Laurel is an excellent hedge and screening plant that can be used for much more than just a hedge! It is evergreen, quick-growing, and holds up well to trimming, unlike many other hedges that grow quickly but are difficult to maintain after they have grown tall.
This post will go over some tips and tricks and answer the question of how to make laurel grow faster?
What is Laurel?
Laurel is the name of a shrub in the family of plants called Lauraceae. The most common type is known as “sweet bay” or “bay laurel”, and it is considered a symbol of victory.
In ancient times, laurels were awarded to victors of contests from Olympic games all the way to gladiatorial combat, including their ceremonial wreath at death.
The word “Laurel” itself comes from the Greek word meaning “honour”.
Its leaves are large and shiny bright green with masses of white flowers on racemes in spring – although flower buds often get cut off when trimming it back to size.
Laurel does bear fruit and they can seem tempting, but they are not edible for human consumption; instead, their red berries eventually turn black once matured over time and make a great snack for hungry birds.
How Fast does a Laurel Grow?
What is the best way to determine how fast a Laurel hedge will grow? It may sound like an easy question, but there are many different factors that can influence the growth rate.
Some of these include variety chosen for planting, soil composition, and drainage level at planting time (especially important if you live in wetter climates), depth that plants were planted below the ground surface line; when fertilisers or pesticides have been applied during the growing season(s); general climate conditions where the plant is located.
Popular Varieties of Laurel and their Growth Rate
|Name||Rate||Average Growth Per Season|
|Bay Laurel||slow-growing||15/30cm per year|
|Caucasica Laurel||fast-growing||30/60cm per year|
|Common Laurel||fast-growing||30/60cm per year|
|Compact Laurel||slow-growing||10/20cm per year|
|Etna Laurel||moderate growing||20/40cm per year|
|Portugal Laurel||moderate growing||20/40cm per year|
|Spotted Laurel||moderate growing||20/40cm per year|
How to Make Laurel Grow Faster
If your laurel does not seem to be growing too well, there are some things that you can do to help your plant flourish and grow to its full potential.
Some of them may be a little easier than others if the plant is already well established but by following our tips, you should start seeing the results that you are hoping for.
Choose the Right Soil
If you are planting a new laurel you will find that it is a hardy plant for most types of soil. If you have particularly heavy or sandy ground, consider layering with compost to give your laurel the best chance at establishing.
If your laurel is already well established, you may not be able to do much about the soil right away without damaging the root structure.
What you can do though is make amendments to the soil over the course of a few seasons – not ideal but worth it in the long run.
Like most plants, laurel will need to absorb nutrients in order for it to grow as vigorously as possible.
The fertilisers that laurels need to grow are different depending on the stage of their growth. Rootgrow fertiliser works best for established laurels, but new, younger shrubs will prefer a natural organic fertiliser like Bonemeal.
The best time to fertilise a Laurel is in spring. Calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium needs for the plant are at their lowest during this time. Plus, there is lots of rainfall to feed the tree.
Fertilising once per year is sufficient for Lauraceae plants since they are evergreens or can withstand periods of drought without ill effects (due to many root systems).
If you have young shrubs using organic mulch around them helps retain moisture and provides trace elements that will not wash away with regular rains.
Laurels are voracious drinkers and need a lot of water! A laurel can drink up to 1.5 litres of water per day and throughout the spring and summer months, they will need to be well watered.
This of course is dependent on where you live and how dry the soil gets because rainfall varies depending on the area.
Having a regular watering schedule during the drier months will certainly help your laurel grow faster.
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend watering as below through spring & summer.
|Every 2 days||If the soil is very dry and / or sandy|
|Every 4 days||If the soil holds water|
|Every 6 days||If the soil holds water and is in the shade|
One reason that your laurel may not be growing as fast as possible is that it may be competing with other plants and weeds etc.
Being the big drinkers that they are, laurels that are competing with other plants are known to grow a little more slowly than they should.
To help your laurel grow faster, it is a good idea to ensure that the area around the base of the laurel is kept weed-free.
The laurel is a hardy and beautiful plant, but like any other living being on this planet, it needs care. One of the best ways to keep your hedge healthy and strong is by trimming off branches that are damaged or dead.
Not only will trimming dead and damaged branches help your laurel grow faster but pruning into green growth every couple of months will help your laurel grow faster and thicker too.
This may seem counter intuitive but pruning your laurel will encourage it to grow back bushier than before at an even faster rate.
Just remember that if the laurel is budding, ensure that you prune around half an inch above the buds.
Where is Best to Plant my Laurel?
Laurels require rich, moist soil that is full of nutrients. Planting the tree in a place where it will be sheltered from strong winds is also important to its chances of survival.
Laurel trees thrive and grow well in cool climates, out of direct sun exposure, and prefer sheltered spots with plenty of moisture – such as near streams or other water sources where they benefit from the constant flow of cool air from nearby.
Laurel can be a fantastic addition to your garden and provide beautiful, aromatic foliage as well as berries. One of the most important things you need to do is properly care for it so that it thrives in its location!
To grow the best laurel, you should give it plenty of water and fertiliser as well as keeping it from competing with weeds which will steal its nutrients – do not forget to prune regularly too.
I hope you have found our post on how to make your laurel grow faster useful. The tips we have given here are just some things to think about when caring for your laurel plants but if you need more information or want help getting started then please contact us today!
Garden Doctor Tips
“Do not over-fertilise, just once in the spring will be enough to promote healthy growth!”
“When pruning, make your cuts around ½ an inch above any new buds that may be growing!”
“Keep the base of your laurel weed free so that it is not competing for nutrients with other plants!”
“Follow a regular watering schedule to ensure that your laurel has enough to drink – especially during the dry months!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Do laurels grow in shade?
Yes, but not as fast. Laurels grow in shade just as well as they do in full sunlight. However, shade grown laurels will not get nearly the same rate of growth because they are getting less light and what light they do get is broken up by leaves and other objects further down the plant’s trunk.
Do laurels have deep roots?
Some laurels, as in the case of cherry laurels, do have deep roots. But if we are talking about your common variety from your local nursery or garden centre, then no… they do not.
Laurels are not considered to be deep-rooted plants; but this can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. Though generally speaking it is thought that most laurel will develop their root system more superficially than other plants like a blackberry bush for example might.
Can laurels grow in pots?
Yes, many people prefer to grow their laurel in pots. With the right care and nutrition, laurels grown in pots will thrive.
Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.