fertilization, the earth around the cherry laurel is mulched with lawn clippings, bark mulch, or wood chips. The mulch layer does not by itself provide an additional supply of nutrients when it decomposes. It also has an isolating effect, protects against evaporation, and inhibits the growth of weeds.
Organic long-term fertilization: Instructions and application rates for cherry laurel
Even if the handling of predominantly organic fertilizers is associated with significantly fewer risks than the use of mineral fertilizer, correct application is essential for an optimal supply of your cherry laurel. However, with our instructions for applying our Gardender organic universal fertilizer, the correct handling of the fertilizer should not be a problem at all:
- Before planting, work 100 – 150 g / m² (well-filled 0.2-liter jar) of our Gardender organic universal fertilizer into the upper soil layer.
- Pour the soil and freshly used cherry laurel well so that the granules can dissolve well.
- With maintenance fertilization in spring and in May / June, you should fertilize another 80 – 120 g / m² (0.2-liter jar) per plant.
Fertilize cherry laurel with minerals
You can also supply your cherry laurel with blue grain or other mineral fertilizers. These contain everything for the good growth of the evergreen shrub. However, make sure you dose this fertilizer accurately. Otherwise, you risk overfeeding your cherry laurel. This not only harms the plant, but also the soil life and groundwater. It is, therefore, better to fertilize regularly and in small doses. In contrast, as already mentioned, fertilizing with organic fertilizers is simpler, safer, and more environmentally friendly. These are completely sufficient for the frugal cherry laurel.
Fertilize cherry laurel with home remedies
Home remedies are not only a successful alternative to purchased remedies for spring cleaning. Plants are also happy about one or the other variant that Grandma already knew. There are wonderful opportunities to access findings from household waste, especially when maintaining the correct soil pH value. If this value is too high, the fertilization with coffee grounds not only provides an extra charge of nitrogen, the grounds also have an acidic effect.
However, if the pH value drops too far, giving crushed eggshells as fertilizer will help. These contain a lot of lime and drive the soil pH up again. If you want to make horn shavings yourself, you simply collect a large amount of hair and nails. These are made of the same material as horns.
Iron deficiency in cherry laurel
If your cherry laurel develops yellow leaves with green veins, this is likely due to an iron deficiency. The gift of an iron chelate fertilizer helps here. Before you resort to iron fertilizer, however, you should check the pH of the soil. This should be between 5 and 7.5 for cherry laurel. If the pH value is too high, iron cannot be absorbed because it is in its insoluble form in the soil. For the iron to become available again, the soil must be acidified.
You can achieve this, for example, by using compost made from oak leaves for fertilization or by adding some coffee grounds to the fertilizer of your choice. If you already know when planting that the soil at the planting location is quite basic, you can also mix coniferous soil into the planting soil. This is the soil from the immediate vicinity of conifers.