Prunus lusitanica

2 litre pot £18.99
available to order from midsummer
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Prunus lusitanica Portuguese laurel: Splendid hedging plant

  • Position: full sun, partial shade or shade
  • Soil: moist but well-drained soil, except shallow chalk
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Flowering period: April
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    To find out more about how to plant a hedge, click here.

    A lovely large, evergreen shrub that has dark green leaves with red stalks. Small white, slightly fragrant flowers are borne on long racemes in early summer, and often followed by small, red fruits which eventually turn dark purple (these are harmful if eaten). Portuguese laurel is an excellent hedging plant and it can even tolerate chalky soils.

  • Garden care: When planting incorporate lots of well-rotted garden compost in the planting hole and stake firmly. Prune in either spring or summer. Mature plants can tolerate hard pruning in spring, cutting back to the old wood.

  • Humans/Pets: Harmful if eaten

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Eventual height & spread

Eventual height and spread
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We got two of these last year to grow as wall cover. They have not grown much yet but are looking very healthy. We were simply after a wall cover which is not a climber but were pleasantly surprised by how attractive these shrub are.





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In the hope of under planting the gap between the ground and the bottom of a 25 year old cotoneaster canopy, I purchased two 3ltr size Prunus Lustianica from Crocus in November 2013. Although this is a very challenging site for them, in dry shade, facing north-east they have grown and are now 1.4m tall. I do water in summer and mulch seasonally. Please can you recommend any cultivation tips that I can adopt to encourage them to grow a little faster as the unwelcomed view I wanted them to screen out has become a more urgent concern? Thank you for any help you may be able to provide.


Hello, The growth rate of all plants is largely determined by the growing conditions, so it sounds as though your plants are actually doing pretty well considering the challenges they have with the available water, light and nutrients - and the only way to speed them up a bit then is to try to improve the availability of those key factors.


Hello, There is a two storey building at the back of my house that I am looking to screen with plants (no windows, so no lighting issues for neighbours) it is in complete shade but wanting something that will grow the height of the building. Will this do the trick or can you recommend something else that will grow that height in the shade?


Hello there This plant will take some shade as long as it isn't in deep shade,- most plants need some light. It can grow up to 20m but it can take between 20-50 years for it to reach maturity depending on where it is grown, the light levels, water, nutrient etc. Hope this helps.

How do you prune laurel bushes


Hello, Prunus lusitanica does not require any special pruning, but as it gets quite big you may want to restrict its size. This should be tackled in late spring or early summer, cutting back to the stem overly long shoots. If a more radical approach is needed, then they are fairly tolerant and can be cut back very hard in early spring.


Informal Hedge planting Hi I am thinking of planting an informal hedge at the back of the garden,-the width is 18ft, and I am thinking of using Prunus lusitanica - Portuguese Laurel. How many will I need to buy, what size and how far apart would I need to plant them?Thank you in advance for your help. Best regards Anthony

anthony howell

Hello, These plants make wonderful hedges and should be planted at 30 - 45cm intervals. We sell plants in 3 litre pots, which will be around 30 - 40cm tall, so you should get a decent screen in just a few years. I hope this helps,


Hi Helen I'm sorry but I forgot to mention that the area is mostly shady for the majority of the day. Is this the right plant or is there an alternative? Thanks for your help

anthony howell

Hello Anthony, To create a nice, thick screen, we recommend these are planted at 45cm (18") intervals, so you will need around 12 plants. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

anthony howell

Hello again, These are one of the toughest, most shade-tolerant shrubs, so if this doesn't grow you will have problems getting anything established. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

anthony howell

Hedging and Osmanthus plants Dear Crocus, I am looking for two Osmanthus burkwoodii plants but notice on your website that you only offer them for sale in 2 litre size. Do you have any larger Osmanthus burkwoodii plants? I am also looking for suggestions on which plants would make a good hedge. I am looking for something hardy, able to stand the frost, evergreen, not poisonous to horses and if possible, not just green possibly red / purple or variegated, any thoughts? Also, as these plants are grown in Surrey, will they be suitable to grow in the Scottish Borders? Many thanks, Jane

Janey Mitch

Hello Jane, I'm afraid we have all the plants we sell displayed on our website so we do not sell larger sizes of the Osmanthus. As for the hedging, if you click on the link below it will take you to our full range of hedging plants. Unfortunately we do not have anything that meets all your criteria, but if you click on the smaller images it will give you a lot more information on hardiness levels (fully hardy means they can cope with the weather in Scotland) as well as leaf colour etc. Unfortunately though I do not have a list of plants which are not poisonous to horses, but your local vet may be able to help you with this. Best regards, Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

Katsura tree in a pot and pruning a Laurel? Dear Crocus I am determined to have a Katsura tree even though our soil is more clay than acid. Would this tree be ok in a pot in ericaeous compost mixed with another compost, and can it be kept manageable in terms of size? Second question please. We bought a Portuguese laurel and it needs to be moved to a pot - can it be trained as a standard/tree even though it now has two quite mature stems forking at the base? I am nervous to cut it in case it does not recover. With thanks - and I will have more questions at the open day! Rosemary

Rosemary Waugh

Hello Rosemary, These trees will grow in neutral to acidic soil, so as long as your soil pH is not too alkaline it should be fine in the garden. It will be OK in a really large pot filled with either John Innes No3 or ericaceous compost for a year or two, but in the long term it won't be too happy, so you should aim to plant it out. As for the laurel, they are pretty tolerant of hard pruning, but the best time to tackle it is late spring or early summer. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

How do I plant my Cherry blossom tree? Hi, What is the depth of hole I should dig for the Cherry tree 10L pot please? What type of compost should I use? Should I plant the pot the plant comes in as well or remove it before planting? How often should I be watering this tree if I plant it within the next two weeks? i.e. Ever other day for two weeks, etc. Regards, Scott

Scott Gilmour

Hello Scott, You should dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the existing rootball of the plant. You should then dig in lots of composted organic matter (or John Innes No 3 compost) and backfill until the plant will sit (without its pot) at the same soil level as it had in the pot. You can then gently backfill the sides around the rootball and firm it down without compacting it. As for watering, this will depend on a number of factors, but to be sure all you need to do is keep an eye on it and water it when the surrounding soil feels dry. We do have an article on how to plant on our site which you may find useful - just click on the following link to go straight to it. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

What evergreen shrub can you suggest? I am trying to find something evergreen to use for a privacy screen. I have limited space, so need to plant using a large pot rather than in the ground. The main stumbling block that I have is that the area gets sun for only half the day and it is also a very windy and cold area. I would like something that is fast growing to about 2m tall and wide. Can you suggest anything that fits the bill?

Mark Hill

There are a couple of very tough evergreen shrubs, which should fit the bill - here are some of the best. 'Prunus laurocerasus Rotunifolia' Portugese Laurel Mahonia


Help with creating a windbreak I live in Scotland and during the last weekend an old lilac bush blew down. The garden is small and north facing and is very exposed. I am at a loss as to what to plant as very little survives in the wind.

S A Morgan-Jones

Exposed gardens like yours do present a problem so the best thing to do is to plant a windbreak which will act as a shelter for other plants within the garden. This will then widen the choice of plants that you can use. Here's a list of large windbreak plants that can be used as the first line of defence. Hawthorn Sycamore In front of these, it is a good idea to plant tough evergreen shrubs to further cut down the wind and provide and attractive background for the 'real' plants - here are some of the best. Prunus laurocerasus Rotundifolia Prunus lusitanica Mahonia Once these have established and cut down the wind, you can plant almost any type of plant you want.


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