Prunus laurocerasus

English Laurel
Plant Type




Overall Mature Size


Mature Height & Spread

12-20′ x 12-20′


Full Sun to Partial Shade


Medium, Low Water

Flower Color


Bloom Time

Spring, Summer

Special Features

Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Screen, Shade Tolerant, Low Water Use

Container Sizes

#1, #5, #15

Natural Growth Habit


Sunset Garden Zones

4-9, 14-24

Minimum USDA Hardiness Zone


Fast-growing large evergreen shrub or small tree to 12-20’ tall and wide, or greater with age. This robust species features leathery, glossy, rich-green foliage accented with a profusion of sweetly-fragrant, creamy-white flower spikes in spring, followed by small black fruit that is a favorite for various species of birds. This fruit can stain pavement which should be considered when choosing a planting location. Tolerates pruning and can be sheared into a large hedge, though its fast growth-rate necessitates frequent pruning to maintain a desired shape. Left un-pruned this species forms a billowing, rounded shape that’s great for using as a natural informal hedge or background. Older specimens can be pruned into a small multi-trunk tree.  Tolerates coastal conditions and a variety of different soil types provided they’re well-drained. Prefers moderate watering and can be grown in a full sun exposure in coastal climates, preferring a partial sun exposure elsewhere. Protection from hot afternoon sun in warmer climates is advised.

USDA Zone: 6A-8B
Sunset Zone: 4-9, 14-24

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