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Prunus laurocerasus

With rich evergreen foliage throughout the year and dense branches, English laurel or Prunus Laurocerasus is a popular hedge for those wanting a lush evergreen privacy screen. As it is a fast-growing shrub, English Laurel hedge makes an excellent choice for a taller privacy hedge or border.


Prunus Laurocerasus growing regions

There are a number of immediate benefits to choosing the English laurel for your next hedge:

  • Lush evergreen through all seasons
  • Quite drought tolerant and requires little or no irrigation
  • Great for privacy and security with sharp thorns
  • Tolerates salt spray, which makes it great for coastal climates
  • With a very tall maximum height, it is ideal for a higher hedge or screen


The English laurel is well-suited to sunnier climates and is more drought-resistant than other shrub varieties, which makes it a popular hedging plant choice throughout the U.S.

An unpruned English laurel can reach up to 40 feet in height, but keeping it around 10 to 12 feet tall makes it a perfect backyard privacy screen.

The tiny clusters of cream-colored flowers that arrive in the spring are pleasantly fragrant and the namesake cherry-like fruit is devoured by birds in late summer.

The English laurel thrives with more direct sun in cooler climates, while it prefers some shade in more extreme heat zones.

The shrub’s large, glossy evergreen leaves are beautiful and recover easily from shearing, which makes the plant great for regular pruning.

Prunus laurocerasus is native to parts of Europe and Asia Minor, and the shrub has been a popular cultivated plant since at least 1576 and has been used in the United States since the colonial era.

As it is more salt-resistant than many other hedges, Prunus laurocerasus is popular in warmer coastal regions.

The naturally oval-shaped habit can be pruned into unique shapes, should that be desired. Other similar laurel hedge types are Schip laurel and Portuguese laurel. Also, check out more hedge types with both deciduous and evergreen options.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 - 9
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Sun/Shade: Partial to Full Sun
Deer Resistance: Yes
Watering Requirements: Weekly, or possibly more often in extreme heat
Growth Rate: Fast
Mature Size: 12’ height and 8’ width for average landscape use
Drought Tolerance: High
West Coast - Sunset Heat Zones: 4 - 9 and 14 - 24
Pest/Disease Issues:
Long-term health generally unaffected by pests. Mites, borers and caterpillars are attracted to the laurel. Moderately susceptible to shot-hole, powdery mildew and root rot.

Landscape Gallery

  • 22195513-Prunus-laurocerasus-driveway-estate

    A driveway can be lined with English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) to create some privacy in all seasons.

  • 00933077-Prunus-laurocerasus-estate-wall

    This English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) shows stunning glossy foliage as it borders a private lawn.

  • 172930253-prunus-laurocerasus-english-laurel-tall-privacy-hedge-fast-growing-urban-suburban-border-sidewalk-noise-block-green-screen

    A thick, dense, privacy hedge like English Laurel provides privacy and blocks road noise to create a quiet outdoor patio area even for urban homes.

  • 116310_140-Prunus-laurocerasus-lawn

    English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) towers above the neighboring garage to create a beautiful backyard.

  • 116311_120-Prunus-laurocerasus--driveway-street

    Here both an English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) hedge and a lower barberry (Berberis) hedge are used together to create a multi-layered border.

  • 116315_140-Prunus-laurocerasus-driveway-street

    A driveway can be lined with English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) to create some privacy in all seasons.

  • 122254_140-Prunus-laurocerasus-driveway-street-suburban

    The windows of this residence are no longer visible to the street with this newly-installed English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) InstantHedge.

  • 124904_140-Prunus-laurocerasus-and-Thuja-Green-Giant

    For varied textures in the landscape, two different types of hedge can be used for more textural diversity. Here An English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) and arborvitae (Thuja) hedge are both displayed.

  • 00690651-Prunus-laurocerasus-wall-fence-estate-home

    After a number of years, English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) can be grown together to form an arch to make moving from one section of the garden to the next more intriguing.

  • 00736942-prunus-laurocerasus-pruning-country-FAQ

    A pair of hand shears readily keeps this English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) nice and tight.

  • 155618789-prunus-laurel-privacy-hedge-swimming-pool-country-estate-modern-contemporary-suburban-summer-wind-break-block

    English laurel provides excellent privacy and wind blocking, perfect for surrounding a pool area.

  • 326982395-prunus-laurocerasus-english-cherry-laurel-hedge-privacy-tall-fast-growing-country-suburban-garden

    A classic, fast-growing choice, English Laurel forms a beautiful and effective evergreen privacy hedge.

  • 1182438694-prunus-english-cherry-laurel-privacy-hedge-yard-urban-suburban-commercial-grass-lawn-private

    Suburban home with close neighboring yards can feel private and secluded by using a dense privacy hedge like English Laurel.

  • N0300063_140-Prunus-laurocerasus-estate-driveway-street-border-short-hedge

    The large leaves of this English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) are a remarkable contrast to the hard stone wall.

  • N0300259_140-Prunus-laurocerasus

    English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) makes a lush boundary along this private lawn.

  • 282041804-prunus-laurocerasus-urban-suburban-driveway

    From this driveway, neighboring buildings are effectively removed from view with this dense English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) hedge.