For a hardy classic hedge or topiary you can’t go past the Portuguese Laurel (Prunus lusticana). Portugal Laurel or Portuguese Laurel is a large evergreen bushy shrub that makes a very effective hedge or screen when kept clipped from 1-4 metres. With an inoffensive root system, frost hardy foliage and the ability to withstand harsh dry conditions, it the perfect plant for any troublesome garden.
One of the best reasons to buy Portuguese Laurels to create a medium to large hedge is that almost nothing eats it! No hideous bites will be taken out of the leaves from nasty little garden pests as the leaves have a rather sour taste, so many insects and animals are reluctant to have a nibble.
Ideal for: Hedge, Screen or Pleached hedge
Growth Rate: Moderate- 30-60cm per year
Maintain at a Height of: 1-5m tall
Maximum Height: 4-8m depending on conditions
Soil Requirements: Quite tolerant of most soils, but if you want to pamper it, it enjoys slightly acidic, moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soils.
Maintenance: Low. Twice yearly trimming to keep it neat. Can produce berries that may need cleaning up.
Planting Distance: 60-90cm
Portuguese Laurels adds class and character to the formal or Hampton style garden. Also a popular choice in rural areas due to its hardiness. They like good drainage (find out more about drainage if you’re unsure whether you should buy Portuguese Laurels here), otherwise they are very hardy, versatile and easy to shape and maintain.
When buying Portuguese Laurels for hedging and screening, you’ll need about three for every two metres of hedge you want to create.