Prunus lusitanica

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Prunus lusitanica, commonly known as the Portuguese laurel, is a lush, evergreen shrub known for its deep green, glossy leaves and delicate white flower clusters. This plant offers a classic elegance to any garden space, making it a favourite for creating structured designs like hedges and privacy screens.

In the garden, Prunus lusitanica is highly versatile. It can be used as a standalone feature plant, providing a dense and compact form, or it can be clipped into formal shapes, making it ideal for topiary or hedging. Its ability to withstand regular pruning allows gardeners to maintain a neat, tidy appearance year-round. The Portuguese laurel thrives in a variety of garden styles, from formal to woodland settings, and its dense foliage provides excellent shelter for wildlife.

Preferring a position in full sun to partial shade, Prunus lusitanica adapts well to most soil types, provided they are well-draining. It appreciates moist, but not waterlogged, conditions, ensuring healthy growth and the development of its small, fragrant white flowers that appear in early summer.

When planting Prunus lusitanica, spacing should be considered based on its intended use; for a thick hedge, plants should be spaced approximately 60-90cm apart. For individual specimens, allowing more room for growth will enable the shrub to form a naturally rounded shape.

Mature Prunus lusitanica can reach up to 4-6m in height and 2-4 m in width if not trimmed, making it an impressive addition to the landscape with its robust size and elegant appearance.

Trimming: Prune in late winter or early spring to shape the plant and remove any dead or damaged branches. Light pruning can be done throughout the growing season to maintain the desired size and shape.

Deadheading: Not necessary, as Prunus lusitanica is primarily grown for its foliage and structure rather than its flowers.

Fertilising: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertiliser in early spring to support healthy growth. A second application in mid-summer can be beneficial, especially in poorer soils.

Watering: Water regularly during the establishment phase. Once established, Prunus lusitanica is relatively drought-tolerant but benefits from occasional deep watering during prolonged dry spells. Ensure the soil is well-draining to prevent root rot.

Pest Control: Watch for pests such as aphids, scale insects, and caterpillars. Treat infestations with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil if necessary.

Disease Management: Be vigilant for signs of fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and leaf spot. Powdery mildew appears as a white, powdery coating on leaves, while leaf spot shows as dark spots on foliage. Treat with appropriate fungicides and ensure good air circulation. Avoid overhead watering to minimise fungal issues. Ensure proper soil drainage to prevent root rot, and remove any affected leaves to prevent the spread of disease.

Enjoy complimentary delivery anywhere in mainland New Zealand when you purchase plants worth $250 or more*.

For orders below $250, the following flat-rate delivery charges are applicable:

  • Urban delivery within mainland New Zealand: $19.95
  • Rural delivery within mainland New Zealand: $39.95

We aim to have all orders delivered within 21 days from the order date, unless a different shipping date is specified alongside a product.

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