Prunus lusitanica

Portuguese Laurel

The hardy Portuguese Cherry Laurel is a popular choice for those wanting a dense hedge that is relatively easy to maintain. Native to the Mediterranean region, this laurel excels in drier environments and those with sandier or clay-heavy soils. The shrub’s compact growth make it ideal for a privacy screen.

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

  • Quite drought tolerant and requires little or no irrigation
  • Resistant to deer and many pests
  • Attractive evergreen glossy leaves and red stems
  • Fragrant spring flowers and fruit are a draw for bird populations
  • Tolerant of a variety of soil types
  • As it’s a fast growing shrub, and has a spreading habit with compact foliage, the Portuguese Cherry Laurel makes for a great privacy screen or windbreak.

Tolerant of warm climates, drought and deer, the Portuguese Cherry Laurel is vibrant yet hardy. The shrub thrives in many different soils, including chalk, clay, loam and sand.

The Portuguese Cherry Laurel is evergreen and looks vibrant throughout all seasons.

The tiny clusters of cream-colored flowers that arrive in the spring are pleasantly fragrant and the namesake cherry-like fruit is beloved by a variety of local bird populations.

With its pest resistance and adaptability to many different soil conditions, the Portuguese Cherry Laurel is easier to maintain than many other hedge varieties.

Easy to maintain at 3-4’, it can easily grow up to 10 feet or higher for a tall hedge.


USDA Hardiness Zones: 6b - 9
Your Hardiness Zone:
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Sun/Shade: Partial Sun to Full Sun
Deer Resistance: Yes
Watering Requirements: Moderate
Growth Rate: Fast
Mature Size: 20' - 30'
Drought Tolerance: High
West Coast - Sunset Heat Zones: 4 - 9 and 14 - 24
Pest/Disease Issues: Susceptible to Scales and Verticillium