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sick Laurel hedge

Last post 07-04-2009 8:24 PM by jenox. 4 replies.

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  • 06/04/2009 06:59 PM
    • jenox
    • ayrshire
    • 06 Apr 2009
    • 3
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    can anyone help, I planted a laurel hedge in autumn 07, the plants are about two and a half feet tall.  They are growing but slowly and the leaves in some sections have slightly yellowed all over the plant and gone brown at the tips.  The new hedge is planted in continuation of a very well established old Laurel hedge which also suffers browning leaf tips in winter but we think that its the sea wind/cold as other neighbours seemed to hvae this problem too.  The old laurel has recovered and is looking pretty happy, the new laurel needs some TLC and we are not sure what to give it to help. It is at the side of a path on a pretty steep slope but we have mulched the entire hedge with woodechips and we don't suffer from lack of rain.  would love some guidance!! 

  • 07/04/2009 11:03 AM
    Top 500 Contributor
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    Could be a magnesium deficiency caused by acid soil or over-watering. Get a soil testing kit and try treating with epsom salts.

    James Gardner
  • 07/04/2009 11:53 AM
    • Rae
    • Dorset
    • 31 Jul 2007
    • 221
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    Hi Jenox well I cant dispute what James has said - he is the expert and I bow to his expertise (loved your website James).   I was about to say that we have a laurel hedge planted 4+ years ago.  Having had a laurel tree in our London garden which cost us £s each year to get tree surgeoned as it grew about 15+ft a year not to mention the spread of its branches we expected our hedge to grow like wild fire.

    But our laurel hedge just does not grow!  Its all that we have between us and the park so we are keen to get it growing.  It looks healthy - no brown or yellow leaves.  So last year I poured canisters of Miracle-Gro on it (via a watering can - very time consuming) and I did this about every 7 days during March and April.  And voila!  Last year it grew about 6 inches.  So doing the same this year and I give it masses of water as I notice when it rains the leaves etc get watered but if I look down below where the roots are its pretty dry.

     

     

  • 07/04/2009 12:41 PM
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    What happens is this - the air warms but the soil remains cool. The foliage requires nutrients but the roots are too cool to provide and the leaves yellow - this is very common indeed with certain shrubs including ceanothus and choisya. When the soil warms the roots will function better and the foliage will green up. Adding fertiliser will speed the process but there is no need to faff about with liquid feeds or magnesium, just add growmore or some other general fertiliser at about 100g every sq metre and your ample rain will carry it down to where it is needed. Do this every February until the plants are robust. Complications arise if the plants, which appear to have done poorly in the time you have had them, lack a decent root system due to poor planting, low quality plants or insufficient aftercare - you might wish to cast a critical eye over these aspects and take appropriate countermeasures. Boggy

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 07/04/2009 08:24 PM
    • jenox
    • ayrshire
    • 06 Apr 2009
    • 3
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    Thanks everyone for this help, I'll have a go at the feeding- thanks Boggy :-) it certainly makes sense as it got warm here very quickly after a seriously cold start to the year.  It’s a bit late for a feb feed but we are a bit behind up here so might still work?  I was thinking of a soil testing kit for the rest of the garden too - so once I know how to work it I'll try that too.  Rae if I find a secret formula I'll let you know!